A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio files that a user can download in order to listen. Alternatively, the word “podcast” may refer to the individual component of such a series or to an individual media file.
Podcasting often uses a subscription model, whereby new episodes automatically download via web syndication to a user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.
Ben Hammersley originally suggested the word “podcast” as a portmanteau of “iPod” (a brand of media player) and “broadcast“ in 2004.
The files distributed are in audio format, but may sometimes include other file formats such as PDF or EPUB. Videos shared following a podcast model are sometimes called video podcasts, vodcasts or vlogs.
Some[who?] have labeled podcasting a converged medium (bringing together audio, the web, and portable media players), as well as a disruptive technology that has caused some individuals in the radio business to reconsider established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production and distribution.[need quotation to verify] Listeners usually consume podcasts free-of-charge, and one can often produce them for little to no cost, which sets them apart from the traditional 20th-century model of “gate-kept” media and their production tools. Podcast-makers can monetize their podcasts by allowing companies to purchase ad time, as well as via websites such as Patreon, which provides special extras and content to listeners for a fee. Podcasting is very much a horizontal media form – producers are consumers, consumers may become producers, and both can engage in conversations with each other.
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