Be all ears! Podcast is coming
“If you believe that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, then you don’t know podcast”
According to the Cambridge dictionary, this proverb means you cannot do two good things at the same time, but podcast proves this wrong! Whenever, wherever, whatever you are doing, you can add ‘listening to podcast’ as one of your activities in daily life. With the innovative and convenient form of technology we have now, it provides everyone with a better and easier way to discover new things. Stay tuned to the evolution of Podcast… in a written form.
Have you ever heard the word ‘Podcast’? How well do you know it?
If we came up with the question of what you’ve listened to on the radio, answers vary from everyone; news, songs, sports, life advice, because you surely have listened to the radio at least once in a lifetime. What about leaving radio alone for now and give us some time to introduce you to a new friend, Podcast.
Podcast is an online radio program created to share information, knowledge, or personal interest through an internet network and build a community of people who have mutual interests all over the place. And, it is another chance for you to seek new opportunities for yourself. It can be downloaded as a digital audio file to your phone or other devices. Plus, you can listen to a podcast through platforms like iTunes, Spotify, or Apple Podcast while using another application at the same time.
How come a podcast?
Possibly, Podcast was born in 2004 from Pod in ‘iPod’ and cast in ‘broadcast’, or ‘netcast’, as a synonym for audio blogging. But let’s throw back to 2000 where this idea, without any name, first began by a software developer named Dave Winer, who attached sound and video files in Rich Site Summary feeds.
‘The Backstage pass’ is the first published online podcast in 2003. This hour-long podcast was launched weekly by Matt Schichter, featuring celebrities and superstars. It was live-recorded and transcoded into audio for dial-up online streaming, which became an online podcast we can listen to at any time!
What about a platform to listen to podcasts? Adam Curry, a former VJ at MTV, developed and delivered the first podcast software called ‘iPodder’. It functioned as the automatic downloader of internet radio to iPod. This software invention influenced many companies to create something similar for the market, then the market became flooded with podcast softwares.
If you were a first generation podcast fan, you may be familiar with the quote, “Live your life with passion – and, as long as it lasts, enjoy your freedom” by Adam Curry. Not only the software that Curry delivered to us, but also his show ‘Daily Source Code’ was published at that time as well. This podcast mainly focused on his everyday life, delivering news, and discussions about the development of podcasting. His podcast received many great feedback, and attracted audiences who are interested in technology very well. It was finished with the 867 episodes in almost a decade.
For a big provider’s side, Apple Inc. also had an enthusiasm towards podcasts, leading to a release of iTunes 4.9 that formally supported podcasts. This provided an accessible way to reach podcasts, which helped it become more convenient and widespread!
Within a year, many public radio networks; BBC, CBC Radio One, and Public Radio International, placed many of their radio shows on the iTunes platform. Besides those networks, major local radio stations, like WNYC in New York City and WHYY-FM radio in Philadelphia, also placed their programs on their websites and later as podcast shows on the iTunes platform as well.
Likewise, in the late 2010s, many big companies, such as Facebook, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and New Balance, also created their own podcasts, mostly emphasizing on their products, investments, technology, and entrepreneurship.
Nowadays, with the evolution of internet capabilities that creates and develops cheaper options for consumers to use audio recording, listeners could be producers too, and this helps the number of podcasts’ audiences and producers keep getting bigger. Don’t you think that we are currently in the podcast era?
If radio’s final product and podcast’s are the same, then why podcast?
Even though the outcome of podcast and live radio are the same, which is the audio content that exists to inform, educate, and/or entertain audiences, there are behind-the-scenes differences between both of them that are obviously seen, and we are here to find them!
In the first place, the flexible schedule is the difference we found between radio and podcast. With live radio, everything has to stick with the schedule that has already been set up. You will miss half of the show if you don’t tune in on time, but with a podcast, you can download or stream your favorite podcast on demand with your own flexible schedule, as much as you want.
Next, both target groups are different. While radio tends to appeal to a mass audience by creating content that focuses on a wide range of topics, podcasts try to reach more niche groups, since their focus is more on specific individual topics.
Lastly, as its name is already described, the live radio cannot be edited after broadcasting, including any mistakes during the on-air period. On the contrary, in podcast format, it can get rid of any mistakes made, and be adjusted as much as producers need, resulting in a clean and perfect podcast you listen to today!
These factors might be an answer you need for what you have doubted of, but why do you have to choose when you can listen to both?
Blooming of Podcast…
Nowadays, the boom of the podcast makes a new way of consuming media, where people can easily access and listen to while resuming their activities as usual. With the innovation of technology and application on your smartphone, anyone can reach a great quality podcast at any time with less amount of internet usage. These podcast applications, such as Apple Podcast, Google Play Music, Spotify, Podbean, will satisfy what you want to hear without having to tune the radio and hope that your favorite shows will be on air. Podcasts are like online TV and show that you can access through your smartphone, and this makes audiences become more active in which they can choose when, where and what kind of podcast they want to hear.
With this new output, it adds more options for people to consume information through everyday life, but why do you need to read or see when you can listen to it. As you might have known and experienced before, you cannot multitask while reading, but not with listening, and this makes you feel more convenient to do other things. This is one of the reasons why podcasts become popular in the society of new media.
Moreover, podcasts are like listening to your friends telling you a story. There are various topics that podcasts can talk about; education, sport, comedy, and anything you can think of.
As the growth of podcasts is rising, so are its audiences and market, especially the millennial and generation X people as the anchor listeners. But wherever the audiences are, the money will be there as well, such as Spotify and Google Play Music which suggest a monthly subscription that provides users a convenient way to download podcasts and keep them for later as offline ones. The enlargement of the market scale makes the podcasts providers become more competitive by introducing more creative and interesting topics of podcasts.
Impression of Podcasts
For those who often listen to podcasts, there are multiple reasons behind it. (1) It is entertaining and enjoyable because audiences can receive new information and finish their other tasks simultaneously, and (2) there are varieties of podcasts, both fun and educational, to choose. Compared to a book, a podcast is more easily accessible, and you can understand the whole book without reading it because there’s someone reading for you. In addition, it makes you engage more with the tone of voice and the speaker’s direct experience towards a story that books cannot provide. Furthermore, reading in a car can cause you a headache, so a podcast is a good way to entertain yourself and learn something new.
On the other hand, people who prefer other kinds of media, such as videos and regular songs, over podcasts because visual content makes it easy to understand, and the composition of them is more entertaining than listening to people’s conversation. Reading is still a classic and useful way to consume new information.
Podcast becomes a new option for radio listeners where they can choose what topic that matches their interests, when, and where to listen to. It is no doubt that podcast will be an important evolution of media and come in the same place as radio, yet the traditional ways of consuming media will not go away, only another choice to choose. For those who have never tried listening to it before, it would be a great, relaxing, and beneficial to-do-list for your free time, but if you are unfamiliar with the content without visuality, or you prefer visual content over the podcast, try listening (and watching) to podcasts that include videos first, and they can change your mind. Stay tuned with us for the next part where a life-refreshing variety of podcasts recommendation will take you to a new journey.
What worth checking out!
Here are some recommended podcast channels in different kinds of topics that might be interesting for you to listen to for your free time, especially for those who are doing the 14-day self-quarantine during this COVID-19 situation. Please check them out below!
“Untitled Case is a podcast that tells true stories which are scarier than fiction.” That’s what the producers claim in the description. If you are someone who is interested in conspiracy theory, mysterious story, monster, murderer, and unsolved case, this podcast is the right choice for you!
Opinion: Speaking of a big fan of mysterious stories, this podcast is everything! The content of each episode is so captivating that I sometimes have to stop doing things and concentrate on listening to this podcast.
Warning: This is not a podcast you should fall asleep to, since it can cause you a nightmare!
This podcast tells the stories of beasts in mythology with a soothing voice, just like somebody reading a novel for you. It contains both legendary monsters, such as Dracula, Mermaid, Kraken, and other creatures that you may have never heard of before.
Opinion: Each episode is about 40 minutes long, so you better grab a snack before you tune in to this delicious and thrilling mythology podcast!
The Doctor’s Kitchen Podcast:
A podcast for people who love their lives. Since food is one of the four basic needs, this podcast mainly focuses on eating habits, covering a range of topics from the principles of healthy eating to how to prevent and treat illness.
Opinion: The content is great, because some people may overlook the food they eat, but it’s suitable for those who have their time, since the length of each episode is quite long (about 60 minutes each), so don’t get hungry before this podcast ends!
R U OK:
Explore yourself and your daily life, let’s see whether your habit is normal among others, or needs help from the specialists. Most importantly, to understand yourself and others.
Opinion: To be honest, I love the hosts’ energy! I personally think that the differences between people that each episode tells audiences can actually help them understand one another and live together in a right, happy way.
Politics / Current affairs
The Topics Podcast:
Prayut Chan-o-cha supporters may want to sit this one out. The hosts of The Topics spend each episode breaking down Thai political issues which are trending now in the way that audiences are easy to digest the content.
Opinion: If you don’t know where to start with Thai politics, I would recommend this podcast. It would help you to understand more about the ongoing situation in our country in an understandable and entertaining way.
Warning: The media is not neutral, so is this podcast. The hosts sarcastically talk about the wrongdoing of our beloved government. So, if you are the current PM supporter, you may find this podcast offensive.
This daily podcast serves you political global news on weekdays. As suggested in the title, the host will break down and explain the current news within 25 minutes.
Opinion: After I was assigned to work on a political podcast, I googled for the interesting podcast and found this one. I just finished listening to one episode, and found it easy on the ear. The host speaks clearly and, kind of, wraps up the situation in a really understandable way.
A podcast that gathers a collection of words and idioms on different topics related to the current situation. Moreover, it also features many great words to know in your life as well.
Opinion: An excellent weekday podcast that you can listen to on weekends too. Besides a fun way to learn, remembering words in a group can actually helps manage the brain’s memory process as well.
Learning English Through Listening:
If you’re looking for an educational podcast that helps improve your English skill, this is an answer for you. This podcast shows interesting and successful ways of learning English. Try it, so you know that English is not that hard!
Opinion: I listened to this podcast while preparing for an IELTS examination, and it made me feel more confident. I’m sure that it is great for people who seek a new way to improve their English skills although you won’t go for any examinations.
Looking for something entertaining? The revised version of radio play is coming back in the form of a podcast now. This podcast features audio fictions and interesting plots that make you feel like watching a movie without watching it.
Opinion: A bucket of popcorn and a can of soft drink might be a fabulous combination to have while enjoying this podcast! Whether you know the old-style radio play or not, you can feel a short movie without using your eyes, since ears are all you need. Moreover, you can use your imagination of what you listen to as well.
Sleep Tight Stories:
Not only kids that listen to bedtime stories before going to bed, but also adults do that sometimes too. The Sleep Tight Stories weekly brings audiences interesting and various kinds of bedtime stories, including the retelling ones. Enjoy your night!
Opinion: Nice option while finding something relieved to listen to. Actually, I didn’t listen to many bedtime stories when I was young, so this podcast is another way for me to listen to interesting stories, and another way for parents who aren’t good at telling bedtime stories to their kids, I guess.
Mission World News Report:
News is boring? Maybe yes but not with this podcast! This news podcast summarizes around-the-world news from Monday to Saturday that you need to know. It comes with an interesting statistic through the eyes of a news reporter.
Opinion: As a journalism student, I would recommend this to all my pals and classmates as this podcast helps build the knowledge of what is currently happening around the world, hence you will not be speechless when a professor asks you “Can somebody explain about this particular news?”
BBC Global News Podcast:
A recommended podcast for people who want to receive a daily update of worldwide news. This podcast provides audiences top stories twice a day on weekdays, and once a day on weekends.
Opinion: This is a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the world from the credible news network. I rarely read the worldwide news unless it has a big influence and effect, so this podcast does help me to know situations in other countries.
Random as Fact:
Do you like reading fun facts? If yes, Random as Fact might fit your taste! This podcast tells daily fun facts around the world in less than 30 seconds. It’s full of knowledge that is good to know at most of the time, but sometimes better not to know…but it’s still fun!
Opinion: Each episode of Random as Fact is sooooooooo short! But short doesn’t mean bad right? You can listen to this podcast while you’re jogging, and your brain will be loaded with facts that you can tell your friends and they’ll be like “Oh sis, how come you knew a lot?!”
This informative podcast investigates some of the historical failures of our time; the sinking of the Titanic, the break-up of the Beatles, the Y2K bug and so on. The host and guests will figure out what went wrong, whether they could have prevented, and most importantly, who to blame.
Opinion: You may be shocked by the number of the people who are supposed to have survived the Titanic sinking! I’ve never known it before till I got to listen to this podcast. Some say history repeats itself? Well, it might not happen if you have a chance to listen to The Alarmist! So I recommend this podcast to those who want to dig deep into history’s disasters and avoid repeating any of them.
This is incredible that we are coming to the ending part. Thank you for staying with us till the end of this show. We hope you enjoy our content, and gain something from our written-form podcast. Every ending is a new beginning, so after finishing this, get started on listening to podcast, and share your favorite show(s) with us. With podcast, you will be able to experience what it looks like to have a cake and eat it at the same time!
Written by: Anna L, Annie A, Maetaporn P, Nichapatra S, Sita T.