Podcast the new kind of Radio

Podcasting, once an obscure method of spreading information, has become a recognized medium for distributing audio content, whether it is for corporate or personal use. A podcast is similar to a radio program. The word “Pod” derives from the media player iPod developed by Apple, and “cast” taken from the term “broadcast”. We can hold Apple responsible for the success of podcast. The podcast was first created by Adam Curry, former MTV Video Jockey; with the cooperation of RSS feed developer Dave Winer which was a sophisticated method of broadcasting that made audio content available to listeners at their convenience.

Radio shows can only be audio, but podcasts can be anything be it audio, video, PDFs, word documented (ETC). People can choose from series of episodes that may need a subscription. In a Podcast, the Length is a variable, not a requirement. On the other hand, radio shows are timed down to the second, whereas podcasts can vary in length. The long travel times and access to mobile phones have provided a huge boost to the podcasting community.

A major chunk of the shows on radio have about 37% commercials. You can subscribe to a podcast using something like Apple’s podcast app and a new show will be automatically downloaded when it’s available. Radio is “Broadcasting” where podcasting is a bit narrower in focus. It is delivered live typically and can reach as far as its signal. A podcast is recorded and can be heard across the world. But a defeatist thing about a podcast is that we cannot stream songs or music for copyright issues nor can we hear anything after the episode has finished. Even though you may feel and sound like you are on the radio, you don’t have to deal with one of the radio’s biggest problems: identification. You don’t have to tell people who and what they are listening to every few minutes.

The world has seen a major growth with coming in of podcasts where we browse through different topics according to our choices and India is not behind with their own set of podcasts which are available on the internet. Most interesting part of having podcast is that the anchor or presenter can say words in slang language or informal way which may sometimes be abusive.

India is seeing podcast getting popular between the masses especially the youth who are the major contributors to their success. The AIB podcast is one of the programs where the team interviews celebrities in India and abroad. Their recent interviews with Shahrukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are a major hit. Stand-up comedian Tanmay Bhat prepare questions to ask international actors like Kunal Nayar from “The Big Bang Theory” fame and Colin Mochrie who is a renowned comedian from the UK about their profession and their connect with India.

Indians are never behind with their own versions of the things happening in the west and one of them is Cyrus Broacha who has a podcast called “Cyrus says: who gives sarcastic views on urban India, politics, sports and food among a few.

The home entrepreneur show with Jyotsna Ramachandran inspires people where home-based entrepreneurs share their stories and strategies to build a successful business from home. Such podcasts have become a way to educate people and give advice to people who need it. This shows in programs made by Kit Patrick who shows “History of India” by creating audio recordings which can be heard all over the world putting forward the Indian diaspora on a world stage. Listening to the news has also become easy for those who try to hear it on the radio with coming in of podcast like Indicast which is news based platform downloaded in the form of mp3. Whereas in India, private radio channels are not allowed to disseminate news to the public.

Former American basketball player and sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal has his own podcast called “The Big Podcast with Shaq” on Podcastone. His sardonic way of speaking on present NBA playoffs tinkles away every listener’s bone. Similarly, did you know that Alec Baldwin has a podcast of his own? He has 133 episodes in his archive with a show called “Here’s The Thing” with Alec Baldwin which features “intimate and honest conversations” with “artists, policy makers and performers voicing guests like Michael Douglas, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow and Chris Rock.

Radio is a success because of its portability and affordability within the public. It is a medium where language/literacy is not a barrier especially in our country where the maximum podcast is transmitted in English. Radio communicates with a larger audience catering to the people from all walks of life be it rural or urban. Wherein podcast is an emerging sector within the people with a new dimension to the topics which radio cannot touch. Although podcast is still limited to people who have access to mobile or computer. Many of these podcasts are taking advantage of loose points in radio and pulling in the listeners, which mean they need to upscale their package.

Globally Podcasts were popular a couple of years ago but have fallen with time and it’s still in its emerging stage in India.


Akash Sur

A few selected minds are gifted with a dream of writing and only a few words can describe their whole world. A writer by the day and a philosopher by the night. I believe that tactfulness and fearless approach is a writer USP. An aspiring journalist, foodie and an automobile enthusiast.

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