What Is a Podcast? And How Do They Paintings?

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Etcetera | 0 comments

While the word “podcast” didn’t even exist 30 years up to now, podcasts are in fact a daily part of many people’s lives.

As in keeping with research from Edison, one-third of Americans aged 12 and over be aware of a podcast monthly. That amounts to over 100 million folks.

So, what’s a podcast, and why are folks occupied with them? In this article, we’ll answer every those questions and allow you to understand how you’ll to seek out podcasts, how you’ll be aware of podcasts, and the best way you’ll customize your podcast listening experience.

Let’s dive in.

What Is a Podcast?

A podcast is a curated, radio-style program folks be aware of via their laptop methods, tablets, or the internet. “Internet” is necessary proper right here, as podcasts are dispensed online.

Podcasting is an overly flexible medium, as:

  • Podcasts would perhaps surround a single episode or a series with lots of episodes
  • Podcasts vary in duration from one minute to hours in keeping with episode (the typical duration is 41 minutes and 31 seconds)
  • Podcasters (presenters that host podcasts) can duvet any subject
  • Podcasters can unencumber their display as a pre-recorded program or a are living program on a platform like Twitch or Youtube

Even supposing every podcast has its unique style, podcasters maximum frequently supply their episodes in one in all three ways:

  1. Stand-alone: You’ll be in a position to concentrate on every episode without taking note of others
  2. Sequentially: You’ll have to be aware of every episode in a collection order to completely understand the story
  3. Theme-based: You’ll be in a position to concentrate on every episode personally, alternatively the episodes supply nuances of a topic, and also you’ll want to concentrate on all episodes to comprehend completely

Podcasts moreover combine portions from many genres of recreational. For those who occur to had been to give an explanation for a podcast in 15 words or a lot much less, chances are high that you’ll say that they combine the intimacy of a YouTube channel with the producing top quality of a radio display.

While the word ‘podcast’ didn’t even exist 30 years ago, podcasts are now a daily part of many people’s lives 🎧 Learn more about this increasingly popular medium right here ⬇Click to Tweet

History of Podcasts

To clutch the history of podcasts, we want to look once more on the subject of 20 years to the release of the main iPod in 2001. Even though iPods weren’t the main portable MP3 player to be had in the marketplace, their unencumber coincided with the release of radio and music streaming platforms like Pandora.

For the reason that iPod gained reputation, folks started looking to acquire radio displays onto their gadgets.

Entrepreneurs Adam Curry and Dave Winer made this conceivable in 2004. They created an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) software known as iPodder that would possibly download radio pronounces from the internet onto iPods.

In keeping with Winer, the first proper podcast was once an interview he recorded with Christopher Lydon (a radio host who hosted Open Provide — a radio display that’s now a podcast).

People moreover debate the start of the word “podcast,” alternatively it sort of feels to have partly risen from a 2004 article via Ben Hammersley titled “Audible Revolution.” Even though the article doesn’t use “podcast,” it suggests 3 an similar words: audio operating a weblog, podcasting, and guerilla media.

Later, the ones words changed to “audio blog” and “podcast,” with “podcast” ultimately rising in popularity (and loads of google searches in the course of the tip of 2004).

Google Trends results for podcasts
Google Characteristics results for podcasts (Provide: Google Trends)

As Google Characteristics suggests, the popularity of podcasts took off global after 2004.

That three hundred and sixty five days, the sphere got its first podcast provider provider — libsyn.com. Then, in 2005, the word “podcast” was once the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year.

By the use of 2009, 43% of Americans had heard of podcasts, and thru 2019, that amount had risen to 70%. That exact same three hundred and sixty five days, an estimated 144 million Americans listened to podcasts, and 90 million of those listeners had been listening monthly.

So what do podcasts look like in recent times?

Forms of Podcasts

There are many various kinds of podcasts in 2021, at the side of:

  • Conversational podcasts where hosts supply content material subject material in a talk display style
  • Interview podcasts
  • Podcasts that tell fictional stories
  • Podcasts that tell non-fiction stories or recount historic events
  • Lecture-style podcasts that educate you about a topic
  • Investigative journalism-style podcasts that supply objective reporting
  • Sport-show-style podcasts where contestants compete against every other or the host
  • Identify-in podcasts where callers contribute to the discussion

As podcasting is an overly flexible medium, many displays combine portions from every of the ones different “types.” For example, some episodes of the most popular podcast Solution All feature interviews with guests, while the hosts supply other episodes via narrative storytelling.

Naturally, the flexibility of podcasting means folks can use it to supply content material subject material all through quite a lot of genres. As of October 2020, the most popular genres integrated comedy, knowledge, true crime, sports activities actions, and properly being and well being.

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Most popular podcast genres
Freshest podcast genres (Provide: Statista)

For those who occur to’re throughout the media business, those genres would perhaps remind you of another fashionable recreational medium — radio. Then again while radio and podcasts would perhaps duvet an similar genres, they aren’t the an identical.

Podcasts vs Radio

As we covered throughout the History of Podcasts segment, radio was once a very powerful in creating podcasts. Alternatively, while the two recreational mediums would perhaps share a history, there are many permutations in recent times.

The ones permutations include:

  • Curation: Podcasts are maximum frequently additional curated than radio, as producers can edit them previous to publishing
  • Production top quality: Many podcasts include background monitor and sound effects that producers edit in all through post-production
  • Visuals: Podcasts would perhaps include visual portions (additional on that throughout the “Audio and Video” segment)
  • Focal point: Podcasts incessantly dive deep into the nuances of a topic over a few episodes, while many radio strategies (specifically morning and evening display strategies) use an “easy listening” style that individuals can tune into and understand at any degree
  • Broadcast medium: Podcasts are dispensed over the internet

Then again while podcasts and radio are different, moreover they share an similar portions. The ones portions include the reliance on narrators, ad breaks that separate segments, and a strong point of interest on audio to tell a story.

How Podcasts Artwork

The world of podcasts maximum frequently works like this. First, someone information a podcast and edits it. Then, they publish it via a podcasting platform or directly onto their internet web page using a built-in audio player. As quickly because the podcast producer has introduced their podcast, shoppers be aware of it via their laptop methods, tablets, or phones.

To understand how podcasts artwork, you need to grasp two key problems: video podcasting and an odd podcast construction.

Audio and Video

Podcasting started as a purely audio-based medium, alternatively that isn’t true in recent times. As of October 2021, podcast database Listen Notes estimates over 2.6 million podcasts available online. Execs believe spherical 17% of them include visual portions.

The ones visual portions could be:

  • A are living video feed showing the podcast hosts as they talk about
  • Slides with different pictures, infographics, and graphs to show off key problems
  • Pre-recorded skits, motion pictures, and interviews

While visual portions aren’t very important for a successful podcast, they can make the podcast upper. That’s because of visual portions can:

  • Showcase necessary problems which could be difficult to position throughout over audio
  • Allow podcasters to attract a much broader audience via creating content material subject material for patrons on video platforms like Twitch or Youtube
  • Create an intimate setting between the host and the listener
  • Provide a competitive edge that can increase the video podcast’s return on investment (ROI)

Usual Construction (What To Expect)

As we mentioned throughout theSorts Of Podcasts segment, every podcast has a singular style. Alternatively, most podcasts follow a building like this:

  • Summary of what took place throughout the ultimate episode (if the podcast is sequential)
  • 1–5 minute-long introduction and identify collection (this is likely one of the maximum vital parts of a podcast, as it will have to grasp the consumer’s attention)
  • 5–25 minute-long segment of content material subject material
  • 1–4 minute-long ad be informed
  • Another 5–25 minute-long segment of content material subject material
  • Another 1–4 minute-long ad be informed
  • Conclusion
  • Teaser for the next episode (if the podcast is sequential)

While this may increasingly most likely seem similar to the construction for a radio display, podcasts have some unique quirks that set them apart.

For example, many podcast hosts give shout-outs to Patreon supporters at the end of episodes. Patreon is a membership-based platform where fanatics fund displays via commonplace subscription expenses.

Then again, many podcasters identify their podcasts spherical easily searched keywords so folks can to seek out them online. For example, a podcast episode about ecommerce characteristics for 2021 may have a name like “State of Ecommerce 2021.”

Why Podcasts Are so Usual

Throughout the 2004 article “Audible Revolution,” Ben Hammersley describes the advantages of podcasting as “something that newspapers can very best dream about,” as podcasts have the “intimacy of voice, the interactivity of a weblog, and the convenience and portability of an MP3 download.”

Even though podcasts have changed such a lot since 2004, those benefits are nevertheless reliable in recent times — specifically Hammersley’s degree about portability.

While podcasts are an excellent software for storytelling, a large part of their enchantment comes from flexibility.

Many people be aware of podcasts while running, walking the dog, doing errands, cleaning, and commuting to artwork. All of the ones movements require someone’s partial attention — in order that you couldn’t do them while watching TV or finding out a e e book. Then again you’ll do them while taking note of podcasts.

To clutch why folks choose to listen to podcasts, you very best want to take a look at the most popular podcast genres. As folks love comedy, knowledge, true crime, sports activities actions, and properly being and well being one of the crucial, everyone knows they be aware of podcasts to chuckle, learn new problems, building up new skills, reinforce themselves, and compensate for provide events.

So that explains why folks love podcasts. Then again why do they start them?

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While every podcaster has their own “why,” many people and firms get began podcasts to:

  • Market their services and products to doable customers
  • Extend a web presence (creating herbal content material subject material and distributing it online can drive organic traffic for your internet web page and endeavor)
  • Educate folks skills they’ve mastered
  • Entertain folks
  • Make money via Patreon, donations, or ads
  • Unlock a comedy, recreational, or showing profession
  • Have fun (each via themselves or with friends)
  • Advertise items through affiliate links

Podcasts Worth Checking Out

In keeping with Listen Notes, over 2.6 million podcasts and 115 million podcast episodes are not too long ago available online. Naturally, there’s a lot of podcasts to choose between — so where must you get began?

For those who occur to’re a brand spanking new podcast listener and in addition you’re interested by endeavor, web design, and ecommerce, chances are high that you’ll like one in all our very best 5 best possible podcast alternatives.

1. Reverse Engineered

We’ll get began via bringing up our private Reverse Engineered podcast. It’s a business-focused podcast hosted via Kinsta’s Chief Operating Officer, Jon Penland. In every episode, Jon sits down with successful entrepreneurs and endeavor folks and asks them about their endeavor, successes, and any nuggets of information they can share with others.

A screenshot of Kinsta's Reverse Engineered podcast homepage.
Kinsta’s “Reverse Engineered” podcast.

For those who occur to’re in search of a well-researched podcast stuffed with actionable insights that will help you expand your online business, you’ll love Reverse Engineered. It’s moreover great for people that love video podcasts, as every episode accommodates footage from Jon’s interview.

Proper right here’s where you’ll to seek out it:

Or, will have to you’re in search of an episode to begin with, we suggest “Creating Great Culture is Key to Business Growth” with Brad Miller or “The Secret to Attracting Qualified Leads” with John Doherty.

2. How I Built This

How I Built This tells unknown stories about one of the most necessary international’s most widely recognized firms. Hosted via Guy Raz and produced via NPR, How I Built This covers the origins, early years, and the “issue” that made certain firms successful.

Screenshot of the How I Built This Podcast
How I Built This podcast

How I Built This is a fun listen for endeavor homeowners, investors, and somebody interested by entrepreneurship. It has a singular style, at the side of narrated storytelling, interviews with founders, and talk-show sections.

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While How I Built This gained’t educate you ways you’ll get began your individual endeavor, it’ll inspire you via showing you the a lot of ways firms to seek out good fortune.

Proper right here’s where you’ll to seek out it:

3. HBR IdeaCast

HBR IdeaCast is a weekly podcast that covers topical events that have an effect on endeavor homeowners and executives global.

Screenshot of the HBR IdeaCast podcast homepage
HBR IdeaCast

Hosted via senior Harvard Trade Evaluation editors Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch, HBR IdeaCast choices interviews with leaders and execs in reasonably numerous fields, from prescribed drugs to technology. As of October 2021, HBR IdeaCast has introduced 820 episodes.

HBR IdeaCast is a superb podcast for people that love dense, knowledge-packed episodes.

Proper right here’s where you’ll to seek out it:

4. The Influencer Podcast

For those who occur to’ve ever considered influencer promoting, you’ll learn such a lot from The Influencer Podcast.

Hosted via Julie Solomon, The Influencer Podcast covers the endeavor side of influencing, at the side of changing into an influencer, emerging your brand via influencing, and the science of influencer promoting.


The podcast accommodates storytelling from Solomon, interviews with brand homeowners and influencers, and advice for budding influencers. Even though the identify would perhaps recommend it specializes in social media, Solomon covers influencers and thought leaders with have an effect on across the web.

Proper right here’s where you’ll to seek out it:

5. Developer Tea

Developer Tea is a endeavor and software building podcast protecting web design, content material subject material creation, product design, software engineering, {{and professional}} building.


Hosted via PBSs Director of Era Jonathan Cutrell, Developer Tea accommodates interviews with business leaders, lecture-style education, and philosophical musings.

Developer Tea isn’t just for developers, as it’s stuffed with great information that can have the same opinion brand homeowners, marketers, and somebody who works on the backend of a digital product reinforce their artwork.

Proper right here’s where you’ll to seek out it:

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How one can Take note of Podcasts

Paying attention to podcasts is very similar to taking note of monitor: you open your podcasting provider, choose a podcast, and press “play.” Then you definately’ll pause your podcast, skip forward or backward, or download your podcast for later.

You’ll need two key problems to listen to podcasts: a platform to listen to podcasts via and a podcast to enjoy.

Let’s get began via discussing podcasting platforms.

Highest Podcast Platforms

Podcasting platforms are an intermediary between podcasters and podcast shoppers.

While there are dozens of podcasting platforms available online, 76% of podcast consumers rely on 4 platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Pandora.

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With over 2.2 million podcasts, Spotify dominates the podcasting market. You’ll be in a position to concentrate on podcasts on Spotify via iOS gadgets, Android gadgets, the Spotify desktop app, and online at spotify.com.

You’ll be capable to download podcasts for free on Spotify.

Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts could also be a titan of the business, as it not too long ago hosts over 2 million podcasts and operates in over 170 countries. Apple Podcasts are available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. You’ll be capable to moreover get admission to it via iTunes if when you’ve got a House home windows laptop.


You’ll be capable to use Apple Podcasts at no cost.

Google Podcasts

Google Podcasts is a more recent podcasting app, as Google only released it in 2018. Alternatively, it’s nevertheless very talked-about irrespective of its age, with over 496,000 reviews on the Google Play Store.

Lately, Google Podcasts are available on Android gadgets, iPhone, Google Nest, and Google Area.

You’ll be capable to use it at no cost.


Pandora is a monitor and podcast website online internet hosting provider that dates once more to 2004. Owned via SiriusXM Holdings, Pandora not too long ago has 58 million users.

Pandora is not too long ago available on iOS and Android gadgets, Google Area, Amazon Fireside, Xbox One, and pandora.com. Pandora supplies a loose fashion and paid plans. You’ll be in a position to concentrate on podcasts at some point of the loose fashion.

You’ll be able to’t download a podcast for offline listening on Pandora.

3 Ways to Find a Podcast

Every time you’ve decided on a podcasting provider, you’ll want to find a podcast to listen to previous to you’ll press “play.” Listed here are three ways you’ll find a podcast.

1. Browse Your Really helpful Podcasts

For those who occur to concentrate on podcasts via a platform like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you’ll to seek out new displays via browsing the platform’s “truly helpful” podcast report.

This report is a good way to hunt out prime quality podcasts, as platforms recommend displays which could be popular with listeners, considerably acclaimed, or not too long ago trending.

To find a podcast at some point of the “truly helpful” report, simply:

  • Transfer for your podcasting platform
  • Click on on “truly helpful” or “browse”
  • Scroll down until you find a podcast that interests you

2. Use the Internet

As mentioned throughout the “Usual Construction (What To Expect)” segment, many podcast listeners to seek out new podcasts via search engines like google and yahoo like google like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

To find a podcast this way, simply:

  • Type throughout the subject you’re interested by, plus “podcast” (like “properly being and well being podcast”)
  • Seek for podcasts hosted on Spotify, Google, and Apple Podcasts, or scroll at some point of the report your search engine recommends

Google search results for "health and fitness podcasts
Google search results for “properly being and well being podcasts

Every time you’ve came upon a podcast you’re interested by, you’ll moreover use the internet to search for reviews. Finding out reviews let you type good podcasts from bad podcasts.

3. Use Listen Notes

Listen Notes is a podcast search engine that lists over 115 million podcast episodes. To go looking out podcasts on it, you simply:

  • Transfer to the Listen Notes internet web page
  • Type in a keyword related to the kind of podcast you want
  • Scroll down until you find a podcast that interests you

For those who occur to don’t see any podcasts you’re interested by, take a look at clicking some of the tags to search for a related program.


Subscribing to A Podcast

Every time you get began taking note of podcasts, chances are high that you’ll notice that the podcast host asks you to “subscribe.”

Whilst you subscribe to a podcast, you sign up to automatically download new episodes. Subscribing to a podcast is a good way to keep up with new episodes, as your podcasting platform will notify you when a brand spanking new episode is introduced and acquire it automatically.

To subscribe to a podcast, transfer to the display’s report, and press the “subscribe” or “follow” button (different platforms use different words). Every time you’ve subscribed, you’ll to seek out it in your “podcast subscriptions” report.

Learn everything you need to know about one of the most popular mediums for communication in recent years with this guide 🎧🎙Click to Tweet


For those who occur to love curated radio displays, documentaries, or Youtube motion pictures, you’ll love podcasts. Paying attention to podcasts is a good way to extend your ideas, entertain yourself, learn in regards to the international, and procure new skills, all while having fun.

And best possible of all, podcasts are flexible. You’ll be in a position to concentrate on them every online and offline, for your laptop or phone, and any place you want. All you need is a podcast app and a podcast to listen to.

In truth, that begs a fascinating question: did you agree with our favorite podcast report, and if no longer, what podcasts would you recommend for brand new podcast shoppers?

The submit What Is a Podcast? And How Do They Work? appeared first on Kinsta®.

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