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What is a Podcast? An Explanation and Why Are Podcasts So Popular?

What is a Podcast? An Explanation and Why Are Podcasts So Popular?

Ever since the turn of the century, podcasts have taken a predominant role in society. Year after year, the numbers of listeners continue to rise. According to podcast statistics, “51 percent of US consumers above the age of 12 listen to podcasts”. This in itself is an incredible number, just above half the country! So, what is it that has made podcasts so popular? Truthfully, it’s the idea of listening to somebody talk, and for many people, it’s like company. Technically speaking, podcasting has been around since the early ’80s. The word is a mixture of ‘broadcast’ and ‘iPod.’ More on this in the article’s next section.

What is a Podcast?

Firstly, I will go over the history of podcasts. Then, I will continue with what a podcast is and why they have so important in the twenty-first century. Podcasts are a global phenomenon. Being around since 2004, Podcasts are a global phenomenon created by an MTV employee! Since 2004, they are super easy to listen to and enjoy and can be found through Spotify, iTunes, and the internet.

The creation of the iPod enhanced the idea of podcasts. It gives people the chance to listen whenever/however. Before this, there was a mobile limitation to technology. Of course, the Sony Walkman existed back in the day amongst other items of technology. Having said this, they all tend to have a focus on music! Steve Jobs appeared and made his mark. They are promising that anyone could make a podcast from their very own MacBook. Time has proven that podcasts are here to stay and have become disassociated with the brand itself.

To answer, a podcast is an audio recording of a specific topic. You can record individually or with more people, including sometimes guests.

Continuing, there’s quite a common misconception that all audio files are podcasts. This, of course, is not the case at all. The big difference between a podcast and a standard audio file is that podcasts allow subscriptions, unlike a regular file that can be downloaded, with no extra following or correlation with follow-ups.

Subscription can be either free or available after being paid for. For example, you can find many podcasts in Spotify; but Spotify is an application that costs money. Subscription means that from then on, every listener receives his podcast automatically. Also, a podcast refers to the whole compilation of episodes one makes. It can be compared to a series, for example, and can even include seasons. Once your podcast is completed, refer to a podcast in particular (one recording), it’s called an episode. You can listen to them whenever you want; they are almost like a radio show only that you can do it through the internet.

Lastly, podcasts are also video recordings with the same principles mentioned above. The idea of having a video is to provide the listener with extra aid enhancing the experience.

How Do Podcasts Work?

In this section of the article, I will go over the more technical side of podcasts. One of the most important things to know to understand podcasts is: RSS Feeds truly. I bet you’re wondering what in the world RSS feed, right? In short, it’s a text file. This means that it’s a bunch of words on a page that contains all the information about the podcast you’re listening to or chose to make.

Remember old computers with black screens with a bunch of code as soon as they were turned on? Well, that is what an RSS feed looks like; basically, it’s not that inviting! If you have a hosting provider, you won’t have to worry about this ‘code’ as they’ll provide it for you. So, all you have to focus on is providing them with the episodes. They’ll do all the extra work.

Then, once the previous steps have been completed, you will probably want it uploaded on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, amongst others. Subsequently, you will have to provide them with your RSS feed. To clarify, these platforms upload your podcast through your RSS feed. Once you upload an episode, the platform chosen will automatically update itself to upload it then too.

Once you start obtaining a following, you need to think about your subscribers. This is because they are directly linked to your RSS feed, not the platform itself at first. However, your RSS feed will provide the subscriber with information about where your podcast can be found. This is called ‘subscriber redirect.’

Honestly, this is the essential information a person needs to know before starting a podcast. So, to obtain a successful program, everything should be taken care of properly. There are many tools and service providers available to ease your podcasting experience. Make sure to investigate and find one that is suitable for you if you’re looking to start!

Types of Podcasts

Although very similar, there are many different types of podcasts available. In this section of the article, I will be mentioning a few of the different types of podcasts.

  • The Interview Podcast 

This is when the host or hosts interview a different guest in each episode, often talking about relevant topics and areas of interest for the guest.

  • The Solo Podcast

Much like the one mentioned above, this is very similar, only that the host is on its own. The host will talk about different subjects, with each episode often having much to do with the last. Guest appearances may appear too.

  • The Multi-Host Podcast

This form of podcasting has two or more hosts. One of the reasons this podcasting is so popular is because there is often a difference in opinions.

To conclude, these are the three most popular hosting methods. If you’re looking to start your very own podcast, make sure to think about which podcasting method is the most suitable for you!

Podcast

Why are Podcasts so Popular?

Podcasts are more popular today than ever before. People can’t seem to get enough of this form of entertainment and, honestly, it’s no surprise. Continuing with this train of thought, podcasts have become so popular because of their convenience. Below are a few reasons why they have taken off and don’t show any signs of slowing down.

Firstly, podcasts have become extremely popular due to their ability to provide the listener with the option of multitasking. The world we live in today is quite busy, and it’s only getting busier. Having the ability to listen to a podcast while driving to work, exercising, or even cooking at home is very appealing.

A busy routine doesn’t stop podcast listeners. The option to fast forward and rewind gives the listener complete control and allows them to listen whenever. Diving into topics of interest for the commodity and not having to watch a video or read is fantastic. Also, knowing that there’s always going to be the next episode makes the listener attracted just as if it was a TV series. Take, for example, Joe Rogan. He has one of the most popular podcasts, and his fan base doesn’t seem to stop growing. People who have listened to him tend to come back for more content!

In today’s world, it is clear that there is a podcast for everyone. With over 700 000 available, there is something out there that will result in appealing to you! Whether you want to listen to politics, cooking, news, or even pop culture- there is something out there for you! “A recent study shows that while 49% of podcast listening happens at home, 22% happens while driving, 11% at work, and 8% while exercising”.

With the unprecedented arrival of COVID-19, digital media has only grown. An interesting fact is that 1/3 of the podcasts that exist were made since 2018. The future seems quite bright for this industry!

Are Podcasts Audio or Video?

As mentioned throughout the first section of this article, podcasts can be both. Technically speaking, the core of a podcast comes from the audio that is provided. This is an essential feature. Having said this, podcasts also tend to be filmed. This gives the listener the option also to see the video recording if they want. YouTube tends to be one of the most popular platforms for this video content. However, just because a podcast doesn’t provide the listener with a video doesn’t mean it’s any less! It all comes down to the subscriber’s personal preference! Notably, video-recorded podcasts are nowhere near as popular as simple audio ones. Not many people have the time to watch a video-recorded conversation. Most much rather listen while completing a different activity.

The Difference Between a Podcast and an Audio File

Podcasts and audio are often confused, especially by people who aren’t well informed. Although very similar, there are a few key differences for you to recognize which is which. Firstly, I will start with what a podcast is. A podcast is several episodes of audio or video digital media files which can be found throughout the internet. They can be enjoyed by anyone who has the internet and has never been so popular. On the other hand, an audio file is a format for storing music or audio. The difference is that there is no follow-up. Once you have what you need, there is no continuation, unlike podcasts. Also, there is no existing way of subscription to this.

How to Find and Listen to Podcasts in Different Ways?

There are so many ways to listen to podcasts. In this section of the article, I will be going over different platforms and methods of listening. Lastly, I will be going over how to find the exact type of podcast you’re looking for. You may be saying to yourself, podcasts sound great, but where can I find them? The answer is quite broad, but I will shorten it down for you.

At this moment, the leading platform for podcasts is Spotify. Almost every person that makes podcasts uploads it here. So, if you have a specific topic in mind, search it through Spotify, and several options will arise. Secondly, after Spotify comes to iTunes. Commonly the content is quite similar. So, if you have one but not the other, don’t stress at the end of the day. When it comes to listening to podcasts, you can do it wherever. Whether you walk your dog or before going to bed, it is such an accessible and friendly way of entertainment!

Final Thoughts

In all honesty, podcasting has taken the world by storm and has only been around for a relatively short period. They have become so popular simply because of how comfortable, accessible, and convenient they are. If you’re looking to get into podcasting, there has never been a better time. There are so many different websites that are going to help you with the process. Also, platforms like Spotify give you a chance to share your content on a global scale.

If you haven’t yet listened to a podcast, definitely give them a try! There is something out there for everyone. It could even help you relax or get your mind off stressful daily matters. Podcasts have also become great tools for companies to promote their products. If you’re looking for a great way to give your company exposure, this could be it!

David A. Adair

David A. Adair did not see a need to look for a job upon completing his first degree at the New York University in 2010, despite being the best student in hospitality and trade class. His focus was on the celebrity lifestyle, and he later decides to venture into it. He eventually becomes a successful writer with tons of articles and eBooks that elaborates on celebrities from New York City. David now writes all types of celebrity and entertainment content. He has all it takes to discharge the job, and his readers love his work, basing on the customer reviews he is receiving. A. Adair is willing to work with whoever wishes to have written content about the celebrity lifestyle.

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