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A Short History of Podcasting and the continued growth of the Podcast

Podcasting has experienced an incredible growth over the last decade and shows no sign of slowing down. The increase has manifested itself in three ways – the amount of revenue earned, the number of podcast listeners and the variety of content that is now available.

Where it all began for Podcasts

Podcasting started out as 'audio blogging' in the 1980s, but in the early days the platforms and mechanisms to distribute these audio recordings did not exist.

It wasn’t until the 2000s when audio bloggers, or podcasters, we able to use the internet to publish their recordings more widely. Demand increased with the availability and popularity of iPods and MP3 files.

The term podcasting was derived from the iPod. It was journalist Ben Hammersley who is credited with using the term first in 2003. Hammserley had been asked to add 20 more words into a piece by his sub-editor as he realised that the subject he was writing about didn't have a name.

"I made up some words," Hammersley told the BBC in 2015. "There was audio-blogging, there was gorilla media and the last one was podcasting.

"Six or seven months later, I got an email from the Oxford English Dictionary saying 'this podcasting word, where did you get that, because you're the earliest citation we can find?'

"I said that I had made it up as I was really close to a deadline, sorry, and they said 'Oh, great, it's Word Of The Year."

Steve Jobs demonstrates the ease of Podcasting

It was 2005 when Apple added a podcast section to iTunes. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs performed a stage demonstration in 2005 on how anybody in the world could create and share a podcast using a Mac computer.

In 2006, only 22% of adults in the United States knew about podcasts. In 2021, that figure had rocketed to 78% and is still rising.

Smartphones make listening easy

The proliferation of smartphones has accelerated the availability and portability of podcasts. Anyone with a smartphone has a portable podcast player.

Edison’s study revealed that smartphones are now considered the best device for podcast listening, with approximately 79% of podcast hours heard through this medium. In 2023, over 70% of podcast listeners use Apple iPhones, which is way higher than listeners with other devices. The Android phone is next in line with 18.9%, another number much higher than the Windows PC, which is only 4.6% of listeners. This is followed by other Apple products like the Apple computer, Apple iPad, and the Amazon smart speaker.

There is a huge difference between lugging around an old-style radio to putting a smartphone in your pocket. 46% of podcasters listen to their favourite podcasts now while taking a walk, during other forms of exercise and or when doing chores.

No sign of a Podcast slowdown

It is anticipated that podcast listeners will grow to over 465 million worldwide in 2023 and revenue will exceed $2 billion.

Constantly updated statistics from Listen Notes show that there are over 3 million podcasts and 160 million episodes available around the world.

Podcast listeners increased by 26% in 2018, 33% in 2019 and 37% in 2020.

In 2021, over 55% of the US population had listened to a podcast, in 2020 over 155 million people listen to a podcast every week and around 24% of the US population (68 million) listen to multiple podcasts weekly.

A consumer survey by Infinite Dial 2022, stated over 62% of respondents listened to a podcast at least once. The remaining 38% listened to a podcast in the last month, while 26% listened to a podcast in the previous week.

Podcast subscriptions and loyalty is on the rise and this shows no sign of slowing in 2023.

It's a fantastic time to get podcasting and Yorkshire Podcast Studios can get you up and running.

Yorkshire Podcast Studios is just off the M62 in West Yorkshire, close to the Leeds IKEA at Birstall and within easy reach of central Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford, Wakefield and Batley. If you are looking for high-quality studios in which you can record podcasts, livestream broadcasts and get your audio or video to the audience you want in the most effective way possible, get in touch with us here at Yorkshire Podcast Studios.

We look forward to seeing you (for a brew and a chat) at Yorkshire Podcast Studios soon.

Give us a call 0113 479 0774



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