How to Listen To Podcasts

Not too long ago, people would be set on listening to radio shows at specific times and listening intently. It was a familial and communal event. 

The times we live in now are much more individualistic. People watching and listening to media in their own time, and as such radio and newspapers became slow. They didn’t cater to the millennial need of immediacy.

Millennials changed this in subsequent years with the rise in multimedia platforms and blogs, aided by the success of social media, a revolution in the way that information was consumed began and consequently saw the rise of the podcast.

But, with so many podcast options to choose from, how do we listen to a podcast?

Where did Podcasts come from?

In 2004, ‘podcasts’ were coined as a neologism from Apple combining ‘iPod + broadcasts’ which could create news items that people had missed on the radio at a later time.That slowly started to build a sector for creators to produce the content regarding specific interests, rather than waiting for a scheduled show on a radio station – it was right there at your disposal.

Fast-forward to today and there are millions of podcasts to choose from. Podcasts vary from literature, to pop culture, politics, sport, music, Greek mythology, rock music and even sexology. But how do people who aren’t that tech savvy get into the wonderful world of podcasts?

First, dispel the myth that you have to be tech-savvy.

There are a variety of ways to get in tune with your favourite podcasts. The simplest way to listen to a podcast would be to use the iTunes podcast app that comes with any portable Apple device. Simply open the app, search podcasts with the name of the podcast you want – or a keyword if you’re looking for a type of show – then click ‘subscribe’ and watch all the shows feed into your podcast list. Each week when the hosts have uploaded a new show, you will get an update to inform you that it is ready to be listened to.

Other ways to listen to podcasts could be on SoundCloud and Spotify, the music streaming device. Search your favourite shows and click ‘follow’ and you will receive a notification every time there is a new episode available to listen.

If you have an Android phone, you have so many options including Pocket Casts, Stitcher which all work in the same way as the Apple Podcasts app. Just search the podcast you want to listen to, click subscribe and enjoy at your convenience. It couldn’t be any easier.

What is the hype around podcasts, anyway?

Podcasts give listeners the ability to tap into like-minded presenters who focus on topics that they are passionate about. It gives the hosts the opportunity to generate a quality show and reach out to a community that would appreciate their insight by dedicating as little as a few minutes to their show each day, week, or month.

They keep us all connected to a family of listeners, as well as creating the best possible way to support people who want to get into the media and have taken opportunities to produce content into their hands. WBhile many hosts do their shows for fun, a significant amount do it for free. They rely on sponsorship and listener subscriptions and reviews to help them grow in influence and deliver you their best possible product.

Podcast networks such as the ShoutOut Network (UK), Loud Speakers Network (US) and other large families of podcasters have provided a voice for people to connect on a larger scale. No longer are podcasts just the voice of the nerdy white guy who used the platform to geek out about comics and other elements of science fiction. It has grown into the place where the marginalised have a space to talk about their interests with a community that want them.

Alex Holmes, Content Editor.