Podcasting Definition: What Does Podcasting Mean?

The Complete Guide to Podcasting

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Podcasting is the process of creating and hosting audio content that can be distributed and accessed over the internet. With an abundance of podcast formats available, including talk shows, interviews, storytelling, and more, there are countless opportunities to create engaging and informative content.

Today, we’re going to be sharing an in-depth podcasting definition, designed to give you a behind-the-scenes insight into what podcasting is all about.

Podcasting has become exceptionally popular in recent years, offering a convenient way for people from all walks of life to connect with their audience, wherever they are. Currently, there are more than 2.4 million podcasts operating globally, and demand for this audio-first content is rising. Around 62% of American consumers now listen to podcasts for entertainment, information, and education.

Yet, even as the popularity of podcasting continues to grow, there are still countless business owners and creators who don’t fully understand what podcasting means.

Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all.

The Definition of Podcast

Podcasting is the art of creating and hosting podcasts for people to listen to around the world. A podcast is a form of audio content, created for a range of purposes. The name comes from the word “ipod” and broadcast, and it’s relatively common in the audio recording landscape today.

Though the word podcast comes from the “Ipod” and Apple landscape, anyone can create a podcast, regardless of whether they have an Apple device. Today, a podcast is very similar in style to a radio broadcast, with the main differences being the fact that they’re delivered over the internet, and are often available “on demand”, rather than being hosted according to a live schedule.

Marketing professionals and brands are investing more heavily on podcasts today because they’re easier to create than a TV show or hosted video files, and they still allow companies to engage with customers through various platforms and search engine environments. Any brand can build a podcast audience, without having to collaborate with radio stations to get content to their audience.

What is Podcasting? An Introductory Podcasting Definition

Podcasting is simply creating and hosting your own podcast. There are many different types of podcasts to choose from, and endless ways to promote them.

Typically, they’re distributed using via popular apps like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or via RSS feeds to the computers and smartphones of subscribed users. However, they can be embedded directly into websites or social media pages via a media player, for users to listen to whenever they choose.

Podcast files can also be uploaded (sometimes automatically depending on your service), to streaming platforms like Spotify, Google, and Apple Podcasts (or iTunes). This allows people to view your audio files on both a dedicated profile, as well as listed as new episodes on the accompanying search pages for each service.

Although podcasting does require users to invest in some specialist tools, such as a microphone, audio editing software, and a podcast hosting service, it’s often easier and cheaper than distributing other forms of content. There’s no required length, style, or format a creator has to follow when producing a podcast. Additionally, while some podcasts do include visual content, most are audio-only.

Podcasts are often created on an episodic basis, with episodes connected to a specific theme or topic. Some podcasters read from a script, while others improvise on-demand.

Initially, podcasting was extremely popular among musicians and bloggers, looking to connect with their fans, through an alternative to the traditional radio show. However, over time, as demand for digital content has grown, podcasting has grown more popular among a range of creators.

Channels like Apple Podcasts have increased access to podcasts for everyday consumers, as well as offering creators new opportunities to monetize their content through ads, sponsorships, branded shout-outs, influencer interactions, and even subscriptions.

How Does Podcasting Work?

As mentioned above, podcasting is a relatively simple process for most content creators. It involves creating audio files which can be hosted in the cloud, and distributed across the internet to smartphone and computer users, via a podcasting service. These services store all of the episodes of a podcast in one location, and automate the generation of RSS feeds.

The feeds created by podcasting services list all of the episodes for the content, and can also automatically submit content to podcast directories. As interest in podcasting has evolved, the number of hosting platforms has also increased. Examples include:

  • Podbean
  • Simplecast
  • Buzzsprout

Podcast directories are among the most popular way for users to listen to audio content. Tools like Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Blubrry, and TuneIn provide instant access to lists of available podcasts for consumers to listen to whenever they choose. However, podcasts can also be directly uploaded to a range of other channels, such as YouTube, Patreon, and SoundCloud.

One of the things that has made podcasting so appealing to content creators, is the production process is relatively straightforward. Most smartphones will allow users to record content and edit it with minimal investment. And it’s relatively easy to set up a microphone to create files.

Once the file has been developed, creators can save it as an MP3 and upload it to their podcast hosting platform or website. Most of the time, the MP3 file will have an URL inserted within the XML document, to connect it with a particular creator.

Podcast hosts can even register with content aggregators like Feedly or AllTop, to be added to a directory where users can find new content.

What is a Podcasting Format? Podcast Format Examples

There are various factors which can help to differentiate a podcast from the other audio content available on the market. The most important thing for many creators to consider is how they’re going to “format” or organize their show’s content. A podcast format is how you keep your content organized, and ensure it appeals consistently to the right listeners.

Podcast formats are different to podcast structures. A structure outlines the step-by-step management of the content, such as defining a specific intro, the content of the episode, and a conclusion.

The most common podcast formats include:


Interview-style podcasting involves a host presenting either pre-defined, or improvised questions to a guest on the show. After a brief introduction, the host will guide the conversation around the topic of the episode with each question, asking the guest to provide expertise and feedback. Interviews can be a relatively straightforward choice for podcasting beginners, as the guests often do most of the talking. Plus, they provide listeners with a variety of viewpoints. However, finding a guest can be complex, and it’s often important to create show notes to guide the content.


Another popular podcast format involves a single speaker sharing a monologue based on their own experience, and expertise. This style is commonly used by professionals who have specific information they want to share, without the need for additional input. Many beginners in the podcast environment start with this format because it’s extremely simple. However, it does require careful planning to ensure the right topics are covered in each episode.


Conversational podcasts are similar to interviews in that they often include more than one person. However, in a conversational format, there’s no “guest”, everyone involved on the stream is a host, sharing insights without specific questions agreed in advance. Conversational podcasts work best when the people involved have a natural rapport. In many cases, each host will play a specific role in the conversation. One might provide comedy or commentary, while the other tells stories. The best podcast options in the conversational landscape play on the connection between the people involved.

Panel podcasts

Panel podcasts built on the conversational format, but introduce more people to get involved in the conversation. A panel podcast can follow the interview model, with a single host and a variety of guests. Alternatively, everyone in the panel could share the same level of input. Unlike standard interviews, a panel podcast often feels more conversational and natural. It’s designed to seem as though you’re listening to a group of friends discussing a topic.

Non-fiction podcasts

If you’ve ever listened to an audio news story, you may have a familiarity with the non-fiction podcasting style. Non-fiction podcasts tell narratives about real-life events. For instance, you might create a true-crime podcast where you discuss recent events in the news. You could chronicle expeditions, or talk about recent sporting news. Non-fiction podcasts are flexible, as they can include just one host, or multiple people talking at the same time.

Fiction podcasts

Fiction podcasts are similar to non-fiction podcasts in that they rely heavily on storytelling. However, in this instance, the discussion revolves around a story that isn’t true. It often sounds a little like a theatrical production, with multiple people playing different roles in the discussion. Fiction podcasts are useful for natural storytellers, who want to share a book-style experience through audio. However, they do require a lot of initial planning and writing.

Repurposed content

Many content creators, including business leaders and bloggers, can repackage existing content into the podcast format. For instance, rather than just giving customers a chance to read a blog, a company could transform that blog into a podcast users can listen to. Often, this also involves adding additional commentary and insights throughout the content. Repurposed podcasts can be an excellent way to increase the reach of common content online.

Video podcasts

Video podcasts are a little less common in the podcasting world, as they’re often referred to as vlogs or standard videos. With video podcasts, audio content is paired with visual content. It might involve human hosts and guests sitting in a studio, or it could feature animation designed to provide context into the discussion being had. Video podcasting is usually valuable for companies and creators who want to reach a wider audience, across channels like YouTube.

How Can You Start Podcasting?

Usually, starting a new podcast is a little simpler than creating a video series, as it requires less content production and planning. However, there are still some initial requirements creators will need to consider when setting up a podcast. For instance, you’ll need:

  • A microphone: Since capturing audio is one of the core tasks in any podcasting venture, you’ll need a way to capture your voice. USB microphones, mobile device microphones, and professional-quality recording mics are all common in the podcasting world. The higher the quality of the microphone, the better the audio will sound.
  • Recording applications: Many devices already include free applications for recording, such as the Apple voice memo app. There are also audio software options users can download online, such as Audacity. Many of these tools not only capture content, but also provide tools to help users clip and edit their content according to their specific needs.
  • Podcast hosting platforms: Once a podcast has been recorded, it can be distributed using a platform such as Spreaker or Podbean. These podcast hosting platforms allow users to upload their content into the cloud, so it can be distributed effectively across a range of channels.

The exact format of creating a podcast can vary depending on the situation. Most of the time, it involves a creator building a script, or determining a topic for their podcast before they begin recording audio. After recording the content, the creator edits it to remove any blank space or unnecessary content, before eventually uploading it to the podcast hosting platform.

From within the hosting platform, the creator can then create code to embed their podcast into their website, produce an RSS feed, or distribute the content to podcasting platforms.

The Pros and Cons of Podcasting

Podcasting has a lot of benefits. Audio files are relatively easy to create in most cases, and require very little initial investment. It’s also possible for creators to build content connected to virtually any topic or industry they choose, which allows for a lot of versatility. However, there are some downsides too. For instance, distributing podcast content effectively across a range of channels can be complex, particularly if you want to boost your listener count.

Pros 👍

  • Simplicity: Podcasts are very easy to create. Anyone with a microphone can download audio software to create their content, then use a hosting platform to distribute their content. They can also produce content related to any theme they choose.
  • Distribution: Thanks to podcast hosting platforms, it’s relatively straightforward to distribute the content you create across a variety of channels. You can even automatically upload content to some of the most popular environments worldwide.
  • Flexibility: As mentioned above, podcasters can create content related to virtually any industry or topic they can think of. There are very few communication guidelines or regulations in place to restrict free speech. However, the same can’t be said of many video distribution platforms.
  • Engagement: Podcasts are easy for audiences to listen to. They don’t require the same level of commitment or effort as watching a video or reading a blog. This can make it easier for content creators to build awareness and connect with customers wherever they are.
  • Monetization: There are various ways for podcasting professionals to make money via the content they create. Options include everything from embedding ads into podcasts, to engaging in sponsorship deals, and even charging subscription costs to members.
  • Growth: Podcasting can be an excellent marketing tool. It allows users to provide customers with information about a product or service in a fun, engaging, and accessible format. In many cases, the world’s biggest brands have begun producing podcasts for their marketing strategy, so they can connect with customers anywhere.

The Evolution of Podcasting

Podcasting and podcast episodes have existed since the 1980s, in the form of “audio blogs”, but it’s only recently that podcasting has really begun to gain steam.

In recent years, countless companies, from NPR to the BBC have begun creating their own podcast channels, designed to engage, convert and educate audiences. What’s more, as demand for great podcast content has grown, the number of tools available to help users create their first podcast and stream it over IOS (Iphone), Android, and web channels has increased.

Today, just about anyone can create and host a digital audio file online, for users to playback via their devices, mp3 player, or computer screen. There are even tools to help you build your own podcast websites, where you can interact with your podcast listeners and create communities.

As consumers continue to embrace the digital world, and search for more accessible content, the demand for podcast recording will only continue. If you’re not invested in podcasting yet, now could be the time to dive in.

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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