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    How Podcasts Became One Of The Most Popular Mediums — Even Essential

    Fact checked by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and… Read more

    Edited by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and…Read more

    Podcast

    Shelley Seale is a journalist, content creator, award-winning writer, author, publication designer, editor and communications professional. She can be reached at www.shelleyseale.com. and Twitter


    What’s Happening:

    When podcasts first came out in 2004, when MTV VJ Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer distributed their shows Daily Source Code and Morning Coffee Notes via RSS feed, the form was anything but popular. Most people viewed them as an amateur form of radio, and wondered why they would want to download and listen to audio files of people talking.

    Since then, however, podcasts have soared in both quality and popularity. Today there are roughly 660,000 podcasts in production, offering approximately 28 million individual episodes to eager listeners. The most popular of all time, Serial, has seen its first two seasons downloaded some 340 million times. How did the podcast evolve from its humble beginnings to the powerhouse it is today?


    Why It Matters:

    With its generally more intimate and informal presentation, these targeted nuggets of audio on demand might well be the future of media, according to Vulture.com. Even the most skeptical observers had to acknowledge their importance when music-streaming company Spotify bought the podcast-production company Gimlet Media for a reported $230 million in February 2019. That’s a long way from the beginnings of the format, when there was little money to be made in podcasting.


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