Podcasts have slowly become a new medium for mass communication since the term was first coined in 2004. These are much like radio talk shows that people used to tune into when radio has just come in. Where the popularity of radio is going down, there the podcasts seem to be gaining prominence.
This podcast guide covers everything you need to know to start listening.
What Is a Podcast?
A podcast is a digital audio file, mainly for entertainment purposes that can be downloaded or streamed on through an internet connection. A podcast can be anything from audio dramas to talk shows to language lessons. Let’s just say, it could be any kind of conversation in an audio format. Although, the concept of a podcast is mainly to listen, however, certain podcasts are being released with their video episodes.
Most of the streaming services these days enable you to subscribe to your favorite shows. This means you will be updated as and when the latest episode releases. It depends on the publisher, whether he/she releases a new podcast daily or once every few months.
The podcast shows could be broken into seasons like Serial like S-Town, or have regular shows.
Are Podcasts Free?
Well, this is one of the most appreciated features of the medium that mostly, the podcasts are free. All the podcasts aim to reach as wide an audience as possible, with as minimum barriers as possible for potential listeners.
There are minimum limitations like a fee for ad-free episodes, exclusive podcasts to a certain platform like Spotify or Stitcher. Such podcasts can not be downloaded or accessed from other platforms.
How Do Podcasts Make Money?
One must be wondering how podcasts make money if they are free. Honestly, podcasts do not make money. Still, their low-cost format interests many, leading to the production of a million podcasts with tens of millions of episodes to listen to.
The professional podcasts do make money, and they do so by taking sponsorships and including commercials. Similar to radio, podcasts also insert short advertisement breaks during the episode.
How Do You Listen to Podcasts?
Listening to a podcast has been made as flexible as possible. You listen to these on your computer, smartphone, smart home device, and even on modern gaming consoles or smart TVs. In most cases, if your device has a speaker or headphone jack, you should be able to listen to podcasts on it.
While your phone is the most suitable device to listen to, if you are watching a podcast video, then you might want to use your computer or TV. It could be any device, but one thing that you need for sure is an internet connection to stream or download episodes.
How Do I Start a Podcast?
A podcast is a simple audio file, which calls for minimum investment before you start. However, you do need to invest in a lot of your time, if not money. If you have a great idea and an interesting topic, all you need is your smartphone to record, edit, and publish an episode. It might not sound professional, but it could be a great test run for your podcast.
If you can grab audience interest and enough prominence to continue, then you may invest in equipment like podcasting microphones, headphones, and audio software, so that your podcasts sound as good as possible. Once your show gains stability, then you may consider joining a podcast network.
What Is a Podcast Network?
A podcast network is a group of podcasts, where creative people come together to build a distribution network, improve relations with advertisers, and even share the cost of production. It helps a podcast host in expanding his/her reach with cross-promotion.
Joining a network can turn out to be beneficial for a new creator, given that you join one that fits your topic and style.
If you want to listen to a podcast for general entertainment or as a reference for your production, there are millions of them available as per your requirement. Just get into a little digging and you will probably find a podcast that suits your niche.
So, go, plugin your best headphone, and find yourself a peaceful corner to enjoy some of the best podcasts.