Yes, podcast has become quite the thing since the enforced solitude of lockdown, though it has, in fact, been around since 2004. Podcasting was actually developed in 2004, when Adam Curry, former MTV video jockey, and software developer, Dave Winer, coded a programme known as iPodder. The iPodder allowed them to download Internet radio broadcasts to their iPods (remember the iPod?).
The big companies began to recognise opportunities provided by this new medium as far back as 2005, with Apple leading the way (naturally) with iTunes 4.9, the first update with native support for podcasts. That same year, George W. Bush became the first President to have his weekly address delivered as a podcast.
Fun fact: 2005 is also the year in which “Podcast” is declared “Word of the Year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary.
In Nigeria, like all things even slightly techy, the early adopters were the ‘Youth’. You know, the hip, creative metropolitans. Mention ‘podcast’ to folk outside that specific self-identifying demographic and you would have been met with the blankest of stares.
Fast forward 2020/2022 and a lot more people have caught the podcast wave in Nigeria. But whilst the #EndSars generation have their ISWIS (I Said What I Said); the tech bros have Afritech Verified and Decode Fintech; gist lovers Tea with Tay; it could be argued that the mature, ever so lightly arty, (dare we say affluent?) demographic who might be a little lost without their PAs to show them how to subscribe to the Podcast might have been orphaned in this brave new podcast world.
There is only so much Afrobeats, gossip, tech slang or hip chatter the reserved, cultured, thinking, not-so-young audio consumer can stomach. They want to keep their finger on the pulse and an eye on the Zeitgeist. They want to live happier, healthier, better-informed lives but not at the price of sensory overload.
Cue Banana Island Living – quietly, unheralded, and just hits differently. The Banana Island Living podcast is just such a calming, lovely and yes, educative, space. One of the few podcasts you actually want to listen all the way through and consume in one sitting. The topics range from Crypto, to healthy lifestyle, wealth management and theatre. The Art series was just sublime. Particular favourites (and some of the most downloaded) were the ‘Coming to Nigeria’ and ‘Nearly Made in Nigeria’ episodes. Each episode concludes with the guests sharing their books, music and movies and they always, always end with a joke.
Banana Island Living (podcast, Instagram and website) is a business and lifestyle platform that seeks to inspire a healthier, happier and more informed living.
Banana Island Living is not just another luxury, high living vehicle, there is no shortage of those. It talks about books, travel, music, mental health and, above all else, seeks to provide positive, interesting, thoughtful and ha ha funny, experiences.
Listeners to the Podcast range from residents of Banana Island in Lagos to people in the UK, US, South Africa, Turkey, and wherever people can tune into iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts, TuneIn radio etc. Within a month of launching, Banana Island Living Podcast was ranked no. 1 in the leisure category on iTunes in Nigeria!
Podcasts in Nigeria have really come of age and BIL is the witty, knowing aunty – calm, aware and nurturing. The aunty you really want to hang out with and can’t wait to invite back.
Notable Highlights in Podcast History
• 2005 — George Bush becomes first President to deliver his weekly address in the form of a podcast
• 2005 — Podcast is declared “word of the year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary
• 2006 — Steve Jobs demonstrates how to record a podcast using Garageband during a keynote speech
• 2006 — Lance Anderson became the first podcaster to go on a live podcasting tour he called The Lance Anderson Podcast Experiment.
• 2007 — Ricky Gervais sets world record for the most downloaded podcast with an average of 250,000 downloads per episode in the first month
• 2009–2011 — Andrew Carolla’s podcast receives 59,574,843 unique downloads
• 2013 — Personal Audio sues high profile podcasters, claiming they have a patent on podcasting
• 2013 — Apple announces 1 billion podcast subscribers
• 2017 — Court rules against Personal Audio, declaring they did not invent the medium of podcasting and could therefore not claim royalties
• 2019–Spotify acquired Gimlet Media for $200 million, establishing itself as a major player in podcasting.
• 2020 — Joe Rogan, signs an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify worth $100m+
• 2021 – Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry’s Archewell Audio debut their podcast deal with Spotify.