What Is A Podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file consisting of individual episodes or a series of programmes that you can listen to whenever you like by getting a subscription. Think of it as a genre-specific radio on-demand.

The reason why these audio files are called a “podcast” is because the term is derived from a blend of the two words: “iPod” and “Broadcast.”

You might wonder how podcasts are any different from an audio file. The difference is that when you subscribe to a series of audio files, you are listening to a podcast. Creators use podcast hosting platforms to house their shows online.

Anyone can create these podcasts and become what is called a podcaster. And many creators are increasingly opting in to create audio content because of its growing popularity: More than one-third of Americans aged 12 and above consume podcasts regularly.

Monthly podcast Listening rate

                                  [Monthly Podcast listening is now at 37% in the USA]

Also, podcasts are not just repurposed radio – they are much more than that! It is completely original content of varying length, frequency, format, and/or topic. Almost all podcasters also go the extra mile and give their podcasts a whole vibe using royalty-free music.

Instead of telling you about the wide variety of things a podcast entails, let me show you through examples.

What Are Some Examples Of A Podcast?

A podcast can be by individuals (Dear Hank And John), by large & small organizations (On Being), radio networks (NPR), and even comedians (The Comedian’s Comedian).

There is no predetermined length, format, or style of a single podcast. Jameela Jamil often interviews people on her podcast I Weigh, and Shane Parrish does the same by talking to experts on his podcast, The Knowledge Project. But many podcasters also run a series of episodes like Business Wars or individual episodes like Poetry Foundation’s Listen.

The cover of the podcast for iWeigh by Jameela Jamil

Put simply, podcasts offer a lot of open creative room for creators and a wide variety of choices to consumers.

The creative room is also not limited to audio content only. Many podcasters are now starting to create “video podcasts” which is nothing but podcasting with a video element. The reason behind this might be to gain more attention on YouTube or maybe it’s simply that people love looking at faces.

Many creators do video-podcasting through in-studio recording (The Joe Rogan Experience), remote interview recording (Neil Brennan), or simply having a b-roll recording over the podcast.

What Is A Podcast Episode?

A podcast is a series of episodes. Think of your favorite show from Netflix – there are seasons, and every season has a set number of episodes. A podcast is run the same way. There can be “seasons,” or a podcast can simply be ongoing without the category divided into seasons.

For Example: “Friends” is a podcast and “The One With All The Poker” is a podcast episode.

Many podcasts are released on a weekly frequency. But it is not uncommon to witness daily podcasts or any frequency that a creator desires.

What Are Some Types Of Podcasts?

Podcasts are a creative playground. Different podcasters opt for different types of podcasts. Common ones include:

1. Interview Podcast: In this type, the host interviews a guest who has the subject matter expertise of that episode’s topic. The Laptop Lifestyle is one such podcast.

2. Solo Podcast: This is a fairly common type of podcast. The creator of this podcast has a certain level of advanced expertise in his niche area and they want to share it with their audience. The Cozy Robot Show is one example.

3. Panel Podcast: This is an interview podcast with more people. It involves a single host and a group of guests. The Beancast is a panel podcast.

4. Non-fiction Storytelling Podcast: In this format, true stories are told or insightful information about a certain topic is shared. This American Life is a non-fiction storytelling podcast.

5. Theater Podcast: This is the Netflix of all podcasts. It is a fictional storytelling format similar to television. Limetown is one such podcast..

6. Repurposed Podcast: Creators often reassemble their content to create a podcast. It can be in the format of a seminar, workshop, etc. TED Radio Hour is a perfect example of a repurposed podcast.

TED RADIO HOUR - example of a repurposed podcast

So, where can you find these different podcasts?

What Are Apple Podcasts?

If you want to discover the world’s largest assembly of podcasts, Apple Podcasts are the way to go. They have various categories and subcategories of podcasts totaling more than a million shows. It is available in over 150 countries and in varying languages.

You can listen to your choice of Apple Podcast on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, AppleTV, Car Play, HomePod, iTunes, and Alexa-enabled Amazon devices (in the US only).

For those who don’t have Apple Podcasts, Spotify has some great ones. A simple Google search of your desired podcast’s name can also reveal all the platforms it is available in.

Final Thoughts

Podcasts can be defined in many ways: Audio Netflix, Levelled-up Radio, Blog’s Audiobook, etc. Their increasing popularity has made many creators, podcasters. You can listen to podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts. Hunt for your favorite type of podcast and get going!

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I'm a staff writer at Elite Content Marketer and a closet poet. When not whipping up high-quality SaaS content, I'm writing bookish essays on my website, rochizalani.com, and chatting with my newsletter community. She believes there’s nothing that can’t be cured by some fresh poetry and a F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode.