What made Podcasts such an approachable pursuit?
Over the last few decades, podcasts have risen from internet curiosity to a major industry now worth over a billion dollars annually.
Though an increasing availability through technology has played a significant part, just as important has been infrastructural aspects that have guided us to a broader age of audio content. Taking a look at some of the components of modern podcasting, we want to examine how this easily engageable state of interactive entertainment has come to be.
In terms of introducing new podcasters into the fold, the most important developments have come from the lowering of barriers to entry. In traditional means of audio-based broadcast media, getting involved was an expensive pursuit. Through these established methods, the cost of equipment and studio-space alone could easily cost upwards of £15,000 just to set up.
In the modern space, the lowest-level equipment can sometimes be found with people’s existing hardware. Equipment like webcams and headset microphones have been popular in this regard. While not being used for any serious podcasting effort, such entry-level tech can at least serve to introduce and give inspiration and direction to upcoming podcasters. From here, cheaper equipment like the much-famed Blue Yeti or Blue Snowball microphones have opened the door to thousands of newcomers.
Supporting the technology are the various avenues which have grown to maintain modern broadcasting. One of the direct forms this takes is websites like our own, which work to both promote original content and guide users to other standouts which we feel might be appreciable to our readers.
More indirectly, the supporting infrastructure of online websites is illustrated by greater review and comparison sites. Hardly unique to podcasts, these services work outside of the direct systems they support to generate traffic through related popularity. For example, the best bingo sites reviews rely on ratings and detailing of special features like free games and deposit bonuses to establish themselves, and grow their followed industry.
For podcasts, which are more difficult to rank on anything approaching an objective scale, direct reviews can more difficult, but similar ideas hold true. Working to separate tones, topics, themes, and concepts, websites built to support the greater podcasting sphere have a powerfully positive feedback loop on growing awareness.
As with the technological side of the equation, considerable thanks here needs to go to the free or low-cost avenues, which new casters have to engage with their audience.
The streaming service of Twitch is one of the more popular examples of this. Originally built as a game-streaming service, Twitch’s just chatting form of interaction is routinely the most popular, regularly drawing in hundreds of thousands of concurrent users.
At this point, podcasts are as accepted by the public as standard as talkback radio was for many of our older readers growing up. Through a lowering of technological barriers to entry and a vast support network of websites and services, podcasts have become an offshoot of the radio industry too profound to ignore.
For newcomers looking to get involved, this has generated opportunities the likes of which have never before existed. Whether covering a niche interest or giving a unique take on popular topics, getting started in modern podcasting is easier than ever. For both personal fulfilment and the future state of a still-growing industry, if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, don’t be afraid to test the waters.