The first ‘Podcast’ was first developed by the duo – Dave Winer & Adam Curry in 2004.
A year later, the duo’s discovery opened the floodgates of the whole phenomenon of ‘podcasting’ to originate with the Apple releasing its iTunes 4.9 in June 2005, adding formal support for podcasts and eliminating the need to use a separate program for downloading and transferring them to a mobile device.
2005 was also a landmark year in the field of podcasting as eventually even the big companies started recognising its wide scope and potentials. The same year, George W. Bush had become the first President in the world to have his weekly address delivered as a podcast.
Interestingly, 2005 was also the year when New Oxford American Dictionary declared “Podcast” to be the ‘Word of the Year’.
The term ‘podcast’ is, in fact, a portmanteau of ‘iPod’ and ‘Broadcast’. However, for our convenience, we the user, interpret ‘podcast’ as variedly as:
- Audio clip of ipod
- Audio on demand
- An online, on-demand, pre-recorded ‘talk show’ where one can find someone talking about most subjects under the sun. A lot of times the hosts (and guests) are everyday people sharing their expertise and experiences.
- Customized radio on one’s phone.
- Free, online talk show on any topic one can imagine.
- An audio content on specific subjects delivered to a device so it’s easy to access.
- Downloadable niche radio talk show.
- A ‘Netflix’ for audio.
- Downloadable radio on every subject imaginable!
- Audio entertainment anywhere, anytime, about anything.
- Audio books for blogs.
- An audio version of a blog that one can listen to anywhere
- An audio show that one usually does not find on the normal radio because it serves a niche that is interesting to the LISTENER.
- An equivalent of one’s self-published book.
- The medium that allows anyone and everyone with great ideas to publish their ideas or thoughts in an audio format for others to enjoy without having to go through traditional media like radio.
In nutshell, podcasting provides a multi-platform experience for its users.
People to create, record and distribute their content through podcasting are known as the ‘podcasters’ who have their own website and social-media presence.
Having discussed the WHAT aspect of podcast, let us try to understand the HOW (functionality) aspect of it. The Podcasters regularly upload content on various platforms. Podcasters main aim is to make their content available on diverse platforms to gather audience. Today, all the music streaming services are partnering with podcast services in making their content accessible on their platform.
The GROWTH and GROWTH of PODCASTS
While radio podcasts are age old reality, being in existence since 1930 audio podcasts started gaining popularity from 2007. Let us have a quick glance at the podcast timeline
- 2004 – Adam Curry and Dave Winer are credited with inventing the medium
- 2005 – Apple iTunes 4.9 is released, fully supportive of podcasts
- 2005 – George Bush becomes first President to deliver his weekly address in the form of a podcast
- 2005 – Podcast is declared “word of the year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary
- 2006 – Steve Jobs demonstrates how to record a podcast using Garageband during a keynote speech
- 2007 – Ricky Gervais sets world record for most downloaded podcast with an average 250,000 downloads per episode in the first month
- 2009 – 2011 – Andrew Carolla’s podcast receives 59,574,843 unique downloads enabling him to become the Guinness World Record holder for the most downloaded podcast. He only managed to accrue 59 million unique downloads between March 2009 and March 2011.
- 2013 – Personal Audio sues high profile podcasters, claiming they have a patent on podcasting. By now the demand was undeniable – Apple announced 1 billion podcast subscribers.
- 2017 – Court rules against Personal Audio, declaring they did not invent the medium of podcasting and could therefore not claim royalties
- 2019 – 165 million people have listened to a podcast, with 90 million Americans listening monthly.
Talking of the testimony of the growth of podcasts in India, we have the longest running podcast – Indicast. It was, in a way, pioneers of podcasting in India that started a decade and a half back by Aditya Mhatre and Abhishek Kumar in October 2005.
It was launched immediately after a month of Apple’s releasing an update to support iTunes for hosting Podcasts. The format of Indicast was based on two podcasters speaking about news and current affairs in a non-newsy fashion. It worked as we could relate to it as it did not sound like a debate which is often loud and cacophonous. And now, we know Indicast as a name to reckon with in the arena of podcasting in India.
Today, we have a whole gamut of home grown podcasts – AakashVani – hosted by Aakash Chopra, a former International Cricket player and a well-known cricket analyst; Audiogyan — an Interview/conversational podcast for people interested in Art, Design and Philosophy (narrated by Kedar Nimkar); Baalgatha — brings you stories from Panchatantra, Jataka stories, and other classic sources; Books That Speak — short stories for children narrated in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujrati; Culture Chaos: Stories of an Indian abroad — comes from a non-resident Indian woman about life abroad, trying to make sense out of different cultural norms and a whole new way of living; Desi Outsiders — comes from two young Indian women who team up to bring meaningful conversations on relationships, dating, education, and feminism into Indian homes; Kahani Suno — brings in amazing stories by some of the most celebrated Indian authors, (narrated by Sameer Goswami); SOS – Secrets of Storytellers – a podcast that interviews authors and writers from the world of business, and literature (narrated by Shubham Agarwal); Moneycontrol Podcast — comes with your daily source of business news, investment analysis and advice on stocks and the markets; Movie Wala Podcast — a girl duo picks a movie and talk about their favourite songs, favourite scenes, gossip and why they picked that movie for that category ; The Musafir Stories: India Travel Podcast — it documents Indian travel tales wherein each episode shares the journey of travellers in their own words who ‘relive’ their travel experience with the listeners; The Taste of India comes with a bundle of quick and tasty Indian recipes along with healthy living tips for people with little to no time for cooking.
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