Podcasting 101

18 year old Hae Min Lee was last seen at 3 p.m. on January 13, 1999. She was found days later in Leakin Park, Maryland. The case was immediately classified as homicide by manual strangulation. Years later, in 2015, this story became the center of a popular podcast series called Serial.

Yearbook photo of Hae Min Lee

Pod-casting is downloadable audio files (most commonly MP3) that can be played on any media player. The popular podcast, Serial, detailed the events that took place 17 years ago. It was hosted by Sarah Koenig from This American Life and swept the world by storm. It is estimated that it was downloaded more than 80 million times.

This podcast, among hundreds of other successful ones, are revolutionizing the way we listen to media. Users can set it up to have these podcasts be automatically downloaded on their device via web syndication. Podcasts have become increasingly  popular over the last few years. In 2016, 21% of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast in the past month. When comparing this to 2013, it was 12%, significantly less.

Podcasting has many  reasons why it is so successful. One of the most significant features of pod casting is that it requires all of the listeners attention. When watching TV, there are many distractions constantly demanding the viewers attention.   When listening to traditional broadcast media, there are frequent commercials. With podcasts, there are no commercials. No messages from competitors are spread, which causes competition. This is beneficial to the pod casters, because it allows them to create a good repertoire with listeners.

One study released from Edison Research Report discovered that people who listen to podcasts continue to listen to them more than other other form of audio. Pod casting becomes the main source of journalism. As podcasters, it is important to realize this and continue to make quality material.

Podcasts are also very vital in an educational setting. Professors can record their information and lectures and upload them to a podcasting listening platform such as Soundcloud. Students can then review the material at home, reinforcing the concepts learned.

Podcasting is a very affordable and easy way to be able to share content. The only necessary tools needed to create a podcast are a microphone and a way to connect the content to a computer. Comparing this to the cost of producing a movie, TV, or radio show, the difference is notable. Podcasting can be done by virtually anyone, below is a video showing how do make one.


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