What Is a Podcast, and Why Does It Matter?

These days, podcasts are one of the best ways for people to learn about their favorite topics, even if they’re stuck in traffic or cleaning the house. Unlike video content, podcasts enable listeners to absorb new information or relax without needing a visual aid. In just a decade, podcasting has transformed from a little-known form of media to a sensation enthralling people across the globe, with 420 million podcast listeners in the world.

Whether you’re an educator interested in bringing podcasting to your classroom or a business owner ready to expand your audience, podcasting can offer unique benefits to you. But before creating your own podcast, you’ll need to answer these simple questions: “What is a podcast, and why does it matter?”

Are you ready to get in tune with the power of podcasting? Let’s get started!

First, What Is a Podcast?

Basically, a podcast is a modern form of talk radio. Most people define a podcast as a digital audio file you can listen to online with streaming services like Spotify. Apple introduced podcasts in 2004, specifically for the iPod. The term “podcast” is actually a clever blend of the words “iPod” and “broadcast.” 

If you’re interested in creating your own podcast, consider these primary podcast types to start off strong!

The Interview Podcast

An interview podcast is a type of podcast where the host interviews a guest, often an expert or someone with an exciting perspective, about a particular topic or subject matter.

The interview aims to share information, insights, and stories with the audience and to provide an opportunity for listeners to learn from and get inspired by the guest’s experiences and expertise. Some famous examples of interview podcasts include The Joe Rogan Experience, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and WTF with Marc Maron.

The Monologue Podcast

A monologue podcast is a type of podcast where the host speaks directly to the audience for an extended period, often on a specific topic or theme. Unlike interview podcasts, where there are guests and conversations, a monologue podcast is typically delivered by a single host who shares their thoughts, opinions, stories, and experiences in a more structured and planned format. 

Monologue podcasts typically cover many topics, such as politics, pop culture, self-help, history, and more. Some popular examples of monologue podcasts include The Daily by The New York Times, Pod Save America, and The Tim Ferriss Show.

The Storytelling Podcast

A storytelling podcast is a type of podcast where the host or guests tell stories, usually true stories about real events or experiences. These stories can range from personal anecdotes to historical events and can be serious, funny, emotional, or downright bizarre.

Listening to a storytelling podcast is like being transported to a different world. The stories can be so immersive that you feel like you’re right there in the moment, experiencing everything the storyteller describes.

Hearkening back to old radio dramas, some storytelling podcasts even incorporate sound effects, music, and other elements to enhance the storytelling experience. It’s like listening to a movie or a play, but with your imagination doing all the heavy lifting.

6 Reasons Why Podcasts Matter

Even more important than asking, “What is a podcast?” ask yourself why they matter! Podcasts are an incredibly powerful tool to connect with like-minded people, voice your opinions, and build authority. And you can use podcasts for everything from entertainment and education to marketing and branding.

When it comes to podcasting, the world is your oyster! Here are a few reasons why podcasts are one of the most important forms of media in the modern world.

  • Podcasts Help You Build Authority and Credibility

Podcasting is a fun, easy way to share your expertise and gain your audience’s trust. Whether you’re a business owner interested in expanding your reach or a student demonstrating your knowledge, creating a podcast creates a special digital space for like-minded individuals to form a close-knit community of thought leaders.

Because it offers value and entertainment, podcasting can help brands gain more interest than paid advertisements and influencer marketing. Today’s consumers are tech-savvy individuals who know how to research before purchasing a product or service. But podcasting differs greatly because it allows listeners to connect with who you are as a person or company.

  • They Make It Easy for You to Reach a New Audience

Even if you’re creating a podcast for fun, you can make friends with people from all walks of life along the way! For instance, you can speak with industry experts about topics of interest to support your platform and grow your audience. This way, you can get in touch with their audience while they connect with yours. 

And since anyone with a streaming service can listen to your podcast, it’s a great way to get in touch with your audience without overextending your budget. 

  • Creating Podcasts Is Empowering

We all have a story to tell, and creating podcasts allows you to speak your truth. When you’re making a podcast, you’ll learn more about how to keep an audience engaged through the spoken word, and you might even expand your vocabulary! If your podcast involves interviewing others, you can hone your skills as a conversationalist to bring out the best in your guests.

Creating podcasts is a simple and effective way to share an important message with others. Whether your podcast relates to a worthy cause or a topic you’re passionate about, sharing your views with the world is supremely empowering. Podcasts are essential because they give you a platform to make positive changes on a global scale.

  • Podcasts Make It Easy to Repurpose Content

Podcasts can be a powerful tool for repurposing content because they allow you to present existing content in a new and engaging format. For example, say you’ve written a blog post that has done well with your audience. You could easily turn that blog post into a podcast episode by reading it aloud and adding some commentary and insights.

Podcasts can be an effective way to repurpose existing content by giving it a new life in a format that’s easy and convenient for your audience to consume. So if you’ve got some great content lying around, consider turning it into a podcast episode and giving it a second chance to shine!

  • Podcasting Is Cost-Effective

If you’re ready to start podcasting and let the world hear your voice, it’s easier than ever to jump in! The great thing about creating podcasts is that you won’t need a ton of fancy equipment to get started. You’ll only need a suitable DAW platform and an internet-connected device. 

Even with the low barrier to entry, any podcast you create will continue to support your efforts for years to come. This is because podcasts have a longer shelf life than other forms of marketing content, and people may even go back to catch up on your content, starting with podcast episodes you released long ago. 

  • Podcasts Can Cultivate a Well-Educated Society

Some podcast listeners do not have time to pick up a book and get in-depth information about topics they enjoy. However, podcasts present an opportunity for people to further their education, even while they’re stuck in traffic or cleaning the house. While listening to podcasts, people can learn directly from thought leaders and expand their worldview. 

Plus, not everyone absorbs information by reading from a textbook or with visual aids alone. This is where podcasting comes in. With podcasts, auditory learners thrive as they are able to learn new information in a better way. 

If you’re an educator or a student, you can use podcasts to support learning materials from the classroom. Teachers can repurpose lecture content into an easy-to-digest format through podcasting. Meanwhile, students can use podcasts to further their education outside of the classroom. Students can even create their own podcasts about topics they’re discussing in the classroom and collaborate with their peers. When it comes to podcasting, the possibilities remain endless!

Find Out More with Soundtrap for Education

Soundtrap for Education is the ultimate audio production platform for students and teachers to create and edit audio recordings. Pupils and educators can easily tap into their artistic side with this intuitive audio platform. The platform facilitates a creative learning environment for every subject, regardless of the student’s age or experience level.

With Soundtrap for Education, students and teachers can collaborate with advanced cloud technology at any time or place. In addition, the platform comes equipped with a robust resource portal. The portal comes equipped with an external curriculum, and lesson plans to complete the educational experience. Teachers can ensure that student collaboration is safe and secure with invite-only groups in Soundtrap’s versatile digital environment. 

Ready to enhance your educational experience with an intuitive cloud-based audio production platform? Get started today with Soundtrap for Education! And share this article with other teachers in your network to spread the joy of learning through sound.