If you do a Google search for “what is a podcast” the first result is this definition…
A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.
That’s a good description! When people would ask me this question my go-to explanation was that it’s like talk radio on the internet. That doesn’t feel accurate anymore. It’s not quite the right impression. In a sense a lot of podcasts are like talk radio but that doesn’t fully encapsulate the medium. In terms of delivery method I think of it as on-demand audio programs. You can go online and stream it at any time. You can also subscribe to shows and when new episodes come out they will be automatically added to your subscription list.
Think of podcasts like you would tv shows. Sure, there are talk shows but there are not JUST talk shows. There are documentaries, news programs, fictional programming and more. Podcasts come in many different formats and genres just as television series do.
There many places to find podcast but a few of the main avenues are…
The answer to this question is why I love the medium. Everyone! Not literally everyone but what I mean is anyone can make a podcast. There are an unfathomable amount of podcasts available and many are made by regular people who just have a passion for the topic they are discussing. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that large brands and mainstream media started to look at podcasting seriously but podcasts have been in existence for roughly a decade-and-a-half.
Specifically to answer the question as to who makes podcasts? Entrepreneurs. Comedians. Writers. Politicians. Journalists. Regular Joes who just like to talk about movies. Basically anybody who has the desire to do so. Of course organizations like NPR, the BBC and other major broadcasters have now taken to the podcast world. You may have already heard several news “podcasts” and didn’t realize it. Podcasts have grown to be recognized as another outlet like any other branch of media.
There are possibly as many answers to this question as there are podcasts. For some it might be the share their story. For others it could be to discuss topics they enjoy. Through podcasting people are able to extend discussions into a public space and interact with others. Some podcasters are experts in their field and wish to share their expertise. Some use podcasting to raise awareness for a product recognizing the powerful and accessible reach podcasting can have. It’s a unique mix of companies and hobbyists producing entertainment for reasons ranging from commercial gain to love of the hobby.
I hope this article and/or the attached podcast episode has been helpful! If you still don’t know where to start (shameless plug time!) might I suggest visiting the Electronic Media Collective Podcast Network. It is podcast network that I founded and operate and is simply a collective of several podcast shows. Approximately 40 podcasts, in fact! The website other there was designed with simplicity in mind. From the homepage you can click on any of a variety of shows and start listening right away! Or you can follow the show’s links to that podcast’s home on iTunes and other services.