Broadcaster how-to guide: Podcasts

| November 23, 2020

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A podcast is an audio file that can be downloaded from the internet to a computer or mobile device for listening on demand. You can download them when desired, or you can receive them automatically on your phone or other device through a subscription.

Beyond that technical definition, what makes an audio file a podcast is complicated because there are many types of podcasts. The ultimate power of this highly flexible format lies in the sheer variety of possible podcasts. Listeners can find exactly what they want. Producers can use whatever style they choose.

Many people think that podcasting is the next generation of audio programming. Podcasts don’t have the restrictions that programs broadcast from a radio station have—there is no time limit, there is room for opinion and advocacy, and there is no required or standard production style.

A podcast can be an ongoing series of audio programs published on a regular basis. It can also be a limited series of programs available all at once. Many radio programs are made available as podcasts so listeners can hear them at their convenience.

Some podcasts feature a single voice talking about a particular subject. Some have two hosts chatting with each other, telling a story, or giving information. Some are documentaries, some are magazine-style. There are panel podcasts, interview podcasts, fiction podcasts, and podcasts that feature music. Some podcasts are designed for a general audience, but the majority are made for listeners with specific interests as varied as politics, movies, model trains, religion, or economics. There are podcasts for people who love football or cooking. There are podcasts that talk about new books, fashion, gardening, or how to create an NGO. There are even podcasts about podcasts. Podcasts come from all around the world on almost any subject imaginable. And yes, there are a few podcasts for farmers. Not many, but they exist.

This Broadcaster how-to guide contains the following sections:

  • How popular are podcasts?
  • How popular are podcasts in Africa?
  • Who are your listeners?
  • How can podcasts help me serve my listeners better?
  • How can podcasts help me produce better programs?
  • Making a podcast
  • Production style:
    • single host, single voice;
    • single host with guests;
    • magazine style;
    • two hosts;
    • the group;
    • build your own
  • Publishing your podcast
  • Attracting listeners.