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What Is a Podcast? How Podcasts Work and How one can Get Began – Sensible Passive Revenue

New to the world of podcasting? You is perhaps questioning, what precisely is a podcast? And the way do they work? On this article I am going to cowl what a podcast is, what they’re used for, and the best way to get began with your personal podcast.

Desk of Contents

What Is a Podcast and How Do They Work?

A podcast is a digital audio “present” or program which you could obtain or stream from the web in your smartphone, laptop, or pill and pay attention when it’s handy for you.

Podcasts are a particularly widespread type of media that’s rising shortly. The primary podcasts have been produced by people, however now they’re additionally made by corporations, information shops, and different organizations. Podcasting has develop into large enterprise, with corporations like Apple, Spotify, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM closely invested in podcasting.

For the listener, podcasts are a flexible medium! The audio-only format of podcasts makes them simple to devour in numerous settings, corresponding to whereas commuting, cooking, touring, or working.

You’ll be able to consider podcasts as “background” content material, however it’s also possible to give them your full consideration if you happen to like.

Talking of content material, podcast matters can cowl an enormous vary, from true crime to enterprise methods to parenting tricks to comedy or youngsters’ content material. You probably have a subject in thoughts, there’s in all probability a podcast on the market for it! And if there is not, which may imply a chance so that you can begin your personal podcast on that subject! 

woman sitting at desk by computer in white lab coat listening to headphones while reading from a book and writing notes
Podcasts are a flexible medium that may be consumed and loved whereas engaged with different actions, like working, strolling, or touring.

Podcasts are usually obtainable both in seasons with a set variety of episodes, or in an ongoing sequence. Our podcast Flops got here out with an eight-episode first season in 2021, whereas different SPI Media exhibits just like the SPI Podcast and The Group Expertise are launched weekly on an ongoing foundation.

What Are Podcasts Used For?

So what’s the purpose or function of a podcast? What are they good for? An entire lot!

For the listener, a podcast is an effective way to find out about a given subject—and/or be entertained!—in a approach that’s handy to them. Podcasts are free (for probably the most half) and simple to seek out, and given their rising reputation, cowl a wider and deeper vary of matters than ever earlier than.

For the podcaster, the makes use of and advantages of a podcast might be monumental. Podcasts are an effective way to construct and serve an viewers by entertaining and/or educating listeners on a given subject.

One of many key benefits of a podcast for the podcaster is that you simply get to talk on to folks, utilizing your voice. Your podcast episode could also be heard by 1000’s and even hundreds of thousands of individuals, however for every listener, it’s simply you and them.

It’s been mentioned that podcasting is the easiest way to scale intimacy and make a direct reference to every of your listeners.

What Is a Podcast Host and Why Do You Want One?

Podcasts are made obtainable to listeners through a Actually Easy Syndication (RSS) feed.

An RSS feed permits content material creators to publish notifications of latest content material corresponding to weblog posts or, after all, podcasts.

This is how that works. The podcast creator submits their podcast’s RSS feed to a listing, which makes it obtainable to listeners through a podcast app or the creator’s web site.

A podcast listener can obtain new installments or episodes of a podcast routinely by subscribing to the podcast’s RSS feed of their chosen podcast app. 

However how do you create your podcast’s RSS feed? 

That’s the place a podcast host is available in.

A podcast host is a service that gives a spot to retailer and distribute your podcast’s audio recordsdata through an RSS feed. The podcast host routinely generates the RSS feed in your podcast, then submits it to podcast directories, corresponding to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and others.

three RSS icons in a row, the first one black, second one orange, and third one black
Actually Easy Syndication, or RSS, is the format used to arrange the information for all of your podcast episodes right into a single feed that may be learn by podcast gamers.

You is perhaps considering, Do I’ve to make use of a podcast host? Can I host my podcast on my web site? The quick reply is sure—however hear me out.

There are a number of advantages to utilizing a podcast host as a substitute of DIYing it. A podcast host can:

  • Present storage in your podcast episode recordsdata, and permit them to be downloaded by listeners.
  • Automate the creation and syndication of your RSS feed to podcast directories.
  • Supply built-in analytics, so you may see how your present is rising and which episodes are the preferred.

Sure, you may technically host your podcast’s RSS feed by yourself web site. And sure, most podcast hosts price cash, with these prices typically rising as your present grows.

However for many creators, internet hosting your podcast by yourself web site is far more bother than it’s value, as Pat explains on this episode of AskPat

You would possibly save a couple of bucks, however in our opinion, the dearth of analytics alone makes internet hosting your podcast in your web site a nasty selection.

Fortunately, you could have loads of choices to select from in relation to podcast hosts. Our beneficial platform is Buzzsprout, due to its ease of use and useful options. [Note: That link is an affiliate link, which means we earn a small commission if you purchase after clicking it.]

Forms of Podcasts and Podcast Examples

As a medium for entertaining and sharing info, podcasts can take many alternative kinds! Listed here are a few of the commonest podcast codecs, together with examples.

  • Interview (SPI Podcast, Armchair Skilled, Recent Air)
  • Solo Speaking/Storytelling (Hardcore Historical past, Revolutions)
  • Cohosted (Stuff You Ought to Know, My Favourite Homicide, Flops, The Comunity Expertise)
  • Roundtable (SmartLess, Pod Save America)
  • Documentary (Serial, Startup Podcast)

Word that many podcasts are a hybrid, incorporating components of a number of codecs. For instance, The Group Expertise is a cohosted podcast that includes interviews.

How one can Hearken to a Podcast

How simple is it to hearken to a podcast? Fairly darn simple! Right here’s what you’ll want:

  • A smartphone, laptop, or pill with an web connection.
  • A podcast app

You’ll want an internet-connected gadget, corresponding to a smartphone, laptop, or pill to entry podcasts. Because you’re already studying this put up, I’m guessing you’ve obtained this one lined. 😉

Whether or not you’re looking for a particular podcast or wish to seek for a brand new one, a podcast app will turn out to be useful. Listed here are a few of the hottest ones:

Every of those apps might be downloaded to your gadget or accessed through the online.

So which one do you have to select? To be trustworthy, there’s not a ton of distinction between them, particularly if you happen to’re simply getting began as a podcast listener.

In the event you’re a Mac/iOS consumer, then Apple Podcasts is your go-to, and if you happen to use an Android cellphone, then the Google Play Music app is the best possibility.

finger hovering over an iphone screen right above the apple podcasts app icon
Apple Podcasts is the preferred podcast app for iOS and Mac customers. Like many different podcast apps, it permits listeners to seek out, pay attention, and subscribe to podcasts in an enormous listing of exhibits.

Every app additionally supplies a podcast listing which you could search to seek out new exhibits. Many of those apps may even present customized suggestions primarily based on the exhibits you hearken to on the app.

If you end up turning into an avid listener of a lot of podcasts, you would possibly discover profit from utilizing an app like Pocket Casts, which is designed to filter and manage a lot of podcast subscriptions. However for 99 % of listeners, most apps will do exactly wonderful.

When you’ve discovered the podcast you wish to hearken to in your podcast app, you may both stream it or obtain it to your gadget to pay attention later. Your podcast app also needs to will let you “subscribe” to a present so that you’ll be alerted when new episodes are launched.

Some podcast creators additionally make their podcast episodes obtainable instantly on their web site through a web-based podcast participant like Fusebox.

Right here’s an instance of an episode of the best way to use an embedded net participant like Fusebox to play a podcast episode proper on a webpage (on this case, our AskPat podcast):

How one can Begin a Podcast

In the event you’re fascinated about the best way to begin a podcast, you’re in the appropriate place! At SPI, we’ve a ton of sources for first-time podcasters (and extra superior podcasters too, however let’s not get forward of ourselves…).

In an effort to begin a podcast, you want a couple of key components:

That’s not all, although, and in order for you the complete scoop, try our “How one can Begin a Podcast STEP-BY-STEP” information.

It contains the lowdown on issues like:

  • Selecting a podcast subject you may decide to
  • Writing a compelling podcast description
  • Selecting a podcast internet hosting service
  • Recording your episodes
  • And rather more

The “How one can Begin a Podcast STEP-BY-STEP” information makes beginning your podcast simple and doable so that you could construct your viewers—and even begin and scale a enterprise with the assistance of your new present.

You can too try my video information to beginning your podcast, up to date for 2022!

What Is a Podcast FAQ

Listed here are some generally requested questions on podcasts, and our solutions!

Why Are Podcasts Known as Podcasts?

The phrase “podcast” is a portmanteau (mixed phrase) of “iPod,” Apple’s authentic transportable music participant, and “broadcast.” Some folks have additionally prompt “transportable on demand” as a “backronym” for the phrase “podcast.”

Podcasts vs. Radio: What’s the Distinction?

Are podcasts the identical as radio exhibits? Whereas podcasts and radio share a variety of similarities, since they’re each audio codecs, podcasts are extra versatile in a variety of methods. You’ll be able to consider podcasts as the subsequent “evolution” of the radio present.

Listed here are a few of the key variations between podcasts and radio:

  • Podcasts are often edited, whereas radio is often reside.
  • Podcasts might be streamed or downloaded on demand, whereas radio exhibits usually should be listened to reside. Radio stations are more and more making their beforehand aired exhibits obtainable on-line, however most radio content material have to be accessed when it goes reside.
  • Most radio content material is aimed toward a broad viewers, whereas podcast content material might be extraordinarily area of interest.
  • Most radio exhibits must fill a particular time block, whereas podcast episodes might be any size.
  • Radio exhibits usually have larger manufacturing prices, so that they comprise ads to assist offset these prices. Whereas podcast promoting is a rising trade, many podcasts don’t embody adverts as a result of the fee barrier to entry for podcasting is a lot decrease than for radio.

Are Podcasts Free?

Among the best issues about podcasts is that they’re often free to obtain and hearken to. Sure, you’ll want a tool to hearken to them and an web connection to obtain them, however the content material itself is usually freed from cost.

Lately, some podcasters have begun creating extra paid content material for his or her subscribers. These paid podcasts have gotten more and more widespread, though free podcasts are nonetheless much more frequent.

Are You Able to Begin Your Podcasting Journey?

I hope this primer on podcasts was useful! Perhaps you’re impressed to go discover a new present to subscribe to, and even develop into a podcaster your self!

If it is the latter, you’re in the appropriate place if you happen to’re able to continue to learn about podcasts and what they’ll do to develop a enterprise and join with an viewers.

You’ll be able to discover the SPI Media household of exhibits, and browse a few of our hottest podcasting-related weblog posts.

And if you happen to’re fascinated about beginning your personal podcast, our How one can Begin a Podcast Information is absolutely the good place to go subsequent!



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