Learning about podcasts is my latest thing. It’s been fun.
A podcast is simply a pre-recorded (mostly) audio or (some) video episode made available online. They can be streamed or downloaded, generally for free.
Last estimate, there are maybe 1 million, or still fewer, podcasts now being distributed. This sounds like a lot, and in one sense it is if you take into account podcasts didn’t exist until the early 2000s. They were popular for a time, dropped off for some reason, and more recently seem to be surging again.
But podcasts relative to other media distribution platforms are still a new thing. According to Buzzsprout.com, “There is a lot of unexplored space in the podcasting industry. There are at least 600 million blogs, 23 million YouTube channels, but only 800,000 podcasts in Apple Podcasts. That means for every podcast, there are 750 blogs and 29 YouTube channels.”
Some 67 million Americans listen to a podcast every month, and this number has grown 100% in past 4 years. So podcasting is a brave new world for communicating simply, personally, inexpensively, and without barriers online, making your voice and point of view, literally, accessible to the world.
The average podcast is 30 minutes, while the average listener hangs in for 22 minutes. Interestingly, the average American commute is 25 minutes. Podcasts range in duration from 4-5 minutes to 3-4 hours.
So it would seem that if you really want to get in, grab someone’s attention, and get out, something less than 22 minutes might be optimal, but it depends upon the topic and podcaster preference, not technological constraint and generally not cost.
In the early days podcasters had to work to get their podcast RSS feed onto a variety of distribution platforms. Now, with one-stop-shopping services like Buzzsprout, the service does the work of distribution once the podcaster signs on and uploads the latest episode.
Not counting the cost of a laptop, podcasters can get started with an outlay of less than $250 for a good microphone and associated equipment. Recording and editing software, a “DAW” or digital audio workstation, like GarageBand is available for free on Apple products.
Most podcasts feature interviews or conversations, while many churches and other similar organizations that regularly produce audio content simply use the podcast medium as another way to disseminate their content. A “true podcast,” one in which the podcaster is offering original content exclusively via the podcast medium are less common but are increasing in number.
I’m researching because I’m looking hard at launching my own podcast, in the midst now of learning and deciding whether to brand the podcast on my own or as an associated expression of the ministry with which I serve, SAT-7 USA.
Time will tell.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022
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