Podcasts - what are they?

Podcasts. They are becoming more mainstream over the past 5 years. You may have heard of them (hopefully you have heard of mine if you are reading my blog post :) one life as an expat) but you have wondered what they are exactly.

The short description

A podcast is a content source like TV or radio. What sets podcasts apart from TV and radio is that it was developed on new technology platforms like RSS feed and personal audio players. The other big difference is the user/listener decides to subscribe to a podcast and therefore receives new episodes automatically. 

The word "podcast" is said to be a portmanteau of "iPod" and "broadcast" coined in 2004 by a BBC reporter. There are also video podcasts, enhanced podcasts, podcast novels, music podcasts and more. What I find incredible is it's the newest form of content creation since film production and yet not so many people know about it.

I was definitely late to the podcast game, being an avid listener of podcasts since around 2010. I don't remember the exact time that I learned about podcasts but I enjoyed listening to NPR programming in the states and was looking for a substitute once I moved to Switzerland. 

Who is making podcasts?

Just a few years ago there was a finite number of podcasts (of any type) being created, mostly by amateurs with home equipment. Now there are whole podcasting production companies upping the content creation quality. What's nice is there is still room for the amateur in this field. 

All kinds of people are creating all podcasts with all kinds of content; religion, politics, food, wine, diet, sports, radio drama, language, it's almost overwhelming. At this point if you can think of a topic I bet there is at least one podcast covering it.

How do you find these podcasts?

If you haven't yet listened to a podcast, you can start by heading over to one life as an expat and listen to mine! 

Some of the places you can find and subscribe to podcasts are:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Podcast Directory
  • Google Play
  • Pandora
  • Stitcher
  • Soundcloud

The easiest is to download a podcast app on your smart phone and they search via that app. 

I didn't mention the best part... PODCASTS ARE FREE! So download a few episodes with no risk. If you don't like a particular podcast, delete it and search for another. BUT if you like something, be sure to rate and write a review on whatever platform you listen to. This is how you tell the creator that you are listening. It also helps other people find the show.

Here are some of my favourite podcasts:

Let me know in the comments below if you are new to podcasts and if this article was helpful. If you are not new to podcasts, let me know which podcasts you listen to, I love discovering new ones!