Ashley Jayne

Podcasting and where it’s headed

Alex Mihis/Flickr


There are many different mediums of news because of growing innovations in technology. Journalism and blogging has evolved past ink and paper to onto phones, apps, radio and more. Developments in radio and mobile devices have lead to the revival of podcasts, which are once again growing  in popularity. Advocates of the podcast seem optimistic about its future in the sphere of media.

According to a Wired article about podcasting, the two biggest challenges facing podcasts are accessibility and the ability to share content. The article looks at podcasting pioneer Serial for an example of how this is overcome. As the popular podcast is working to make its shows more easy to share on social media, it has also experimented with its accessibility by starting its own Pandora station.

Another way in which podcasts have become more accessible is that most can be streamed now, instead of requiring its audience to download the content as they did before. According to an article for International Business Times, streaming has become more common than downloading because consumers have shifted to using their mobile devices more often than their computers for consumption of news. This shift, according to the article, has also benefited advertisers because it is easier to change and update advertising content in a stream-able medium than it is in a downloadable one.

It is becoming clear that podcasting now has the potential to gain larger audiences than before. However, as a Neiman Lab Hot Pod newsletter points out, podcasting gained traction with its small audiences over a decade ago. Yet, its potential as a mainstream media source has only begun to be realized in the past couple of years. The evolution of the podcast has been slow, and defining its place in the ever changing media market has been challenging. However, as an article in Vanity Fair points out, there are some real draws to the format.

According to the Vanity Fair article, podcasts are more intimate than other types of media. The author compares podcasting to radio. Podcasting and radio are similar in that they have the same potential for storytelling in a way that video cannot. It invites you to use your imagination and pay closer attention to the topic at hand without distracting visuals.

However, podcasting has the added advantage that it is not so interrupted with commercials as radio is, and content is not so centered around a certain demographic. Another added advantage of podcasts are their ability to cater to a wide range of interests. One publication can be centered around one or many topics, and release several podcasts each week that deal specifically in a niche area of the topic. This also allows advertisers to find consumers who are potentially more likely to be interested in their advertisements. For example, if I am TaylorMade and want to advertise our new putter, I might look to have advertisements on a golf publication with podcasts about putting.

As accessibility and share-ability continue to improve for podcasting, we should expect it to become a much more common part of our media consumption experience. However, it will be those two components that every podcasting channel will have to figure out in order to ever have a hope of making this format a part of our mainstream media market.

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