Podcasting is one of those terms that most people have heard of but not everyone can accurately describe. Put simply, a podcast is essentially a radio program which is distributed over the internet as opposed to using one traditional radio station. These shows are then available to download on various platforms, although some people prefer listening to them in real time. The cool thing about podcasts is virtually anyone can start one and if what you're saying is interesting enough, there's a good chance people will flock to you. According to statistics published on Convince and Convert, around 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast at one time or another in their life and a further 67 million tune into a podcast at least once a month - with an estimated 525,000 active shows and over 18 million episodes floating around in cyberspace at any one time, it seems that more and more people are taking to the digital airways in order to put their views across. This begs the question, what's behind the surge in podcast popularity?
Podcasting in its earliest form has been around since the 1980s, when it was known as audio blogging and Podcasting as we know it today has been around for over a decade, so why has the concept suddenly taken off over the last few years? Well, for starters, one of the answers lies in your pocket. The fact that every man and his dog now owns a mobile device has played a big part in the rise of podcasting and with ever increasing internet speeds, listening to your favorite commentator on the go has never been easier. What's more, the size of your screen is irrelevant, so your enjoyment isn't limited to what device you own - often one of the drawbacks of watching movies or TV shows on your smartphone. In 2018, if you like hearing about the latest NBA news or Kanye West's recent antics, for example, then all it takes is one click of the "subscribe" button and you'll never miss a beat.
Starting Your Own Podcast is a Piece of Cake
Despite the fact that the podcast market is already pretty saturated, there's always room for something a little different and armed with an original idea and a little bit of technical aptitude, setting up your own podcast couldn't be easier. One of the main benefits of setting up your own podcast in the current climate is that you have a choice of platforms to upload your work to. Since around 2005, Apple has been the main playerwith regards to the podcast distribution game but Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud and Stitcher, among others are now getting in on the act and it's really down to personal preference as to which directories you end up going with.
Internet Hobbies are Currently All the Rage
As of 2017 according to Statista, global internet users were spending on average around 135 minutes a day on social media and so it's no surprise that internet-based activities such as podcasting and live-streaming are on the rise. Live-streaming in particular has enjoyed a close relationship with gaming in recent years, with 3rd person shooter Fortnite streaming from sites like Epic Games is currently the game of choice for streamers on sites such as Twitch and YouTube Live. In addition to this, live streaming has moved into more niche territory, with online casinos such as Betway Live-Casino providing live blackjack, baccarat and roulette experiences which use high definition streaming to put players at the heart of the action and allow them to take part in an active live-streaming experience. The game of chess has also enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance thanks to live streaming of online tournaments, with popular Canadian Grandmasters Aman Hambleton and Eric Hansen (collectively known as Chessbrah) attracting impressive figures for a game which was seen by many to be on the decline only a few years ago. With Twitch now allowing non-gaming content onto the platform, live-streaming and podcasting are undoubtedly the current flavors of the month.
Podcasts Can Make You a Decent Amount of Money
It's important to note that the production value associated with podcasts is very low. Armed with a high quality microphone and a spare hour or two to get properly set up, there's no reason why you can't turn podcasting into a potentially lucrative venture. With the average CPM (cost per thousand) for a podcast estimated to be between $20 and $45, the cost to value of podcasting is incredibly low, especially when you consider that the figure for web ads on platforms such as YouTube will only land you between $1 and $20. As long as you're committed to consistently delivering content to your loyal followers, then there's no reason why podcasting can't be a source of income for you - provided you're also talented and manage to get those listeners, that is.
The Future of Podcasting
According to BBC Radio, the term "podcast" is an early contender for word of the yearfor 2018 and the British broadcaster is quietly confident that podcasts are the future. The accessibility and sheer diversity that can be found within the podcast genre means that there are shows which cater to every single need, no matter how obscure and niche the genre or category may be. With the modern person now arguably busier than ever, time is precious and podcasts provide the perfect background noise that can easily be absorbed while getting on with the rest of your day. It's difficult to say just where podcasting will be within the next ten or twenty years owing to the speed that modern day technology advances. However, many avid listeners have already pondered the question and it's fair to say the possibilities appear to be both endless and extremely exciting in equal measure.