What is a Podcast?

Podcast is a form of audio broadcasting delivered usually over the web; podcasts are similar to a “talk show” section on a radio channel. The Podcasting format has grown increasingly popular lately with a consistent rise in listeners over the years.

Podcasts are often available to access in a range of ways. You can sometimes download podcasts or access a stream straight from a creator’s website, or you can find podcasts on platforms like Spotify, Apple or Google podcasts.

What are the Types of Podcasts?

Podcasts are fundamentally a source of content available in audio format. Like any content, there are various kinds of podcasts available, each with specific themes or topics at their center. As of 2021, there were over 2 million podcasts and 48 million podcast episodes online.

The available kinds of podcasts are usually defined based on their structure. Options include:

  • Interview podcasts: Interview podcasts involve one or multiple hosts interviewing different guests on each episode. This format is popular because it requires very little initial groundwork. Preparation usually includes researching an interviewee and coming up with questions your audience may want to learn about.
  • Solo podcasts: Otherwise known as a monologue podcast, solo podcasts involve a single person speaking to the audience. These podcasts can be news-related, opinion-based, or educational, depending on the host. Solo podcasts can sometimes be shorter than other formats because it can be difficult to find something to talk about.
  • Multi-host podcasts: Featuring more than one host, the multi-host podcast is a little more dynamic than a solo show. Multiple people often share a conversation about a specific topic. The blend of different opinions and perspectives allows for an entertaining experience.

Podcasts can also be “scripted” or more “ad-hoc”, which means you either plan what you’re going to say in advance, or have a more natural, organic discussion. For most beginners, it’s often easy to start with a basic script, or at least a bullet point list of things to cover.

What are the Benefits of Podcasts?

Podcasts are a popular form of content for a number of reasons. They’re relatively easy to create for producers, as they don’t require a lot of editing work or the professional sets required for video creation. It’s also possible to host podcasts in a range of environments, to help attract a wider range of potential listeners.

The biggest benefit of a podcast for listeners, is how easy the content is to consume. Similar to listening to a radio station, podcasts don’t require a significant amount of cognitive input from a listener. It’s possible to listen to a podcast in the car on the way to work on a train, or even in the office with a set of headphones.

What do you Need to Start a Podcast?

One of the reasons Podcasts are so popular today is they’re extremely easy to create. You don’t necessarily need a professional set or the latest technology. Some of the most important things required for a podcast include:

  • Branding: Having a distinct brand will make your podcast easier to remember. You’ll need a name your audience can easily search for, podcast artwork, and a unique tone of voice you can bring to every conversation and episode description.
  • Technology: The technology required for a podcast starts with a computer and an internet connection. You’ll need a microphone, with a pop filter to help capture your voice, editing tools to make your podcast sound professional. A hosting environment for your Podcast is essential too.
  • Talent: You’ll need someone to be the “voice” of the Podcast, or a number of people. This person should have a clear voice and a likeable personality. Working with the talent on podcast scripts and plans will help to keep things running smoothly.

Updated January 2, 2023

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