The History of Podcasting

As podcasts become a permanent fixture in modern entertainment, many consider this robust, new industry to be today’s digital gold rush. With an ever-expanding menu of episodes, hosts, and an array of niche topics, it’s clear that podcasts are here to stay.

Trending topics and innovative content on various audio platforms continue to drive traffic and interest to this still-growing industry, making it a viable income stream for many who make regular content for this medium. Listenership continues to grow alongside new creators and shows, making today’s podcast industry stronger than ever.

Looking to record your own podcast? Build the best podcast setup with professional-grade audio equipment from Hosa.

When Did Podcasts Start?

While iPods are no longer as popular today as they were during their debut in 2001, the history of podcasts is deeply intertwined with these once-prized devices. The existence of the iPod ushered in a new generation of portable audio entertainment, leading to the creation of the first podcasts. While the trendy iPod device may not have endured the test of time, the concept of portable, bite-sized audio content has become a lasting staple in today’s entertainment landscape.

In 2004, MTV’s Adam Curry and developer Dave Winer designed a program (iPodder) that allowed users to download radio broadcasts directly onto their iPods to listen to later. By October of that year, libsyn.com became the first podcast service provider, effectively allowing anyone to contribute to the podcast sphere and sync their content to other platforms for listeners to browse.

By 2005, Apple made podcasts an integrated part of the iTunes platform, effectively boosting usership through the next decade and beyond.

Podcasting Today

The podcast industry is projected to hit $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2021, with 100 million users. There are over 2,000,000 podcasts currently available, with 48 million podcast episodes in over 100 different languages.

From Apple Podcasts to Stitcher, Spotify, and Google, podcasts have become a varied and highly profitable market for platform developers, content writers, and host personalities.

Building the Best Podcast Setup

If you’re excited about this blossoming industry and curious about what it takes to create your own podcast, perhaps now is the best time to explore. Whether you’ve been considering starting a podcast or have already begun the process, it’s important to build the best podcast setup with the right audio equipment.

Listenership often depends as much on good writing and hosting as it does on the sound quality of your podcast. That means your best bet is to invest in quality equipment and audio software to record and edit your podcast masterpiece.

For a detailed listing of options and equipment, check out our previous blog on Equipment Needed to Start a Podcast.

Concept, Writing, and Voice

As you develop your concept or begin building your episode scripts, it is important to consider your audience. Developing a consistent approach to your content and sticking to your podcast’s core concepts will help you acquire and keep listeners.

Find a concept broad enough that it allows you to gather plenty of interesting ideas without becoming repetitive and lean into something you’re naturally passionate and curious about. It may also help to brainstorm some ideas for listener engagement, like user-submitted content requests, shoutouts, and more.

Think about how to build your following as a community using various social media platforms and marketing approaches. You may also want to think strategically about building a small team to help.

Microphones and Mic Gear

One of the most important steps to building good sound quality with your podcast setup goes directly to the source: your microphones. From high-quality mics and mic stands to professional microphone cables, having the best recording equipment means starting at square one.

There’s nothing more aggravating than having to stop or restart recording because of crackly microphones or unreliable stands. If your microphone is incapable of gathering high-quality sound, you’ll have a lot of frustration during the mixing process when you realize there is only so much improvement you can make on the back end.

Headphones

Quality headphones allow you to make sure the sound quality of your recordings is up to par. Noise-isolating headphones give you an accurate read on how your recording sounds as it’s happening, and give you an advantage when cleaning up your audio during editing.

By investing in quality headphones, you can easily find and fix any stray noises or audio quirks that you discover while re-listening to your recording track. Pair your headphones with quality components like professional headphone cables and adapters, and you’re investing in the sound quality and future viability of your podcast.

Audio Recording and Editing Software

From LogicPro X to GarageBand to Adobe Audition, there are a wealth of audio software recording and editing tools available to you. Many range in cost, some (like Audacity and Zencastr) offer free versions of their audio recording and editing software.

In order to use any of these platforms, however, you’ll need quality cables to run your recording equipment to your computer or device. Depending on your podcast setup, this may include HDMI cables, interconnect cables, or USB adapter cables. Finding the right cables helps preserve the quality of your sound by protecting and transmitting the smoothest sounding audio possible.

Ready to get started? Shop the collection of Hosa-approved audio gear to take your podcast setup to the next level.

Hosa Team
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