History Of Podcasting
For millions of people, podcasts are the number ONE source of news and current events. As well as a top source for tons of entertaining and educational content. But, how did this come to be? Understanding the rise of podcasting is not only interesting, but it makes us appreciate how far podcasting has come.
Initially coined as “audio blogging”, the history of podcasting is actually quite expansive. We hear about names like Dave Winer and Adam Curry, and even Adam Carolla in the early days of podcasting. But, we know that the world of podcasting was first launched in the 1980’s, before we had a solid understanding of the internet and its power. It was this lack of understanding, combined with limitations in technology, that slowed the growth of podcasting.
With the advent of modern tech, a new way of podcasting was born. The type of podcasting we know and love today. So, where did podcasting start and how did it become so popular? And how did we get where we are today? You’ll know the answer to all these questions by the end of this article!
Let’s dive right in!
History Of Podcasting
Podcasting before 2000
Podcasts or “audio blogs” actually predate the internet. Back then, podcasts were simply personal audio and video files, or audio and video content, that could be shared. Eventually, we encountered the creation of broadband internet and the online radio, which both played a key role in the growth of podcasts a little later down the road.
Podcasting in 2004
A couple of important things happened in 2004 that gave rise to the world of podcasting. Most importantly, the creation of RSS feeds. But wait. What is an RSS feed? All you need to know is that before RSS, it was really hard to create and share podcasts. Dave Winer and Adam Curry can be credited with this feat, as they were the ones that put their heads together and figured out a way for the public to access and download “audio blogs”.
In 2004, the term “podcasting” was used for the first time in a major newspaper publication. Written by Ben Hammersly in The Guardian, you can read his publication here. 2004 was also the year of Liberated Syndication, or Libsyn. In October of 2004, Libsyn launched as the first podcast service provider!
Podcasting in 2005
By early 2005, there were already tons of podcast directories floating around (like the one previously found Yahoo), and new podcasts were being created everyday. We also saw the creation of many new podcast networks and the release of the first how-to podcasting book, Do-It-Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane.
In 2005, President George W. Bush was the first president to have a speech delivered as a podcast. “Podcast” was also declared the “word of the year” by New Oxford American Dictionary in 2005.
Finally, 2005 ended with the creation of Apple iTunes 4.9, which for the first time supported podcasts. This dramatically increased the ease of which people could access podcasts and was the start of podcasting as we know it.
Podcasting from 2006 – 2013
The year 2006 opens with a historic keynote speech from none other than previous CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs. In his speech, he demonstrated how to make a podcast using Garageband and changed the podcasting world forever. From this moment on, there was no shortage of new podcasts. A number of podcasts were being created on a daily basis and a number of podcast creators found their voice.
In 2007, Ricky Gervais set a world record for the most downloaded podcasts, with over 200,000 downloads. This goes to show just how popular podcasts were becoming at this time, albeit some podcasts get over 1 million downloads in today’s world of podcasting.
By 2009, studies showed that at least 43% of Americans had “heard of” podcasts, and that 23% had consumed at least one podcast, or downloaded media of some sort.
Fast forward to 2011, and we see Adam Carolla reset the world record for downloaded podcasts with over 59 million downloads – wow! And by 2013, Apple announced that they had reached over 1 billion podcast subscribers.
Podcasting from 2014 – today
By 2014, tons of people were listening to podcasts. But, the growth didn’t stop there.
In 2015, former President Barack Obama was interviewed by Marc Maron on the WTF podcast. This not only garnered a ton of views, but it also re-introduced the idea of listening to podcasts as a source of news and current events.
It’s also important to mention an important court case that took place in 2017. A patent troll, called Personal Audio, LLC tried to sue several podcasters, on the premise that they had created podcasting. In the end, the court ruled in favor of the podcasters, and set a new standard in the podcasting world. This new standard being that ANYONE can create and host a podcast.
Finally, in 2019, we saw Spotify rise as one of the top sources of podcasts in the world, alongside Apple Podcasts and Amazon Podcasts. And today, there are thousands upon thousands of podcasts to choose from. The only question left is: what will the future of podcast look like and how will your podcast fit in?
Here at Dear Media, we hope you enjoyed this brief history of podcasting!
As you can see, the podcasting industry has gone through some serious changes over the years. All of which led up to the world of podcasting we know today. While we weren’t able to include every. single. detail. that led up to the podcasts we know today, we’ve included all the main points in history that help us better appreciate this industry today. To stay updated on the latest in podcasting, see this post on Latest Podcast Trends, HERE.
For more entertaining and technical articles on podcasting, head on over to the Dear Media Blog. And, as always, we encourage you to leave any and all questions or comments below! Let’s make podcasting history together!