I am a big podcast listener some people binge on YouTube and Netflix videos I binge listen to podcasts. There is a huge call for on-demand audio like podcasts in the dying age of radio. Before DVR boxes and on-demand video like streaming, there was an on-demand audio called podcasts. When Apple introduced podcasts in 2004, the iPod changed the music industry a small device that could fit in your pocket and iTunes store allowed you to download any song you wanted at any time starting the instant gratification of music. No need to go to your local store and buy CDS when you can just download a small MP3 file and place it onto a small device that holds thousands of songs and fits in your pocket.
Since there was no cellular data yet to get a music or podcasts to your iPod you had to be plugged into a computer, open iTunes then music and podcasts had to sync over to the device via a cable. It was the start of a revolution in the on-demand radio industry that we call podcasts.
The word podcast is a combination of the word iPod and broadcast a term developed by a journalist. Originally the word was audio blogging which lacked the cool hip feel that the broadcaster and Apple were going for so the name was changed to Podcast.
Companies like TWIT one of the first podcasts available on iTunes calls them netcasts to get away from the assumption you need an Apple device to listen to the broadcast. Podcasts are basically MP3 files that can be played by any music device, not just an iPod or iPhone. At the time the iPod was really the only mobile music player available and now there are many.
When the iPhone was released in 2008 Apple created a whole new media that has slowly been eating away at radio both satellite and terrestrial. The iPhone allowed users to ability to access content on demand instead of having to know what shows you want to listen to and sync them to a device. With the iPhone, you now had a device that had a constant connection to the internet that could allow anyone to download a podcast at any time.
Early creators of podcasts before the iPhone were skeptical of the success because the delivery system of the media was based on listeners needed to find out about the show via web advertising or an existing audience. Then hoping this audience would go out and buy an MP3 player to want to listen to your product. With little to no way to monetize the media, it had a hard time getting off the ground.
But now everyone has a cell phone and iTunes is not the only place to access podcasts. Google has their Play Store plus third party websites and apps like Sticher, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and many others all carry podcasts on demand to download or stream.
Many podcasts have even added a video element and have live streaming of audio, video, or both at the same time depending on the size and demand of the product. Podcasting grew fast with the addition of celebrities. Comedians, journalists, and radio personalities coming to the platform. Many big names have joined and brought and/or grew huge audiences to help the media grow.
I think the biggest challenge still with podcasting is bringing users to the media. I think podcasting is aimed towards the younger crowd 12 to 54 and according to research done by Edison Research. I think as more radio personalities move to the media we may see an even older age bracket move over in time.
I think podcasting will continue to grow and will be considered a form of mainstream media but that will take time and a culture shift which only happens in time. Till then we will watch podcast grow and develop as a new media platform that Apple helped start with something called the iPod.