The podcast revolution

Before we start, what is a podcast? Very simply put, it is an audio digital file which is made available on the internet for all to stream or download. Podcasts are normally released in a series, with one following another. If you wish to be updated after every podcast is released, you can subscribe so that you are notified on your computer or your mobile device when a new addition is made.

You might not believe this, but podcasts have been around for over a decade. Only in the last few years have they gained immense popularity, especially in South Africa. A few years back the rise of podcasts faced some hefty challenges due to high data costs in South Africa. Even though we still face this issue, podcasts are becoming more and more popular as internet has become more prominent in our daily lives. Some universities are also embracing the podcast revolution by creating podcast lectures for students to listen to after class as well as to utilise when exam time approaches.

From a podcaster’s perspective, creating your own podcast channel has many advantages. The start up costs are quite minimal; all you need is a good quality microphone and a laptop. If you looking for an entry level microphone, consider a Samson microphone. For a high level alternative, try out the Shure SM58 microphone or the Rode Procaster microphone. Your podcasting recordings are also very flexible. You can create a podcast that is 10 minutes or four hours long, that is up to you. And of course, businesses are now looking at using podcasts as a marketing platform. These promotional segments should be related to the content of the podcast.

So why are podcasts so popular these days? Well it definitely has something to do with their convenience and ease of use. You can listen to podcasts while at work and then easily transfer to listening on your phone when you get in your car.or while you are in the gym  the options are endless. Another great thing is the variety. Podcast topics can range from comedy to serious business issues. You can choose according to genre or presenter. Podcasts are so good because they manage to keep a huge audience engaged… well, more engaged than most things on the internet these days. With the explosion of the podcast revolution, you will find many podcast listeners are very specific and devote themselves to a particular podcast channel – a similar concept to being part of a club.

If we compare podcasts to radio, the radio has the upper hand in many ways, offering things that podcasts can’t offer, such as mainstream music, the news, games and the overall style of most radio broadcasts. However, the very big advantage of podcasts is that the content they provide can’t be found on any radio station; in that way, its content is unique. Also, going back to convenience mentioned above, podcasts are great because people can choose when to listen, rather than waiting for a scheduled show on one’s favourite radio station.

The podcast revolution has hit! If you think you might enjoy listening to one, give it a go. And if you want to take it a step further and start your own podcast, well now is your chance – there is no time like the present.

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