What’s Podcast? History and all you want to know.
If you visit social sites and other such online community portals very often, you must have heard of ‘Podcast’ at least once, it has become quite popular these days and everyone loves them. From professional orators to famous celebs numerous people use them as a platform to deliver a show, or a session or any other event of their respective genre.
What is a Podcast?
Well if we take a look at the formal definition, podcast is a collection or series of digital audio files that are made available for downloading or listening live on the Internet. And each individual audio recording is known as a podcast episode. They are mainly hosted by an individual or an organization/team who lead a conversation, share stories, or report the news. The creator of a podcast is known as a podcaster. Few of the platforms on which one can host these Podcasts are applications such as Spotify, Stitcher, Wynk, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts (the podcast app that comes with iOS), or even Radios Stations. Now let us take a look back into the podcast history.
The podcast history goes back to the time of the launch of the iPod. In addition to this, the word “podcast” itself is a combination of the word “iPod” and “broadcast”.
Podcasts, previously known as “audioblogs”, and their roots date back to the 1980s. When access to broadband Internet came into existence more and more portable digital audio playback devices such as the iPod, podcasting started to become a thing by the late 2004s. As of now, there are more than 115,000 English-language podcasts available on the Internet, and dozens of websites available for distribution at little or no cost to the producer or listener.
How it works?
These are basically a service or a medium which is accessible to both listeners as well as creators to benefit from each other. As discussed above Podcasting comprise of mainly two parties, the Podcaster, and the Listeners. Now let us take a look at the perks of the two of them one by one.
For podcasters: Those interested in creating their own podcast have several avenues or platforms to publish their work on. Unlike radio stations and television networks, which are often subject to regulations and approvals, several podcasting platforms provide with the facility of self-publishing. Moreover, to create a new podcast, you’ll need a few technical equipments, like a USB microphone, pop filter, headphones etc. And in order to produce more professional sounding podcast one might also need access to audio recording and editing softwares which are also freely available services on the internet.
For listeners: On the other hand for listeners, a podcast acts as an on-demand Internet radio show. One can listen to episodes on a podcast app or subscribe to podcasts online using an RSS feed (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication). The subscribers are notified each time a new episode is available. Nowadays most of the smartphones, come equipped with a media player, which allows you to subscribe to podcasts and stream or download the episodes.
Types of Podcasts
There are a variety of podcasts available out there today. Thus one can also classify them into categories based on the genre of podcast, or the team involved in podcasting and the purpose they serve. So here are few of the most renowned podcast formats.
- Scripted fiction: Scripted fiction podcasts are audio-only theatrical
productions. In fact some fictional podcasts might tell a single serialized
story—much like a TV show or an audiobook—or they might as well tell a
new story with each episode.
- Interview: This type of podcasts typically have a host or pair of co-hosts who conduct an interview with a person of interest, very much similar to a TV talk show.
- Monologue: Individuals coming out and presenting monologues, or solo, podcasts. They might be an expert in a particular field with information to share, a storyteller, comedian, or news anchor.
- Nonfiction storytelling: One of the most popular types of podcasts is storytelling podcasts that retell true stories. These podcasts may contain interviews with those involved in the story or an expert with knowledge of the story. True crime podcasts fit within this category.
- Conversational: Another popular podcast format involves a panel of hosts who record themselves having interesting and entertaining conversations on a specific topic. This could include comedy, sports, pop culture, science, history, and more.
How to Podcast?
Now that we have discussed all about podcast history and podcasting, you might be wondering how to start a podcast, well your first step would be to decide on what you’re actually going to discuss on the episode. For some people, it’s very obvious and certain. But for others, they might struggle as they would have to get creative before they decide with an idea.
If your business goal is to sell phone cases, you might not want to start your podcast all about phone cases, rather make it about tech or new apps. If your target audiences are the digital nomads, then maybe a podcast about international traveling could prove beneficial.
Your topic will also depend on what you’re passionate about or the area of expertise. Having stated these, it’s a good idea to check if there’s enough for you to talk about. Evidently, it is recommend with coming up with a list of 8-10 episodes at fist. A look into the similar podcast episodes might also come very handy if you have just started. It would help to know what the audience expects in that genre, and would ultimately help you frame your ideas and script in a better manner.
Podcast Web Hosting Server
Now, once you are done with scripting, recording and editing your podcast next task on the list is to look for a platform or a web server to host your podcast. It is usually suggested to make sure that you have an individual host just for your MP3 files. Even if you have a website and a web host already, you don’t want to be hosting your podcast audio on the same server. Most shared web hosts don’t have the speed or bandwidth to keep up with the demand that streaming and downloading MP3s require. Fortunately, media hosts have made podcast hosting quite affordable these days. Here’s a list of the ones most podcasters use and recommend nowadays:
Blubrry: Costs $12 per month for 100mb of space with unlimited bandwidth.
LibSyn : Costs $5 a month for 50mb of space with unlimited bandwidth.
Now you are almost there, you have now successfully created, recorded, edited and hosted your podcast. Now you are just left with submission of your work on podcast directories like iTunes, Spotify etc. Choose a directory that suits you and you are good to go.
So, that was pretty much all about Podcast history, podcasting methods and other related information regarding it. Hope the article proves helpful to you. Thank you for reading.
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