Podcast definition and meaning of Podcast - What is Podcasting?

Are you new to the podcast world and want to find out what it's all about? Then you've come to the right place! We'll answer the question: What is a podcast? And: Where does the word podcast come from?
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What is a Podcast? Podcast Definition:

A podcast is a series of published audio or video files that are available to listen to and can be subscribed to. These so-called episodes are usually transferred to so-called podcatchers via RSS feeds.

Podcatchers are podcast platforms where you can listen to a podcast and access podcasts, such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes). Here you can access new episodes as soon as they are uploaded. The term podcast is an artificial word that can be divided into two parts. 

In most definitions, pod stands for “playable on demand”, i.e. playable at any time. Unlike a radio program, there are of course no broadcast times for podcasts. The episodes are available for listening and downloading as soon as they are published. Until the podcaster (i.e. the creator of the podcast) deletes them. 

Cast stands for “broadcast“, which is reminiscent of the old broadcasting stations, i.e. radio stations.

When you put these two parts together, you get the widely used term podcast! A pretty simple definition of the word podcast!

It is often assumed that the “podcast” part was derived from the iPod, but this is a false assumption.

It is often assumed that the "podcast" part was derived from the iPod, but this is a false assumption.

Why are podcasts so popular?

Since the rapid development of the Internet, media and on-demand programs have become increasingly popular. A lot has happened since then, especially in the field of radio, because you no longer have to stick to broadcasting times. Podcasts generate many listeners because they are always available. In addition, there is now a much wider selection of topics compared to broadcasting or radio. There is a suitable podcast for every niche and something for everyone. In addition, compared to other audio productions, podcasts are often produced by private individuals or amateurs and are much cheaper to produce. The mass of audio files available for playback on demand is so large that everyone can be satisfied.

Another factor was the coronavirus pandemic. Even before this, podcasts were becoming more and more popular every year. The pandemic has accelerated this trend once again, as it has given many people some kind of interaction. They were able to listen to other people despite social distancing. Podcasts can simply serve to entertain or inform, as was the case with “The Daily” by the New York Times.

There are countless public and private podcasts and the number of podcasts continues to grow. The functions are also becoming more and more user-friendly, surveys and offline listening are expanding the user-friendliness, classic web feeds and Apple’s MP3 player iPod are hardly used by anyone these days anyway.

In addition, new episodes appear automatically on most platforms if you have subscribed to a podcast. All you have to do is click subscribe and never miss an episode of the podcast! You can easily download and listen to podcast episodes on any mobile device, all you need is an internet connection.

Podcast definition and meaning of Podcast - What is Podcasting Podcast Workflow

How can I listen to podcasts?

Podcast platforms used to be called “podcatchers”. You could visit a podcatcher with your iPod or subscribe to an RSS feed (also known as a web feed) and download MP3 files. But the days of MP3 players are over, and today we have Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts. These platforms make it easier for us because we can install them for free, register and listen to and download podcasts for free!

There are also some podcast apps for smartphones where you can listen to podcasts. Spotify is also available as an app. You can find more alternatives in our article Podcast platforms.

The episodes are uploaded to the platforms by podcast hosts. So you only have to upload an episode once to a podcast hoster and it will be distributed to the podcast directories!

How can I make a podcast?

All you need to create for a podcast are regular podcast episodes. You can record this audio content with a good podcasting microphone and a recording software. All you need is great content, to make your podcast interesting for the listeners. In theory, its just as easy as that. Record it, edit it and upload it. But we know, that a real podcast is more complex to produce. Thats why we try to help you with our blog articles about starting a podcast, podcast headphones or the best podcast editing software

What does a podcast host do? What is podcasting?

Why are there so many podcasters, and what do they even do all day? Most of the podcasters aren’t just presenters of a topic, they are also researchers, interviews, digital audio experts and so much more. Most podcasts are not professionalized by a big team. This is a big difference between broadcasting and podcasting.

Because for podcasters, there are no limits to what you upload, the variety of topics allow users to always find their perfect niche.

However, the more popular and more professional a podcast gets, the more likely it is, they they do have creative writers, producers and a big team behind their back. Joe Rogan isn’t the only person behind the Joe Rogan show, for example.

Are there different types of podcasts?

In general, you can say that there are two different types of podcasts: The video podcast and the audio podcast.

But, of course, within these two broad categories of podcasts, there are several categories or formats of podcast content. For example true crime, comedy, science or entertainment podcasts. 

Is video podcasting worth it?

If you wanna start a podcast and you’re thinking about a video podcast, we would rather say: Don’t do it. You should try the easier solution, first! A video podcast is more work, more data and a bigger effort. There are upsides to it, for example that it will get more personal, because people will see your face and you will have the opportunity to publish it as a video on YouTube as well.

Anyways, you should work on your audio workflow first. Once you have an efficient and easy going audio podcast workflow, you can figure out how to add video cameras to it. Especially in post production, it can get a little messy. But with the right structure, you’ll be able to implement video to your podcast episodes. Once you found a great podcast hosting platform which includes video uploads, you’re ready to go!

Is it worth the hustle? It depends. Some podcast formats are unattractive for video, because people listen to it while cleaning, driving or working out. They don’t need a video! Podcasts are audio formats anyways. Once your Podcast becomes a show, it could make sense to add a video, to make it more entertaining and involving for your listeners, but the concept, that it remains functional as an audio podcast is important! Otherwise your popularity is in danger, because podcast listeners feel like missing out on something because they can’t watch the new podcast episodes in their usual habit.

Conclusion: Create a podcast and get more reach!

There are several reasons to start a podcast: Podcasts are free for users, which make them very accessible, they raise attention to you or your product and you get the chance to dig deeper into the topics you want to talk about. A great way to improve your research and presenting skills!

You want to create your own podcast? Check out our Blog and our services, like podcast editing! We can help you to create your podcast show!

Example of a Podcast