Podcast Definition: What Is a Podcast? Everything You Need to Know

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Podcast Definition: What Is a Podcast? Everything You Need to Know

Lately, podcasts have been everywhere. You hear about them on YouTube, on TV, at work, and you might even see your subway neighbor listening to one on their phone. Indeed, the podcast is omnipresent! Whether they're native or available as replays, podcasts offer a unique audio experience combining storytelling, expertise, and flexibility. But first, what exactly is a podcast? Why is it a special medium? And why is it so popular right now?

February 9, 2024 • About 20 min. read

In this article, we will address the following points :

What is a podcast ?

A podcast is like your favorite radio show, but in a 2.0 version! Thanks to the magic of RSS feeds, you can take these little audio gems with you everywhere and enjoy them whenever you like 🔥

These podcasts can come from an individual or a major brand wanting to share knowledge on a specific topic. We call these native podcasts 🧐

Sometimes, it’s simply a rebroadcast of a radio show or the audio from a conference or a YouTube video, known as a podcast replay 📻

The cherry on top? These auditory treasures are accessible on listening platforms or music streaming apps you probably already use, like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon Music. If you delve into these apps, you’ll find a dedicated podcast section.

But don’t worry, we’ll dive deeper into this later in the article ⬇️

Meaning of the word “podcast”

In 2004, Ben Hammersley, a geek and journalist at The Guardian, was searching for a name for these audio shows gaining popularity on the web. By combining “iPod” and “broadcast,” he coined the term “podcast” 🌱

The magic didn’t stop there. In 2005, Apple, with its legendary flair, recognized the potential of this new wave. By integrating podcasts into iTunes 4.9, Steve Jobs declared with foresight: “Podcasting is the next generation of radio.” 📱

Who would have thought that this word would become a true phenomenon? 🍏

But it’s not just the cool name. It’s the technology behind it that really lit the fuse:

  • Download Speed: With high-speed internet, waiting hours for an episode is a thing of the past. Audio content is now at your fingertips in a flash! ⚡
  • Mobility: Smartphones and mobile devices have transformed the way we listen. Whether you’re on the subway or jogging, podcasts are with you. 📱
  • Listening Platforms: With giants like Apple Podcasts and Spotify leading the way, discovering podcasts has never been more intuitive. 🌐
  • The Magic of RSS: This protocol, though unassuming, is the real heartbeat of podcasting, allowing episodes to be shared everywhere, all the time. 💡

Difference Between Podcast Replays and Native Podcasts 🎧

In the vast universe of podcasts, two major categories stand out: podcast replays and native podcasts. 🌍

Podcast replay is like the replay of your favorite TV series. It’s simply the rebroadcast of a show initially designed for another medium. Think of it as a bonus: radio stations repackage their shows to make them accessible in podcast mode. It’s a clever trick to reach a wider audience with minimal extra effort, just a smart promotional touch. And in a blink, your favorite radio show is available everywhere, whether on Google, Apple Podcasts, or any other listening services! 📻

As for the native podcast, it’s the DIY (Do It Yourself) of the audio world! These are shows specifically designed for the podcast universe. Anyone can start one, whether you’re an audio professional or just curious. And at Ausha, we believe everyone has a story to tell! These audio contents are mainly intended for listening on services like Apple Podcasts. 🎤

The Definition of a Podcast for…

… your grandmother 👩‍🦳:

“Think of a podcast as a radio show that you can pause. If you stop listening, you can resume exactly where you left off. It’s all audio, so no need to watch, just listen. Convenient, right?”

… your mother 👩:

“A podcast is a bit like those radio shows you love, but with the difference that you decide when to listen. You can find them on apps like Apple Podcasts, or even Amazon Music. There are also special apps just for podcasts. The advantage? You choose when and where to listen, whether you’re cooking, walking, or anywhere, really!”

… your friends ✌️:

“It’s like Netflix, but for your ears! Want a show, a story, a debate? You find it, hit play, and that’s it. Are you more of a Spotify or Apple Podcasts person? No worries, they’re everywhere. And the best part is if you have something to say, you can create your own podcast and share it with the whole world.”

What are the Synonyms for “Podcast”?

The term “podcast” has become ubiquitous in the audio world, but other terms can also be used to describe it:

  • Digital Broadcast:
    • Origin: This term perfectly encapsulates the modern and digital nature of the format. 💾
    • Description: It highlights the idea of a broadcast, akin to radio programs, but with the innovative and technological edge of digital. 📡
  • Radioblogging:
    • Origin: This term dates back to the early days of podcasting when bloggers began adding audio recordings to their posts. 📝
    • Description: It combines the world of blogging with the magic of radio, offering a unique platform for voices from all walks of life. 👩‍💻
  • Webcast:
    • Origin: A nod to its presence on the web. 🌐
    • Description: Often used to refer to live web broadcasts, this term can also be associated with podcasts, especially when they are streamed live. 🔴

So, whether you call it “digital broadcast”, or even “cool audio thingy”, in the end, we’re all talking about this little auditory wonder that lets us travel without leaving our couch 🛋

Where to Listen to a Podcast?

What Do We Call People Who Make Podcasts?

The podcast world is home to talented content creators! Whether they are already professional content producers or passionate amateurs about their subject.

But who are they really? If content creators on Instagram are called Instagrammers, what do we call people who create podcasts?

Podcasters: The Ambassadors of Sound

When we talk about the world of podcasts, the terms that immediately come to mind are “podcaster”. They animate this audio world with captivating subjects, interviews, and sometimes humor for our ears 👂

Each podcaster has their own sound signature, their unique way of approaching a subject or telling a story 👣

Content Creators: The Craftsmen of Sound

Often, being a podcaster goes beyond just speaking into a microphone. In reality, many podcasters are incredible content creators. They script, plan, record, edit, manage their communication, and sometimes even compose their own music.

This multifaceted role shows that the term “content creator” suits them perfectly. They are the true craftsmen who shape each episode into a memorable experience for their listeners 🛠️

Audio Narrators

Beyond simple broadcasting, some podcasters stand out for their ability to narrate, to tell stories. Whether it’s about real events, fiction, interviews, or debates, these audio narrators take the listener on a sonic journey.

They offer an intimate experience, almost as if the listener is in direct conversation with them, as if the podcaster is whispering right into their ear. Their role is crucial in establishing this deep connection with their audience🎙️

And a little anecdote for the road!

At Ausha, we have a distinctive term for our podcasters: the “Aushers.” It’s a unique way to recognize our community. After all, who doesn’t like to have a cool nickname? 🚀

On Which Platforms Can You Listen to a Podcast?

🎧 Spotify: Seamlessly blending music and podcasts, this platform attracts 26% of listeners aged 35-54 years.

🎵 Apple Podcasts: One of the major apps when it comes to podcasts. With 10% of the audio listeners aged 35-54 years, it remains a popular choice, especially among iPhone users.

📱 Google Podcasts: The preferred option for Android users, this is often where the journey through fascinating audio stories begins.

🎸 Amazon Music: More than just a music service, Amazon Music also offers a rich library of podcasts.

🌌 Podbean: A dedicated platform with everything needed to satisfy podcast enthusiasts.

⚙️ Stitcher: Known for its meticulous selection and refined recommendations.

☁️ Overcast: Audiophiles find their bliss here with numerous customization options and playback speeds.

Furthermore, Ausha is connected to 21 different listening services worldwide! Podcasters who choose to host their podcast on Ausha can therefore reach a vast number of listeners, depending on their habits and favorite platforms 🎯

What are the Different Types of Podcasts

As we start exploring podcasts, it’s important to understand the different types available. Whether you’re planning to record your own or just want to know more about what’s out there, this section, ‘The Different Types of Podcasts,’ will help

Podcast Categories

Podcasts Replays vs. Native 🎧

  • Replays: These are pre-existing shows adapted into podcast format.
  • Natives: Specifically created for services like Apple Podcasts.

By Style of Presentation

  • Solo: A single narrator explores a topic 🚶‍♂️
  • Duo: Exchanges between two co-hosts 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♀️

With or Without Guests 🤝

  • Solo: Mostly without a guest, focused on a subject or a story.
  • Interview: A guest shares their journey or expertise.
  • Talkshows: Lively discussions on various topics.

The Different Subjects of Podcasts

After the presentation style and choice of guests, another crucial element that characterizes a podcast is its theme! When you explore your favorite app, whether it’s Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, you’ll notice that podcasts are organized and grouped by themes 📦

This is perfect for listeners, as it allows them to gravitate towards shows that match their current interests. Are you a fan of fashion or culture? Want to dive into true stories, testimonies, or delve into a specific business topic? 🤿

There’s definitely a podcast category for you! 🗃

Educational Podcasts

The goal here is simple: to share knowledge with your listeners. The podcast becomes a source of information on a given topic. Nowadays, you can find educational podcasts on almost everything! 🎓

For example, take Tips, Ausha’s podcast, where you can discover the best tips to boost the growth of your podcast, increase your audience, and get practical advice on communication, analysis, recording, editing, and writing. A concentrate of tips to boost your show 🚀

Investigative Podcasts

In this format, the listener follows a host delving into a specific topic, whether it’s current events, a fictional or real crime. It’s a narrative journey where the listener is transported 🔫

Take for instance the podcast “My favorite murder”, where each week,  Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark “share compelling true crimes and hometown stories from friends and listeners”. 

Narrative Podcasts

These podcasts are not so different from investigative podcasts. They tell a story. Whether it’s a fairy tale, an audiobook, or true stories, such as “Womanica”,  a podcast that narrates, in just 5 minutes a day, the life of an incredible woman. 

Music Podcasts

Listening platforms are full of podcasts dedicated to music. They offer a unique window into your favorite musicians. For example, “Song Exploder” invites artists to break down their songs, sharing the intricate story of their making, in a format hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway 🎶

Audio Fiction

Another podcast genre worth mentioning is audio fiction. Here, every sound is thoughtfully designed to fully immerse the listener in the episode. Essentially, these podcasts use the format of a traditional show but add depth through music and sound effects. The goal? To create a captivating world for the listener. A notable example is “The Magnus Archives”, a weekly horror fiction podcast that explores the hidden depths of the Magnus Institute’s archives, an organization focused on uncovering the strange and esoteric.

What’s the Difference Between Podcasts and Streaming?

🎙️ A Podcast is Downloadable…

Podcasts are audio or video shows that you can download and listen to at your convenience. They often come in episodes and cover a variety of themes. Unlike streaming, which requires a constant internet connection, you can download a podcast and listen to it offline, at your own pace. It’s like having a radio show or a TV series that you can carry with you and consume whenever you wish 📲

… While Streaming Happens Only Online 🌊

Streaming, on the other hand, is the magic of immediacy. Think of those moments when you open an app like YouTube to listen to a song or watch a video, without needing to download it. That’s streaming. It’s instantaneous and requires an active internet connection to work. 🌐

Streaming is comparable to a radio, but with immense choice power. Want to listen to a specific track? No problem, just search for it and play. You’re no longer dependent on a DJ or a programmer to choose the music you hear. It’s like having a personalized radio that plays exactly what you want, when you want it! 📻

Pros and Cons? 🤷‍♂️

Both formats have their own advantages 🤩

With a podcast, once you’ve downloaded the episode, you don’t need an internet connection to listen to it. This is great for long flights or car journeys in areas without network coverage. 🚗

Streaming, however, gives you instant access to an immense library of content. However, it relies on your internet connection. If it’s slow or interrupted, your experience might be affected. 📉

Common Ground 🌍

While they differ in their functioning, podcasts and streaming have one thing in common: they’ve revolutionized the way we consume content. No more waiting for a specific time to listen to or watch what we love. We are now the masters of our own media experience. 🎧

So, Which is Better? 🥇

The question isn’t really about which is better, but rather which better suits your needs. If you want content on-the-go for your offline moments, the podcast is for you. If you desire an uninterrupted flow of your favorite songs with an internet connection, streaming is your ally.

Also, note that many platforms today offer a combination of both. You can stream a podcast live or choose to download it for later. Technology offers us the best of both worlds! ❤️

The beauty, therefore, lies in the choice. Whether you’re team podcast or team streaming, the important thing is that we live in an era where quality content is at our fingertips, ready to be consumed as we wish. Enjoy every note, every story, and let yourself be transported by the magic of audio! 🌈

What’s the Difference Between Podcasts and Blogs ?

Blog vs Podcast: Understanding the Costs and Benefits

🖋️ Blogging: A Cost-Effective Option…

Blogging can be a great way to start your content journey with minimal financial investment. Platforms like WordPress offer free plans, enabling you to create a blog without any coding knowledge. You might not get a custom domain (think elvispresley.wordpress.com instead of elvispresley.com), but it’s a start. For a small fee, you can upgrade, get your own domain, and access better features. You can also generate ad revenue, which can help offset costs or even turn a profit. Substack is another modern blogging variant, focusing on subscription-based income. 📚

🎙️ …While Podcasting Brings Different Expenses

Podcasting, on the other hand, often requires some upfront investment in equipment and hosting. Free options exist, but quality usually improves with investment. Hosting services like Ausha offer affordable plans with unlimited storage and downloads, plus distribution assistance. The cost is comparable to blog hosting, but remember, quality equipment can enhance your podcast significantly. 🌟

Ease of Creation: Writing vs Talking

✍️ Blogging: Simple to Start, Challenging to Master

Starting a blog is easy, especially with user-friendly platforms. But the actual writing can be tough. You need to think of new topics regularly and write engaging content, which can be a challenge for many. Grammar and structure are important, and while AI tools can assist, they’re not perfect. 📝

🗣️ Podcasting: A Conversation Art

With podcasting, you can just start talking, making it seem easier than writing. It’s more about having a conversation and expressing ideas verbally. While podcasts require preparation and learning to use equipment, speaking often feels more natural than writing. Plus, podcasts offer a way to showcase cultural nuances and personality. 🎤

Blog vs Podcast: SEO and Audience Engagement

🔍 Blogs: SEO-Friendly by Nature

Blogs excel in SEO. They’re easily processed by search engine bots, and you can skillfully weave in keywords. But they rely on external references and partnerships for better search rankings. 🌐

📈 Podcasts: SEO Through Distribution and Engagement

Podcasts, with platforms like Ausha, distribute across multiple channels, boosting SEO. Creating transcripts and show notes for your episodes can match the SEO benefits of blogs. Plus, social media integration further enhances your online presence. 🚀

Building Relationships: Written Words vs Spoken Stories

💌 Blogs: Informational, but Limited in Community Building

Blogs offer valuable information but can fall short in creating a community feel. They are great for sharing knowledge, but the connection with the audience can be limited. 🌍

🤝 Podcasts: A Platform for Connection

Podcasts are excellent for building relationships. Listeners often feel a sense of closeness and community, making podcasts a powerful tool for audience engagement. 🧡

What are the Best hosting platforms for your podcast ?

In the expanding universe of podcasting, before an episode reaches your ears through popular listening services, it must first find a digital home. This is where podcast hosting providers come into play. These hosts not only store your podcast but also provide the essential tools and services for distribution, marketing, and monetization. Choosing the right host is crucial for the success of a podcast. To assist you in this decision, we’ve curated a top 5 list of Podcast Distribution Service Providers for 2024, each offering unique features to cater to the diverse needs of podcasters.

Ausha

  • Storage: Unlimited, with no bandwidth limit.
  • Distribution: One-click distribution to 20 platforms, including YouTube and SoundCloud.
  • Marketing: Offers tools like video clips, SEO-optimized web pages, smartlinks, automatic newsletters, and social media management.
  • Monetization: 100% revenue to creators, options for crowdfunding links and dynamic ad insertion.
  • Analytics: Advanced, real-time statistics with a comprehensive dashboard.
  • Pricing: Plans range from $13/month to $69/month, plus options for companies and agencies.

Buzzsprout

  • Storage: Limited based on plan, up to 12 hours per month.
  • Distribution: To 12 directories, including major platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
  • Marketing: Podcast website creation, embed player, and visual soundbites.
  • Monetization: Basic pre-roll and post-roll message insertion.
  • Analytics: Download data, listener app usage, and location information.
  • Pricing: Free for 90 days, then $12 to $24/month.

Transistor

  • Storage: Unlimited podcasts and episodes but with a monthly download limit (20,000 to 250,000).
  • Distribution: One-click distribution to six major platforms and YouTube.
  • Marketing: Webpage builder, no extensive marketing tools.
  • Monetization: Private podcasting and dynamic ad insertion.
  • Analytics: Standard metrics plus estimated subscriber numbers.
  • Pricing: $19 to $99/month.

PodBean

  • Storage: Limited for free plan, unlimited for paid plans, bandwidth varies.
  • Distribution: To major platforms, live-streaming option, and Alexa devices.
  • Marketing: Social media integration, video clip generation, MailChimp integration, website creation.
  • Monetization: Premium content, patron program, dynamic ad insertion, and Ads Marketplace.
  • Analytics: Standard analytics plus unique user retention data.
  • Pricing: From $14 to $99/month.

Captivate

  • Storage: Unlimited podcasts and uploads, but download limits apply (30,000 to 300,000/month).
  • Distribution: To Apple, Spotify, and other major apps.
  • Marketing: Embeddable social player, link shorteners, tracked promo links, WordPress plugin.
  • Monetization: Not specified.
  • Analytics: Standard data, IAB certified.
  • Pricing: Plans range from 19 to 99 euros/month.

Podcast: Decoding a Global Phenomenon

What’s the Appeal of a Podcast?

In our modern world, podcasts have become as essential as blogs were a few years ago, offering a diversity of formats and contents. These auditory gems provide flexibility, learning, discovery, intimacy, and for businesses, a powerful tool for branding. But what makes podcasts so special and appealing? Let’s detail each aspect that makes podcasts an indispensable medium today 😎

Podcasts Offer Numerous Benefits

Today, podcasts are like blogs: there’s something for everyone and about everything. Whether you’re passionate about astronomy or keen on unusual stories, there’s always something to listen to. Want a podcast about the history and origin of Corsican songs? No problem! With podcasts, anything is possible.

Flexibility
  • A Pocket Companion: Wherever you go, your podcast follows. In those moments when you need an escape, just put in your earphones.
  • Always On Time: Whether it’s a morning meditation session or a captivating story to help you fall asleep, the podcast is always ready when you are.
Educational
  • Audible Universities: The world of podcasts is like a university without walls. You can explore medieval history, advanced mathematics, or even foreign languages – the choices are endless.
  • Experts in Your Ear: Never before has it been so easy to access experts from all fields. You could be cooking while learning astrophysics!
A Realm of Discovery
  • Gateways to the Unknown: With each new episode, it’s a journey into the unknown. From the deep jungles of the Amazon to the hidden alleys of Paris, your imagination is the only limit.
  • Unexpected Encounters: Through podcasts, you can “meet” people from other cultures, times, and backgrounds, enriching your understanding of the world.
An Intimate Medium
  • Shared Confidences: When you listen, you enter a private space with the podcaster. This sense of intimacy creates a special and personal bond.
  • More Than Just Words: The silences, the laughter, the raw emotions – all this creates a deeply human and touching experience.
The Power of Branding for Businesses
  • Creating Connection: A podcast allows a business to get closer to its audience in a way few media can match.
  • More Than Marketing: It’s about sharing stories, values, and building a relationship based on trust.
  • An Asset for Visibility: In today’s world, where digital presence is vital, having a podcast can give a business a significant competitive edge.
podcast-seo

The Podcast Phenomenon in Numbers

The enthusiasm for podcasts isn’t just a fleeting trend. A glance at some statistics is enough to convince anyone 👩‍💻

For instance, in the United States, according to Edison Research, this podcasting craze continues to ignite minds. Nearly 1 in 2 Americans has recently tuned into a podcast, and 1 in 3 makes it a weekly ritual. Impressive, isn’t it? 📈

With the impressive rise of podcasting, it’s clear that brands see a golden opportunity 🤩

The numbers show it: According to a Signal Hill study, 61% of listeners felt more favorable towards a brand after consuming its branded podcast.

Top 5 Native Podcasts of 2024: Ranked by Spotify Charts

The Joe Rogan Experience 

In this podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience”, Joe Rogan hosts conversations with guests spanning different fields. From comedians to scientists, the show covers a wide array of topics, presenting listeners with an assortment of engaging discussions.

New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce

“New Heights” with Jason and Travis Kelce gives you a behind-the-scenes look into NFL life, featuring the dynamic football duo. Join Jason Kelce from the Philadelphia Eagles and Travis Kelce from the Kansas City Chiefs as they share their game insights and discuss trending NFL news. Listen in for entertaining stories from their combined 21 years in the league, explore their off-field interests, and enjoy engaging conversations with special guests.

The Tucker Carlson Podcast

“The Tucker Carlson Podcast” provides a platform for open discussion and reporting within today’s media landscape. Hosted by Tucker Carlson, the podcast aims to address “misinformation” by prioritizing “truth-telling”. Through regular episodes, Carlson engages in dialogue on current events and societal issues

This Past Weekend with Theo Von

In this podcast, Theo Von provides a laid-back and enjoyable discussion on various topics. He shares personal stories, chats with guests, and gives his unique perspective on life.

Huberman Lab

The podcast “Huberman Lab”, hosted by Dr. Andrew Huberman, immerses you in the fascinating intricacies of neuroscience, psychology, and human performance. Through engaging discussions, each episode delves into topics ranging from sleep to nutrition, and even neuroplasticity, thereby providing concrete strategies to enhance your mental and physical well-being.

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February 9, 2024

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