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Using close interviews with podcast listeners conducted between July and September 2020, this essay explores the affective role podcasting played for listeners during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some participants trapped indoors due to COVID restrictions, podcast hosts became like friends, providing feelings of sociality in a physically distanced landscape. Furthermore, through their on-demand, converged, and idiosyncratic features, podcasts created mediated opportunities for agency for individuals bereft of their usual mobilities and freedoms, which provided a kind of affective agency that helped listeners make sense of the crisis. This essay argues that podcasting's overriding value—both in the pandemic and contemporary life—lies not necessarily in its unifying properties, but in its individual affective impact.