New to the world of podcasting? You may be questioning, effectively, what is a podcast? And the way do they work? On this article I will cowl what a podcast is, what they’re used for, and learn how to get began as a podcast listener or creator.
Desk of Contents
What Is a Podcast and How Do They Work?
A podcast is a digital audio “present” or program you could obtain or stream from the web in your smartphone, pc, or pill and pay attention when it’s handy for you.
Podcasts are a particularly widespread type of media that’s rising rapidly. The primary podcasts have been produced by people, however now they’re additionally made by corporations, information retailers, and different organizations. Podcasting has change into large enterprise, with corporations like Apple, Spotify, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM closely invested in podcasting.
For the listener, podcasts are a flexible medium! The audio-only format of podcasts makes them straightforward to devour in varied settings, corresponding to whereas commuting, cooking, touring, or working.
You may consider podcasts as “background” content material, however you may as well give them your full consideration when you like.
Talking of content material, podcast matters can cowl an enormous vary, from true crime to enterprise methods to parenting tricks to comedy or children’ content material. When you’ve got a subject in thoughts, there’s in all probability a podcast on the market for it! And if there is not, that may imply a possibility so that you can begin your personal podcast on that matter!
Podcasts are sometimes obtainable both in seasons with a set variety of episodes, or in an ongoing sequence. Our podcast Flops got here out with an eight-episode first season in 2021, whereas different SPI Media reveals just like the SPI Podcast and The Neighborhood Expertise are launched weekly on an ongoing foundation.
What Are Podcasts Used For?
So what’s the purpose or function of a podcast? What are they good for? An entire lot!
For the listener, a podcast is a good way to find out about a given matter—and/or be entertained!—in a approach that’s handy to them. Podcasts are free (for probably the most half) and straightforward to search out, and given their rising reputation, cowl a wider and deeper vary of matters than ever earlier than.
For the podcaster, the makes use of and advantages of a podcast may be monumental. Podcasts are a good way to construct and serve an viewers by entertaining and/or educating listeners on a given matter.
One of many key benefits of a podcast for the podcaster is that you just get to talk on to individuals, utilizing your voice. Your podcast episode could also be heard by hundreds and even tens of millions of individuals, however for every listener, it’s simply you and them.
It’s been mentioned that podcasting is one of the simplest ways to scale intimacy and make a direct reference to every of your listeners.
What Is a Podcast Host and Why Do You Want One?
Podcasts are made obtainable to listeners by way of a Actually Easy Syndication (RSS) feed.
An RSS feed permits content material creators to publish notifications of latest content material corresponding to weblog posts or, after all, podcasts.
Here is how that works. The podcast creator submits their podcast’s RSS feed to a listing, which makes it obtainable to listeners by way of a podcast app or the creator’s web site.
A podcast listener can obtain new installments or episodes of a podcast robotically by subscribing to the podcast’s RSS feed of their chosen podcast app.
However how do you create your podcast’s RSS feed?
That’s the place a podcast host is available in.
A podcast host is a service that gives a spot to retailer and distribute your podcast’s audio information by way of an RSS feed. The podcast host robotically generates the RSS feed on your podcast, then submits it to podcast directories, corresponding to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and others.
You may be pondering, Do I’ve to make use of a podcast host? Can I host my podcast on my web site? The quick reply is sure—however hear me out.
There are a number of advantages to utilizing a podcast host as a substitute of DIYing it. A podcast host can:
- Present storage on your podcast episode information, and permit them to be downloaded by listeners.
- Automate the creation and syndication of your RSS feed to podcast directories.
- Provide built-in analytics, so you possibly can see how your present is rising and which episodes are the preferred.
Sure, you possibly can technically host your podcast’s RSS feed by yourself web site. And sure, most podcast hosts value cash, with these prices typically rising as your present grows.
You would possibly save a couple of dollars, however in our opinion, the shortage of analytics alone makes internet hosting your podcast in your web site a nasty selection.
Fortunately, you’ve gotten loads of choices to select from relating to podcast hosts. Our really useful platform is Buzzsprout, because of its ease of use and useful options. [Note: That link is an affiliate link, which means we earn a small commission if you purchase after clicking it.]
Varieties of Podcasts and Podcast Examples
As a medium for entertaining and sharing info, podcasts can take many alternative types! Listed below are among the commonest podcast codecs, together with examples.
- Interview (SPI Podcast, Armchair Knowledgeable, Recent Air)
- Solo Speaking/Storytelling (Hardcore Historical past, Revolutions)
- Cohosted (Stuff You Ought to Know, My Favourite Homicide, Flops, The Comunity Expertise)
- Roundtable (SmartLess, Pod Save America)
- Documentary (Serial, Startup Podcast)
Notice that many podcasts are a hybrid, incorporating components of a number of codecs. For instance, The Neighborhood Expertise is a cohosted podcast that includes interviews.
The way to Hearken to a Podcast
How straightforward is it to hearken to a podcast? Fairly darn straightforward! Right here’s what you’ll want:
- A smartphone, pc, or pill with an web connection.
- A podcast app
You’ll want an internet-connected machine, corresponding to a smartphone, pc, or pill to entry podcasts. Because you’re already studying this publish, I’m guessing you’ve bought this one lined. ?
Whether or not you’re looking for a selected podcast or need to seek for a brand new one, a podcast app will come in useful. Listed below are among the hottest ones:
Every of those apps may be downloaded to your machine or accessed by way of the net.
So which one must you select? To be trustworthy, there’s not a ton of distinction between them, particularly when you’re simply getting began as a podcast listener.
When you’re a Mac/iOS person, then Apple Podcasts is your go-to, and when you use an Android telephone, then the Google Play Music app is the best possibility.
Every app additionally offers a podcast listing you could search to search out new reveals. Many of those apps may even present personalised suggestions based mostly on the reveals you hearken to on the app.
If you end up turning into an avid listener of numerous podcasts, you would possibly discover profit from utilizing an app like Pocket Casts, which is designed to filter and arrange numerous podcast subscriptions. However for 99 % of listeners, most apps will just do effective.
When you’ve discovered the podcast you need to hearken to in your podcast app, you possibly can both stream it or obtain it to your machine to pay attention later. Your podcast app must also can help you “subscribe” to a present so that you’ll be alerted when new episodes are launched.
Some podcast creators additionally make their podcast episodes obtainable straight on their web site by way of a web-based podcast participant like Fusebox.
Right here’s an instance of an episode of learn how to use an embedded net participant like Fusebox to play a podcast episode proper on a webpage (on this case, our AskPat podcast):
The way to Begin a Podcast
When you’re considering learn how to begin a podcast, you’re in the precise place! At SPI, now we have a ton of sources for first-time podcasters (and extra superior podcasters too, however let’s not get forward of ourselves…).
With a purpose to begin a podcast, you want a couple of key elements:
That’s not all, although, and if you’d like the total scoop, take a look at our “The way to Begin a Podcast STEP-BY-STEP” information.
It contains the lowdown on issues like:
- Choosing a podcast matter you possibly can decide to
- Writing a compelling podcast description
- Selecting a podcast internet hosting service
- Recording your episodes
- And way more
The “The way to Begin a Podcast STEP-BY-STEP” information makes beginning your podcast straightforward and doable so to construct your viewers—and even begin and scale a enterprise with the assistance of your new present.
You may also take a look at my video information to beginning your podcast, up to date for 2022!
What Is a Podcast FAQ
Listed below are some generally requested questions on podcasts, and our solutions!
Why Are Podcasts Referred to as Podcasts?
The phrase “podcast” is a portmanteau (mixed phrase) of “iPod,” Apple’s authentic transportable music participant, and “broadcast.” Some individuals have additionally prompt “transportable on demand” as a “backronym” for the phrase “podcast.”
Podcasts vs. Radio: What’s the Distinction?
Are podcasts the identical as radio reveals? Whereas podcasts and radio share a variety of similarities, since they’re each audio codecs, podcasts are extra versatile in a variety of methods. You may consider podcasts as the following “evolution” of the radio present.
Listed below are among the key variations between podcasts and radio:
- Podcasts are normally edited, whereas radio is usually stay.
- Podcasts may be streamed or downloaded on demand, whereas radio reveals sometimes should be listened to stay. Radio stations are more and more making their beforehand aired reveals obtainable on-line, however most radio content material should be accessed when it goes stay.
- Most radio content material is aimed toward a broad viewers, whereas podcast content material may be extraordinarily area of interest.
- Most radio reveals must fill a selected time block, whereas podcast episodes may be any size.
- Radio reveals sometimes have greater manufacturing prices, so that they comprise ads to assist offset these prices. Whereas podcast promoting is a rising trade, many podcasts don’t embrace advertisements as a result of the associated fee barrier to entry for podcasting is a lot decrease than for radio.
Are Podcasts Free?
The most effective issues about podcasts is that they’re normally free to obtain and hearken to. Sure, you’ll want a tool to hearken to them and an web connection to obtain them, however the content material itself is usually freed from cost.
In recent times, some podcasters have begun creating further paid content material for his or her subscribers. These paid podcasts have gotten more and more widespread, though free podcasts are nonetheless much more widespread.
Are You Able to Begin Your Podcasting Journey?
I hope this primer on podcasts was useful! Perhaps you’re impressed to go discover a new present to subscribe to, and even change into a podcaster your self!
If it is the latter, you’re in the precise place when you’re able to continue to learn about podcasts and what they will do to develop a enterprise and join with an viewers.
And when you’re considering beginning your personal podcast, our The way to Begin a Podcast Information is absolutely the excellent place to go subsequent!