Online Presence Podcast Management

Online Presence Podcast Management

Podcasts are not new, In fact the idea of a ‘podcast’ was first born in 2004 when CNET’s Adam Curry released his No Name Show. This podcast quickly gained popularity and paved the way for podcasts to be more than just an entertaining but difficult to produce show that only contained interviews and audio clips.

Around the same time, Apple released their iPOD and it quickly became a huge revolution in technology. The ability to play music anywhere without wires was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. While this product started out as a way for people to enjoy music through headphones, iTunes only allowed users to purchase songs that were already available on the store. This meant musicians could not sell individual tracks of their own work because iTunes purchased whole albums at one time. Podcasts were an alternative option for musicians because they would be able to release songs from their album each week so listeners can listen whenever they wanted and chose which songs they preferred instead of having to buy the whole album all at once or not download any at all.

#1 – Podcasts are a source of entertainment

Podcasts have become such a hit that there are now countless podcasts you can listen to. The content is virtually limitless and ranges from discussions in the movie industry, to sports talk shows, or even how-to guides for household repairs. Podcasts cover news stories, an d many times when a major event happens such as President Barack Obama’s election win or the death of Michael Jackson, podcast creators will quickly spread their thoughts about these events to listeners within hours so they can get feedback before the mainstream media does. In fact, there are now so many different podcasts available on iTunes that certain popular genres have appeared with listener requests for specific types of content including comedy (check out The Daily Show Podcast), technology ( This Week in Tech) and even certain languages (English, Spanish or Italian).

#2 – Podcasts are very cheap

One reason podcasts have become so popular is because they are a relatively cheap way to get entertainment. All you need to listen is some decent headphones and an internet connection. There are no toys or video games that need new pieces of equipment every year; the cost savings of podcasts really add up over time if you’re a regular listener. And if you want access to more than one podcast at once such as while driving, there are devices available for purchase that allow you to still tune in without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. Many also include voice activated controls so all you have to do is say which podcast you want to hear and it will start playing right away.

#3 – Podcasts are great for multitasking

There’s nothing quite like being able to listen to a podcast while doing something else at the same time. If you’re planning on cleaning your home, office or even just commuting to work, podcasts give you the ability to do things normally done alone with friends and family because now all of a sudden there is someone there giving advice or telling jokes that makes cleaning seem less tedious. Even if you can’t clean at home, driving in your car allows you to focus on safer driving while still learning new things in other areas of life.

#4 – Podcasts are easy and fun

Podcasts may look difficult but they’ve actually become quite simple to both learn and use. Learning a new podcasting platform is usually self-teaching and many are available for free from your computer or from iTunes that can download podcasts to all of the latest iPOD models. Podcasts are also usually created in an easy conversational style so they feel more like you’re talking to one friend on the phone as opposed to listening to someone else speak at a distance, making it fun and relaxing instead of stressful as some other types of entertainment may be.

#5 – Podcasts satisfy needs for communication

Podcasts really have comforted people who feel there aren’t enough opportunities for them to socially interact with others. Because these shows talk about things that interest listeners, they provide a method of learning and listening that’s more comfortable than going out into public and meeting people face-to-face. A lot of younger adults especially have embraced podcasts since their jobs or school schedules don’t always allow them to meet up with friends and family, so they can now feel a part of something even when they are seemingly alone.

Is Podcasting Dead?

Ten years on podcasts have taken off in a way never before seen. In 2012 it was reported that 60% of the United States population had listened to a podcast at least once, with 14% having listened within the last month (exploring unscripted, 2014). The idea that people would listen to media without visuals is an obvious success story.

The idea of podcasts has been propelled into the spotlight by a number of companies and organisations, who have all taken notice of this new way to communicate with people on demand. This in turn has helped to create more mainstream podcasts with high profile presenters such as Adam Carolla’s ‘Carcast’ produced by CBS. Such moves by big players not only showcase the potential Podcasting has, but also helps to improve its future.

The death of podcasting?

However, many podcasts are suffering from the inevitable ‘podcast burnout’. Many podcasters have lost interest in podcasting due to poor listenership and a lack of revenue generation (Westcott, 2014). Many podcasts have low production costs but still require hours of work. This means that it is hard for podcasters to make money or receive income from their show. This can lead to podcasters leaving the medium altogether.

Many people do not feel that they need to listen to someone talk about a topic when they could read an article or watch video on the same subject (Westcott & Damschroder, 2010). In this way podcasts are similar to the old radio broadcasts which were superseded by television and then internet video.

This was a particularly important point for Adam Curry who thought that he had left his listeners with nothing after he stopped producing his show regularly, “I’m really nervous because what if you guys don’t like it? And it’s just something I put out there on my own… I’m doing something totally different. But I feel very strongly about it.” (TvTropes, 2012)

Mainstream Podcasting Today

Even with the worries that podcasting is dying, the medium has still proved to be a valuable feature in many people’s lives. With companies taking the reigns and helping to create more mainstream podcasts, Podcasting may well have a solid future.

The investment by companies such as CBS into the podcast medium has helped to bring it out of the dark web and into mainstream circles. This has meant that podcast is no longer something that only nerds listen to on their way to work, but instead some thing that everyday people are aware exists. This in turn helps with audience retention as more people know what a podcast is and how they can get involved (PodcastOne). It also means listeners will be able to access podcasts quicker and much easier than ever before.

As data plans continue to improve throughout the world, cheaper smartphones become more readily available and bandwidth continues to increase at its current rate then listening through an app rather than downloading directly will soon be the most common way to listen to a podcast. This will help with many issues podcasts face, such as getting listeners involved and keeping them listening throughout the show.

The medium of podcasting and the personal nature of it, the relationship you build with your listeners and the relationship they have with you—they could be just sitting there, chuckling and listening…there’s nothing like that. Marc Maron, American stand-up comedian

The Future of Podcasting

Even though podcasts are currently in decline there is no reason why they cannot flourish once again within a few years. The added investment from companies has helped to push more localized and market based shows on to iTunes charts worldwide (Westcott, 2014). This helps not only because people have access to a wider range of podcasts but also because it increases competition between podcasters which can only be beneficial in developing the media platform further.

It is important for podcasters who are producing content that would otherwise go unwatched or unheard to understand their target audience and how they can increase engagement with listeners. Podcasts may focus on niche topics but it is important to recognize that you are not the only person who has an interest in the topic being discussed, a huge audience exists who will want to listen if they are approached correctly (Westcott & Damschroder, 2010).

A lot of information about podcasting and how to produce podcasts can be found online. This includes blogs and forums which people can use to discuss issues they have encountered when creating their own shows. More established podcasters should share their knowledge by writing articles on how they approach their subjects or interviewing other people within the community about what works for them. Sharing knowledge like this helps not only because it allows listeners access to techniques that might them improve the quality of their own work but also because it encourages more people to share what they have learnt about podcasting, benefitting everyone within the community.


Nunes, A (2006). Audio Podcasting and Podcast Listening Practices: An Analysis of Podcasts Available in a Public Library. Journal of Interactive Media in Education , 3(2) [Accessed 22 Feb 2015]

PodcastOne (2014). The Secret to Superstar Podcasts . [Accessed 24 Feb 2015]

Westcott, M & Damschroder, K (2010). Podcasting: DIY Networking and Networked DIY . New Media & Society, 12(3). 569-583.

Westcott, M (2014). Why the Podcast Industry is Growing up . [Accessed 24 Feb 2015]

Image source: Max, P., 2009. The Top 10 Podcasts That You Hate to Love: All Music Guide , p7-9..

One Comment
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