History of Podcasting

History of Podcasting

Being honest, how many of you will read this blog entirely? Now imagine, it is being read to you loud while you are completing the chores, driving, or working out. Even better, imagine listening to a soothing voice like that of Morgan Freeman’s. Undeniably, one would be hanging on to every word while waiting for the next part eagerly. This is the beauty of podcasts, and today podcasts have become more popular than ever.

  • Here is the year 2019’s statistics for podcasting:
  • Nearly half of the US population listens to a podcast

Approximately,100 million people listen to  podcasts every week

Before digging deeper into the popularity of podcasts let us comprehend its history, how it started when, and why?

The existence of podcasts even goes before the invention of the internet. It can be dated back to the 1980s when podcasts were initially known as ‘audio blogging’. There are some speculations that the podcasting was initiated by Dave Winer and Adam Curry, the fathers of podcasting. Alike, early bloggers who wrote, podcasting allowed people to do audio blogging. However, the lack of means to these recordings resulted in an additional 10 plus years for podcasts to go viral.

The fruition of podcasts in the 2000s was the result of the discussion between Winer and curry. They were finding ways to distribute the recorded audio files. The focus of the discussion diverted mainly on videos rather than audios.

Soon after, the internet was being introduced into the world and many were not yet familiar with broadband internet connections. Concerned over the ability to download videos, internet bandwidth going waste, and the poor quality of content being downloaded Curry and Winer were working over Real Simple Syndication; a platform that allows people to create and share stories.

Following this, both Curry and Winer started working on various aspects. However, in the year 2004 Curry had developed the first podcatcher application with the help of Apple script. This application later had successfully downloaded one of the Winer’s audio blogs.  This year also saw the popularity of portable audio devices such as the iPod due to which the concept of transferring 'audio blogs' into an audio player or as an MP3 file had become mainstream. People soon started to download audio blogs into their iPod and journalist Ben Hammersley coined the term ‘podcasting’ in one of his write-ups published in The Guardian.

The Rise to Fame

The fame of podcasting had just begun in the year 2005 when it was officially added into Apple’s iTunes Music Library. Later in the year 2006, Steve Jobs in one of his talks demonstrated to the world how one can create a podcast using Mac and share it with the world.

Since then, more than 700 thousand podcasts have been produced which contains close to 30 million content.  Also, most of these podcasts are free. Two of today's most widespread podcast publishers are NPR and iHeartRadio. Both the podcast network has over 22 million continuing listeners. Few of the most popular podcasts like, TED Radio Hour, Stuff You Should Know and Planet Money belongs to these networks.