Are there different types and formats of podcasts?

Depending on the medium and structure there can be different types of podcasts, let’s take a look…

Audio Podcasts 

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

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

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.

Podcast Novels

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.


Here are a list of the most popular formats:

  • Interview ← Most common
  • Solo Commentary
  • Conversational
  • Scripted Storytelling
  • Fiction or Podcast Theater
  • Non-fiction or News
  • Educational
  • 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!


We will walk you through the process and make it smooth for you.

Podcast Basics


Wikipedia tell us:

podcast is a digital medium consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a neologism and portmanteau derived from “broadcast” and “pod” from the success of the iPod, as audio podcasts are often listened to on portable media players.


The word podcast is derived from a combination of two words. iPod and Broadcast.

When the term was coined most people were using Apples` iPod to listen to podcasts. So when Ben Hammersley suggested the word podcasting to describe the new method of delivering content the term stuck.

He suggested a few options in a post on The Guardian in 2004 : 

 “But what to call it? Audioblogging? Podcasting? GuerillaMedia?”

Too bad… to think I could have been a GuerillaMediaer!


A number of people have tried to change the name from podcasting to something else. The argument is that the term podcast implies that you have to have an iPod in order to listen to podcasts which of course is not true. Any device that is capable of playing an MP3 file can play an audio podcast.

Leo Laporte from This Week in Tech (TWIT) was a proponent of changing the name. He calls himself a podcaster but refers to all the shows on his network as netcasts. He prefers the word netcast and believes it is a more descriptive term for the technology.

Every couple of years someone resurfaces the idea of changing the name but it looks like the term is here to stay.

In 2005, podcasting was declared the Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. This gave the term some credibility and cemented the term as the official word for online syndicated episodic media.


Podcasting was invented in 2004 by Adam Curry and Dave Winer. One of the first podcasts was The Daily Source Code by Adam Curry.

A quick google search will reveal that there are different versions of podcasting history. Even Wikipedia’s article on the history of podcasting minimizes the importance of the RSS Feed in podcasting.


The argument is that an audio player on the internet is a podcast (even without the RSS Feed).

Audio Blogging was definitely around before podcasting but is audio on a webpage a podcast. By the original definition, it is not.

But I’ve also noticed in places like the RSS Feed has been removed from their definition.

So in order to change the history of podcasting, you have to change the definition of the word podcasting. And that does appear to be happening.

Radio Survivor Episode > Alternative Histories of Podcasting

This is a good podcast episode that takes the position that podcasting pre-dates the RSS Feed.

They argue that audio-blogging and podcasting are the same things and that radio stations were doing it long before RSS media enclosures were invented.


Describing a podcast to someone who has never been exposed to podcasting can be challenging. You can say that it is like a blog but instead of subscribing to the blog posts you subscribe and receive a media file. If they don’t know what an RSS Feed is then it can be especially difficult.

A lot of podcasters use the term Internet Radio Show when describing podcasting to newbies because everyone understands what a radio show is. And combining the concept of a radio show with the internet is easy to understand. But there is more to podcasting than “internet radio”.

There are internet radio shows that are NOT podcasts. You can listen to streaming content on the internet that is not syndicated over the internet via an RSS Feed.

A podcast is only a podcast if it is delivered via RSS Feed.


Podcasting is by definition episodic media. Therefore there have to be at least two episodes to qualify as a podcast.

Episodic media can be audio, video or pdf /ePUB content that is produced in a series.

A TV show is an example of episodic media but a standalone movie is not (unless it is part of a trilogy, for example).

Some podcasters also adopt the concept of seasons which is borrowed from television programming.


Adam Curry (The Podfather) and Dave Winer were early developers of the technology. They were working on a method of distributing audio content that could be subscribed to and distributed online.

The main point here (and what makes podcasting so powerful) is that you subscribe once and from that point on receive new episodes in the series until you either unsubscribe or the show podfades or intentionally comes to an end.

It is this syndication that makes a podcast a podcast.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Podcasting Edition

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I’m new to podcasting. Where do I begin?

Starting a podcast doesn’t have to be hard or confusing. Our Launching package is perfect for new podcasters who want to launch their podcast the right way with an expert by their side every step of the way.

What is your turnaround time for one episode?

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Do you offer expedited service?

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How do we transfer large files back and forth?

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What are my payment options?

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Can I hire you to help me start my podcast even if I plan on doing post-production myself?

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Can I request changes after an episode has been completed?

Once we’ve begun post-production on an episode there is an additional charge for requested changes.

What if I only publish one or two episodes per month?

After working with hundreds of Podcasters across every Apple Podcast category we’ve found that releasing episodes at LEAST once per week is critical to growing a podcast. For this reason, we recommend packages with 4 episodes per month. But we also understand that maybe you are starting slow. So, we have special offers for Podcasters that publish less than once per week.

Do I need custom artwork for each episode?

Custom Episode Artwork is optional, but it’s a great opportunity to show your listeners a pic of your guest (if it’s an interview) and display the Title, Episode number Etc. in an eye-catching way.

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