Did you know that 53% of Americans aged 12-54 have listened to a podcast in the last month? Podcasts are particularly popular with young people: In the US, people aged 12-34 make up 66% of podcast listeners, according to Edison Research.
With podcasts being so popular, what are they? How does one listen to a podcast? Are they free? Where do you find them?
A podcast is a program or show that’s hosted and listened to over the web. The name “podcast” originates from the early MP3 listening device “iPod” combined with “broadcast.” Podcasts share a lot of similarities with radio show broadcasts or talk shows. They generally feature a host who discusses a topic relating to the theme of the podcast.
What characterizes them as different from radio shows is that they’re accessed on multimedia players such as iPods, tablets, and smartphones. Podcasts are typically audio-only, but more and more have video companions, and they tend to be much more experimental with their formats.
There are a lot of different themes for podcasts. Podcasts may be about sports, lifestyle, media, celebrities, true crime, politics, comedy, and more. There’s a podcast for just about anyone, which is perhaps why the format is so popular. Unlike radio talk shows, there are no limitations on when and what you listen to. If you have a hobby or interest, there’s a podcast for you.
Podcast episodes vary in length and episode frequency. A podcast may be 10-20 minutes, 20-40 minutes, or even an hour or longer. Podcasts may be published on a monthly or weekly basis or, sometimes, even multiple times per week. How often new podcast episodes are released and how long they are will often depend on how easy it is to make a new episode and how much content they can fill it with.
How Do I Listen to a Podcast? Where Do I Find Podcasts?
Traditionally, radio broadcasts require you to tune in at a specific time of day on a radio device that can pick up the show’s signal. Podcasts are listened to on smartphones, MP3s, and other devices that can either download or stream audio media on demand. With 91% of Americans having a smartphone, according to Edison research, most people have access to the internet.
If you have a smartphone or computer, you can listen to podcasts just about anywhere.
Driving in the car? Connect your phone with your car’s Bluetooth. Don’t have Bluetooth in your vehicle? Try a Cassette Aux player that can connect to your phone and play audio through your car.
With it being so easy to listen to a podcast anywhere you’d like, how do you find one?
Podcasts are often found through audio streaming platforms. These platforms are like any other app that you download on your phone. Some of the most popular apps that people use to listen to podcasts are:
- Apple Podcasts
- Web browser (accessing the podcast directly through your computer’s browser)
- Google Podcasts
You can also listen to podcasts from your laptop or desktop. Some podcasters offer the ability to listen directly through their websites. If you want to try a podcast right now and are reading this blog on your computer, try opening your OneLaunch web browser and searching for a popular podcast such as History Unplugged. You can listen to this podcast right now on the OneLaunch browser. If you like it, try clicking the star on the ride hand side of the web address bar to bookmark it.
If you don’t know of any podcasts, you can use some of the popular apps listed above to browse and find new podcasts to listen to. Spotify, for example, lists popular podcasts and allows you to search for new podcasts by genre or interest.
Which Podcast Should I Listen to? Are They Free to Listen to?
To get started, we recommend searching for a podcast related to your hobby. For example, try clicking the Search the Web bar in your OneLaunch dock and typing “basketball podcasts” or “automotive podcasts”. You’ll then see the results opened in your OneLaunch browser.
If you’re looking for more specific recommendations, here are a few popular podcasts that may be relevant to your interests:
- Car Talk (you may have heard the radio show version of this podcast before!)
- Planet Money (knowledge about saving money and the economy)
- Criminal (for true crime fans!)
- Art of Charm (self improvement)
- Living to 100 Club (all about aging successfully)
You’ll notice that most of the podcasts we listed above can be listened to right now through your web browser for free. This is because most podcasts make money through advertisements nested throughout the recording.
If you want to use a service like Spotify or Apple Podcasts to listen to your favorite podcast on the go, it’s a different story. These services have paid subscriptions to listen to music without interruptions. Some podcasts can be listened to using the free versions of these services but there may be limited functionality. Spotify, for example, may interrupt your listening with advertisements of its own.
Try some of the podcasts we mentioned and look for some of your own! You may be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to find one that’s relevant to your interests. If you come across a podcast, try bookmarking it with your OneLaunch browser for future listening.