Podcasts are downloadable radio shows! A huge variety of topics to choose from, beloved by millions worldwide, and produced by professionals and amateurs both.
A podcast is a series of episodes in audio format (and sometimes video too). Podcasts can be about any topic and run for any length of time. You could have a 30-second podcast about toenails or a 5-hour podcast about cheese. They tend to attract a community of people with similar interests.
Popular podcasts are usually narrative-driven and have charismatic hosts. There are also wonderful audio art podcasts, charming podcasts with a bunch of friends chatting casually, and even haunting radio drama podcasts.
Because a podcast can be about anything you want, if you’ve got passion for a topic then that passion can be turned into a compelling podcast, and you could probably find an audience for it. Here are a couple of good podcasts if you want to sample some well-established series:
- Here Be Monsters
- 99 Percent Invisible
- This American Life
- This is Criminal
- Welcome to Nightvale
On the technical side of things, podcasts are published on websites, which create subscribable lists of episodes. This list is called an RSS feed. iTunes and PocketCast and other ‘podcatchers’ are all RSS feed readers. These services pull podcast episode data into their interface so that people can download and view the data for each episode. Podcatchers don’t actually host anything, so everything you see in iTunes was published elsewhere and is simply being displayed by iTunes – like a phonebook for cool audio programming.
It’s a common misconception that you can upload your podcast to iTunes. Just like you don’t get your phone service from directories like YellowPages, you also don’t host your podcast on a directory service like iTunes. Instead, you publish a podcast on your site and then you submit the RSS feed to iTunes so people can look you up.
People can subscribe to your podcast and have your podcast delivered automatically to their podcatching software – which can be on a computer, smartphone, or iPod.
Get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you out.
Email: info [at] ptbopodcasters [dot] ca