Podcasting is as popular as ever; more than 90 million Americans listen to podcasts each month. They are supported by many individuals and companies around the world. The good news is that since the format is relatively new, you can take advantage of that, creating value for underserved communities in your industry or niche.

If you’re looking to create a connection, podcasts are the way to go. Long-form content is fashionable through every type of media, and podcasting allows you to go deep into a subject. One of its main benefits is that your audience can enjoy them while they work out, drive, or while they are standing. I’ll talk more about the subject next:

What is Podcasting?

A podcast consists of episodes of audio files a user downloads to a device for easy listening. A user can choose to listen when it suits them. What device can they use? It’s common to use their smartphones, but you’ll also find they use portable MP3 players and related devices.

Traditional radio is not satisfying many users, this is because many individuals consider it has generic programming and way too many ads. Podcasting represents a shift from traditional media to on-demand media. This has opened the door for new technologies to emerge.

The term Podcasting comes from mixing the words iPod and broadcasting. This phenomenon meant that files you would have downloaded to a PC were now readily available to be used on a portable device. Many podcasting technological advances were related to blogging.  Some people refer to a podcast as “Audio blogging.” To many people, podcasting is the next step of blogging.

It’s like adding a soundtrack to a blog post. Truth is it opens many possibilities since users want to read sometimes and other times, they prefer an audio format. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technology made the podcast a possibility.

What is podcasting used for?

In general terms, podcasting is a way of communicating to an audience. It just happens the media type is audio. To some, it’s a substitute for radio. You’ll find podcast options are varied. You’ll find categories like medical mystery, business, marketing, self-development, mental health, comedy, political, maternity, relationships, finances, entertainment, sports, etc.

You’ll find that many hosts are passionate about their subject. Passion is a core element of many pursuits. You benefit as a user since a podcast will be usually well-researched and developed by its creator. Podcasts are used as an alternative to video. They’re also a fantastic way of driving traffic to an offer.

And traffic is the name of the game when it comes to internet marketing. A blogger can repurpose their content and create a podcast out of their articles, or they can initiate a podcast painlessly. This accessibility makes it the desired choice of many content creators. It helps create a better relationship with the audience. You’ll find that some of your listeners are also readers of your content, but sometimes they prefer one format over the other.

Podcasts are easy to create. Although you’ll find technically minded creators with professional setups, you’ll also find that almost everyone with a microphone can host a successful podcast.

How does it work?

It all began with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technology. This technology was adapted to serve audio files, not only URLs and text. By January 2005, Apple was selling more than 10 million iPods (most of them sold in the 2004 holiday season) It was the perfect time for podcasts to become mainstream.

Storage capacity made longer format podcasts a reality, and ready to be downloaded and consumed on personal devices. Fast forward to today, you can have your radio show, or you can present your songs as an artist. This democratized version of media allows you to reach your goals faster than ever. In the past, you needed specific connections to be heard, today you control the media through podcasting.

Podcasting is a free service that allows you to pull audio files -usually MP3s – from a podcasting site to a PC, smartphone, or digital audio player. You can use any portable media player or your personal computer to consume this media.

It’s different from internet radio because you don’t tune a certain broadcast. What you do is download the podcast on demand. You can also subscribe via the RSS feed; this automatically downloads the podcast to your device of choice. Currently, podcasts are free from government regulation.

Are podcasts for free?

You’ll find that podcast creation is mostly free. You can do everything, from production to distribution for free. However, there’s an ecosystem of providers, from hardware to software that provides value in your creation process. Some of these tools are free, and some are not.

If you’re a user, listening to podcast, or audio programs is easy if you can access the internet. You just need to find an app or platform that feels right for you, then sample a few of the many thousands of podcasts created around the globe. If you’re a consumer, all podcasts are free. You have a wide array of apps to choose from to listen to them.

It’s easy, the programming is available for free. Simply install an app on your smartphone, and then download the shows that get your attention.

As a producer you’ll find that you’d like to increase the quality of your podcasts, then you may research elements like USB or XLR microphones, computers, mixer, audio interface, headphones, pop filter, shock mount, mic stands, and other equipment that is useful in the professional creation of your podcasts. Although these elements are not free, you may find that your return on investment (ROI) is way higher than your initial investment.

Conclusion

We have explored what is podcasting? You learned some of the most important technical aspects and explored its definition. What is podcasting used for? Then you explored some context about podcasting, exploring why it’s a modern communication and marketing channel.

Then, in simple terms, you found out how podcasting works. Finally, you discovered that consuming podcasts is free, and if you want to, creating them is also free. You saw some paid upgrade options as a content creator.

Podcasts are highly engaging, and, as time goes by, more and more people join the bandwagon. You now have more offers than ever before as a user, and as a podcaster.