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Don't bother me, I'm podcasting: trying to figure out where the culture of audio blogging came from

Back in 2004, Apple released its first iPod, a device for playing compressed audio files. This was the starting point for the development of mass interest in podcasting technology. We tried to figure out how podcasts became a new media and if it’s worth starting your own in 2019?

Origins of the term

The word ”Podcast” is a neologism. It is derived from “IPod” and “Broadcasting”. Podcasts as a concept came into use in 2005. This is primarily due to the launch of the Apple Podcast app. People got access to a variety of content from around the globe and what’s more important – completely free. Apple service top 1,000,000 subscribers in the first two days after launch. New podcasts were automatically added to iTunes, but to gain access to new content, users still had to synchronize their iPods manually. So it was until 2007. With the release of the iPhone with built-in WiFi technology, the content started loading to the device automatically.

What is RSS and what it has to do with podcasting?

Podcasting is possible because of the development of the RSS format, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. Initially, the purpose of RSS technology was to automatically update blog posts, news headlines, and other content. This made life easier for users – there was no longer a need to strain the internet in search of exciting content. Software took the responsibility to provide updated information without a user request.
So the user got the opportunity to follow new publications and read the summary without visiting the source site.

More information on the link: [What is an RSS feed? | Digital Trends]

Why did podcasts become a thing?

  • Users got more freedom over the content. The technology allows you to independently choose the best time and place to listen.
  • Compared to television or radio, podcasts have relatively less advertising.
  • Unlike mass broadcasting, podcasts are a step towards personalized media.

What are best platforms for publishing and listening to podcasts?

  • Apple Podcast
    Today it is the leader of the podcast industry. As of April 2019, 29 million episodes were posted on this platform.
  • Spotify
    The company plans to invest in the podcast industry up to $ 500 million during 2019. The company even changed the name of the mobile application to “Music and Podcasts”.
  • Google Podcasts
    This is a podcast player for Android users.

Podcasting evangelists

  • The Tim Ferriss Show
    Tim Ferris is a business angel and mentor of TechStars business accelerator, author of the best-selling book “The 4 Hour Work Week”. In the podcast, Tim talks with celebrity guests about secrets, tools, and tactics that allowed them to become leaders in their fields.
  • The Garyvee audio experience
    Gary Vee is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality. This podcast is a mix of the best highlights from the DAILYVEE documentary video series, keynote speeches on marketing and business.
  • Marketing Over Coffee
    MOC is a marketing podcast, audio on demand that covers both classic and new marketing. The hosts, John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn, record the show every week and publish on Thursday mornings.
  • Entrepreneur on Fire 
    American entrepreneur and podcaster interviews leaders and entrepreneurs from various industries. Podcast episodes gain a million auditions monthly.
  • Tech & Society with Mark Zuckerberg
    The owner of Facebook launched his podcast in April 2019 and is going to focus on public discussions about the future of the internet and society.
  • Rework
    A podcast about a better way to work and run your business. It brings you stories and unconventional wisdom from Basecamp’s co-founders and other business owners.

A few more facts:

  • 49% of podcast listening is done at home, down from 51% in 2017
  • 56% of podcast listeners are male
  • South Korea leads the world in the percentage of people who have listened to a podcast in the past month with 58%.
  • 19% of listeners increase the speed (listen faster)
  • Comedy is the most popular podcasting genre, followed by education and news

More on: 2019 Podcast Stats & Facts (New Research From Apr 2019)

Does my business need a podcast in 2019?

Launching your podcast is an excellent opportunity to attract the attention of a broad audience, tell your story, gather a community around, and/or advertise your business. Here are some more reasons why your business needs a voice:

  • Podcasting will not create a hole in the marketing budget
    It is cheaper than creating regular video and audio content. To start, you only need a headset, a Zoom H1 voice recorder, an embouchure, and a tripod, which will cost about $ 200 all together.
  • Podcast may be a starting point for creating additional content
    From one issue of the podcast, you can pull out several full-fledged blog posts, infographics, or think up a series of podcasts covering one topic.
  • Develops public speaking skills
    Oratory is a skill that is not easy for everyone. The good news is that you can get better. It may be strange to speak to an invisible audience, but this skill allows you to present yourself well at webinars and give good speeches at conferences.
  • Increases customer loyalty
    The concept of a target audience is long outdated. People buy from other people, not from a business. Therefore, your voice in the media needs to be human and credible.
  • Audio content is more accessible to consume than video or text
    The average post consists of 700 words. This is about 5 minutes of reading. The average time of a podcast is 35 minutes, which corresponds to 4,000 thousand words and is equal to 7 textual materials. The advantage of audio content is that it can be consumed as a background: while jogging, driving or in the gym.

Dariia Ponomarenko

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