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Proof, podcast listeners enjoy “heightened concentration”



If you’re reading this it means you listen to 10 podcast episodes a week. Good. 

In 2016, a computational and cognitive neuroscientist from UC Berkley, Jack Gallant, put volunteers through an MRI scan.

He wanted to monitor people’s brains as they listened to podcasts.

What he found supports what you probably already felt in your mind. When you listen to podcasts you activate an “enormous swath” of your brain.

Unlike mindless newsfeed scrolling, Youtube black holes, or a Netflix binge, podcasts make your brain “hum”, keeping your mind in a “state of heightened concentration” (Gallant’s words).

So, if you really do listen to 10 podcast episodes a week, you are likely still reading. Your brain is used to being in that state of heightened concentration, so it can handle the work. 



Where are you right now?

You’ve arrived at WhatPods. A community site for heavy podcast listeners.

We launched just this week and we’re building the Yelp for podcasts.

A place to showcase the opinions of everyday podcast devotees and elevate them to become respected commentators and critics of a new, young medium.

And we want you to join.

Because believe it or not, you are the world authority on podcast consumption. There are only 8 million people in the US, UK, Canada and Australia who listen to more than 10 podcast episodes every week.

You’re one of them.

Which means you rank inside the top 1.77% with the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from your hobby.

You can fob that title off — “the world authority” — and laugh off the statistic that places you in the top 1.77% for your intellectual hobby, but why would you? It’s a title and a fact in your favor, both of which make you an influential stakeholder in a media that’s still only a decade old.



What can you do on WhatPods now?

The best feature on WhatPods is our daily rankings of top episodes (not shows). These rankings live on the homepage and reset every day.

When you “endorse” an episode, you signal to the community that you vouch for it. A recommendation for others to listen.

Endorsing an episode on WhatPods is easy. Simply:

(1) Search for the podcast via the magnifying glass in the top navigation bar.

(2) Scroll down to the section of the podcast page that lists all its episodes.

(3) Find the episode you want to endorse and click “Endorse”.


When you make your endorsement the episode will be sent to the homepage, where it will be placed amongst the day’s rankings.

You will be credited EPs for each episode endorsement you make. And the more endorsements the episode gets, the higher its ranking will go.

Editorial Points are our currency. Almost every positive contribution you make to the community (endorsements, commenting, reviews, feature recommendations) will earn you a bounty of EPs.

And when you accrue enough EPs you will unlock milestones that acknowledge your longstanding contribution.

So, if you’re ready to get started, and earn your first bounty of EPs, join WhatPods now and start endorsing podcast episodes as you listen to them.




A final note

The very next thing we plan to build is a way to immortalise the work of our earliest members.

Any member who suggests a new feature that we build into the platform will earn a custom badge and a credential on their profile that records, forever, that they were the inventor of the feature.

Facebook, Twitter, Google have all immortalised the feature contributions of their earliest employees.

Chris Messina is famous for conceiving Twitter’s hashtag. Paul Buchheit is credited as the inventor of Gmail.

A small team of engineers are revered within the walls of Facebook HQ for convincing Mark Zuckerberg to introduce a new feature into the product: the “Like” button.

In the same way, we will make famous the creative minds responsible for building the Yelp for podcasts.

Hopefully, that’s you.

If it is, not only will we credit your WhatPods account with a bonus bounty of Editorial Points (our currency for rewarding the contributions of our members), but you will forever be acclaimed — like Messina and Buchheit — for the inventions you think up.

If that sounds fun to you, we’ll see you on the other side.


Kate & Tom.