A podcast is an episodic audio program or digital file series that can be downloaded on a personal mobile device or computer. Unlike a radio broadcast, a podcast episode is available to listen to at any time. Podcasts typically have a theme, covering a myriad of topics including books, politics, business, true crime, relationships, and popular culture (Watson & Pollette, 2005; Gray, 2021).

Podcasts first appeared in 2001 when Apple released the first iPod. In the article The Era of Audio: the rise of podcasts, Karneva explains how this device set the stage for a new form of audio production and consumption. The term ‘podcast’ is the combination of the word “iPod” and “broadcasting” and was first suggested by Ben Hammersley in a 2004 article in The Guardian written in response to what he called the “Audible revolution” wherein, ‘online radio is booming thanks to iPods, cheap audio software and weblogs’ (Hammersley, 2004). 

As public interest in podcasts has grown, podcast platforms and formats have emerged and expanded offering both podcasters and their audiences more ways to listen and interact (Karneva, 2021). These formats include video podcasts which combine both audio and visual components and episodes can easily be posted to Youtube. Another format is the live podcast wherein podcasters host their episode(s) in front of a live audience. 

Podcasts can be utilized as both entertainment and education. Hemming writes about the use of podcasts This American Life, Radiolab, and StoryCorps and how they can be used in K-12 classrooms (Hemming, 2017). 


Gray, C. (2021, June 29). What is a Podcast? An Explanation in Plain English. The Podcast Host. Retrieved from https://www.thepodcasthost.com/listening/what-is-a-podcast/.

Hammersley, B. (2004, February 12). Audible Revolution: Why Online Radio is Booming. The Guardian. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/feb/12/broadcasting.digitalmedia. 

Hennig, N. (2017). Podcasts in Context. Library Technology Reports, 53(2), 30+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A510481055/AONE?u=glasuni&sid=bookmark-AO...

Karneva, S. (2021, September 8). The Era of Audio: The rise of podcasts. Diggit Magazine. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://www.diggitmagazine.com/articles/era-audio-rise-podcasts. 

Watson , S., & Pollette, C. (2005, March 26). How Podcasting Works. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved from https://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/podcasting.htm.