Listen up – here’s what you need to know about podcasts

In recent years blogs have, understandably, become an important part of the internet. They’ve launched careers for countless writers and become an incredibly influential platform. As an extension, video blogs (I loathe the word ‘vlogs’), have morphed into an even larger section of the web, so much so that they make celebrities of those who create them.

However their cousin – the humble podcast – doesn’t get as much fame, despite its increased growth. In a nutshell, podcasts combine the freedom of blogs with audio technology.

Originally, podcasts were quite niche and predominantly taken up by those who tech-savvy, but developments over the years have made it easy to set up your own and so now the internet is flooded with them.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as many podcasts cater to a particular audience. Podcasters can carve out a role as an expert in a certain field or topic and gradually build a listenership invested in that particular area.

In many ways, podcasts are like radio shows. However, unlike radio shows you don’t need a licence to set up a podcast. As such, there’s not a huge amount of control over them when it comes to content – though copyright laws still apply – so finding high quality ones can sometimes prove difficult.

 

iTunes used to have a chokehold on the podcast market as the prominent place to find them. Much like a song or an app, you would search for topics and titles and subscribe to a podcast channel. One you do so, any new podcasts uploaded to that channel would automatically be downloaded to your device.

Now, there are many different ways to subscribe to podcasts. Most people will do so on a portable device, namely their smartphone.

If you’re looking to make your own podcast, it’s nice and easy. There are apps where you can upload audio straight to your own podcast channel, but essentially all you need is some form of audio recorder – that includes your phone. Once you’ve got your audio, you can upload it to your channel straight from the device it’s recorded on (if it’s a smartphone) or onto your computer as an audio file, and then add it to your channel from there.

In terms of creating a channel/uploading to one, there are swathes of websites and apps that you can do it on, so it’s best to take a look at what’s out there first and pick one that suits you. Some will be free, some won’t.

The beauty of creating a podcast is that the content/themes/structure/everything is up to you.