Depending on the medium and structure there can be different types of podcasts, let’s take a look…
Most people associate podcasts with audio even though a podcast doesn’t have to be audio. Audio is the most popular form of podcasting for three reasons. It is easier to produce audio because you don’t need cameras, lighting and video editing software in addition to audio skills and equipment. Audio is more portable which makes it easier to consume. Also, the hosting costs of video are prohibitive for hobbyist podcasters.
Video podcasts are becoming more popular. Many podcast networks like TWIT produce audio and video versions of their shows simultaneously. Web TV shows are sometimes distributed as video podcasts.
Enhanced Podcasts are podcasts that have chapter marks and can display images, artwork and hyperlinks along with the audio and are playable only in iOS devices. They make a podcast seem more like a presentation. Garage Band removed support for producing enhanced podcasts in its recent update.
A podcast novel is also referred to as a serialized audiobook or podcast audiobook. It combines an audiobook with a podcast and the novel is distributed in episodes via RSS Feed.
PDF / ePub Podcasts
Technically, any media file that is distributed via RSS Feed is a podcast. You can publish a podcast that distributes PDFs or ePub documents if that tickles your fancy. Although there are PDF and ePub podcasts, I’ve never utilized podcasting in this way and don’t have any experience with it.
- An audio file that is playable from your website (but not enclosed in an RSS Feed) is NOT a podcast.
- Youtube videos are NOT podcasts. (unless they are also separately set up as video podcasts)
- Live streaming audio is NOT a podcast
- An email newsletter with a media file attached is NOT a podcast.
- An iPod attached to the end of a fishing line is NOT a podcast either.
WHAT ABOUT THE DIFFERENT FORMATS OF PODCAST?
Here are a list of the most popular formats:
- Interview ← Most common
- Solo Commentary
- Scripted Storytelling
- Fiction or Podcast Theater
- Non-fiction or News
- Bite-sized content or Series
A good test to determine if a web show is a podcast is to check and see if it is in iTunes. If it is in iTunes or other podcatchers then it is a podcast. If it isn’t in iTunes (or the others) it still could be a podcast but it has to be capable of being added to the iTunes directory if it is to be correctly called a podcast.
– Time Shifted Media Consumption
The RSS Feed allows your media content to be time-shifted.
Just like a PVR/DVR allows you to record content from your TV and watch it whenever you want, podcasts allow you to fit your consumption into your own schedule. You can subscribe to programming and listen, watch or read it at your convenience. You don’t have to be present when it is recorded live or when it is released like you do with Radio or live television programming.
There are many different ways to consume a podcast. You can push the play button on a website and listen from your desktop computer, Tablet or Smartphone. You can use an app like the iOS podcast app or Pocket Casts to download the podcast and listen to it later. These apps also allow you to stream the podcast which downloads the file while you listen to it. Some people still consume podcasts the old school way which involves downloading the file through iTunes or Zune and then syncing the shows with their iPod, iPhone, iPad or MP3 Player.
So for the podcast, consumer podcasting offers them something they have never had before. A convenient way to get the niche content they want. Because podcasts are produced by individuals that are talking about their true passions, there is content for almost every niche. Some of these subjects are too narrow to appeal to radio stations because they need to attract a broad audience in order to sell advertising.
For content creators (and marketers) podcasting is an incredibly powerful tool. You can create very specific niche programming and attract subscribers that are most likely to consume your content and buy your products/services.
But Steve Jobs called podcasting amateur hour!