Podcasting: The origins

The origin of the word ‘podcast’ was in a 2004 column in The Guardian by Ben Hammersley.

He made up a sentence mentioning podcasting while delving into a possible name for the new audio distribution technology. It was a mashup of the Apple iPod, which was the in thing at that time, and broadcasting.

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We’re Entering the Era of Big Podcasting

vulture.com

Essentially audio blogs, taking advantage of the freedom of speech, early podcasts were chatty, amateur products, until some heavyweights joined the bandwagon, like MTV VJs, journalists and talk-radio personalities.

This was fueled by the fact that the old public radio medium had certain creative limitations along with rules and regulations that were not a problem in the world of podcasting.

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  • Podcasting started evolving with certain progressive companies like Stitcher along with early sponsors playing to a crude, uneven audience.
  • Podcasting kept growing slowly, even during the 2008/09 recession, which was ironically a creative peak for the medium.
  • Many new shows launched and things eventually reached a plateau in 2010/11.

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  • A podcast by This American Life, called Serial became a pop culture phenomenon in 2014 and provided a ‘breakout’ moment for the medium, which had already gained a sticky audience over the years.
  • This resulted in many new podcasts from established media houses and amateur creators starting to pop up.
  • Ad revenue of podcasts has steadily increased, and a 2021 projection puts it at $1 Billion.

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