What is a podcast?


A podcast is a collection of pre-recorded audio episodes. Each is usually under 40 minutes long and can cover any topic. Popular podcasts range from anecdotal stories by comedians to gripping drama series. Most people listen to podcasts on their phones, but you can also use a web browser too.


Why are podcasts so popular?

Similarly to the popularity of TV streaming services like Netflix, and Amazon. Podcasts let you pick the content that appeals to you. Tune in to a specific episode dedicated to one topic you love or subscribe to a whole show that only produces content specific to your interests. Subscribing to a podcast show lets you receive updates on the release of the latest episodes.

Being able to select a niche that suits you is great, but will there be a show that interests you? The popularity of podcasts and low barrier of entry for content creators has lead to a huge amount of choice and you can now find a podcast on nearly every topic imaginable. Some examples would be, Animals, Sports, Business, Motivation, News, Science, Fiction, and many more.


Podcast Host

Celebrities have picked up on the popularity of podcasts too. Comedians, talk show hosts, and big personalities are leading the way by creating weakly episodes that give listeners light hearted content. These entertain listeners on their commutes to work or an hour of relaxation in the evening. Being a hands free medium lots of listeners use podcasts to supplement a daily activity, such as walking, chores, work, and sports.


Are podcasts free to listen to?

Nearly all podcasts are free to listen too, and this is the culture many would like to see continue in the podcasting industry. Some companies have started to release "premium" content but a majority of podcasts are supported by advertising. These adverts are usually a quick snippet at the start and end of an episode but it varies by creators. Some creators also supplement their income by creating additional content for users that would like to donate to their development.

The apps and websites you will use to listen to podcast on are mostly free too. Some have a price because they provide extra functionality and features. Both Apple and Google provide free full featured applications you can use to listen to podcasts on your phone.


Where can I listen to podcasts?

The quickest way to try out a podcast is to use Googles new podcast website but many people love the convenience of a mobile application. To get started with podcasts on your mobile phone we recommend you try out the main apps:

If you use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad then you should try out the Apple Podcasts Player, which is free to download from the Apple App Store on your device. Like most podcast players is lets your subscribe to your favourite shows and receive notifications when they are released. You also have all the standard audio controls and features to enable you to listen at faster speeds to cram more into less time.

Download on the Apple App store


If you are an Android user then start off with Google Podcasts. Similar to the Apple Podcasts app, you get all the same features and tools. The main benefit to you is it will work on your Android device.

Download on the Apple App store


If you want some additional features, including cleaner interfaces and better recommendations check out Podcast Alarm. You can also use it to set an alarm to wake up to your newly discovered passion for podcasts.


How do I find a podcast I would like?

Most services provide a way to see all the top podcasts and recommendations based on your subscriptions. They generally include things like the top tens of a given genre or top episodes for the day. This is probably the main way users find new content but you can also reach out further and do some of your own research based on your specific interests, that would probably be in the form of a quick Google search. You are sure to quickly find many options, from there have a quick listen and decide what is best for you.


Quick Facts about Podcasts:

  • 1) They can be any length but usually under 40 minutes
  • 2) They are a simple audio file, but some people make YouTube videos to upload them there too
  • 3) Any topic is applicable to a podcast
  • 4) You can listen on your mobile or on the web
  • 5) Podcasts are mostly free and are supported by advertising
  • 6) An episode is a single unit within a podcast, they usually cover a single topic
  • 7) Anyone can start a podcast with a simple microphone or recording device like a phone




Waking up with a podcast on iOS

Podcast Alarm is a fully featured podcast player and alarm. You can set up queues of your favourite episodes and listen to them whenever you like. Why not subscribe to your favourite podcast and have the latest episode wake you up every weekday morning. There are lots of screenshots and videos in our "How to set a podcast as an alarm on iphone?" blog post.

Download on the Apple App store

Jonathan Wilson

by Jonathan Wilson

April 01, 2020



Podcast Alarm

Wake up inspired

Download on the Apple App store