Uses of podcasting

Public services

  • Unofficial audio tours of museums.
  • Official cultural or historic audio tours of cities
  • A way for news organizations to distribute audio or video as an addition to their existing text (or mostly text) news products. For example, Wikinews
    Wikinews is a free-content news source wiki and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. The site works through collaborative journalism. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has distinguished Wikinews from Wikipedia by saying "on Wikinews, each story is to be written as a news story as opposed to an...

     began to podcast its News Briefs in 2005. Companies are also using podcasts as a way to distribute their multimedia news to journalists and consumers through companies like MultiVu. In 2006, the online magazine Slate
    Slate (magazine)
    Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

     began textcasting articles to their readers, by attaching a written article to a blank audio file and delivering the content to readers through their regular podcasting mechanism.
  • Advocacy. The 5,500 locked out
    Lockout (industry)
    A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work.- Causes :...

     staff (editors, journalists, technicians, hosts, etc.) of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

     were podcasting news and other programming during August and September 2005.
  • Youth media. Podcasting has become a way for youth media organizations, such as Youth Radio
    Youth Radio
    Youth Media International better known as Youth Radio is a youth-based non-profit media outlet based in Oakland, California. From its beginning until May 2007, it was located in Berkeley, California. It has won various awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Peabody Award in 2001...

    , to bring youth perspectives to a wider audience.
  • Public libraries can podcast local publications free of Copyright, offering spoken word alternatives to the visually impaired. Non-profit organizations podcast readings of short-format magazine articles for visually impaired readers.
  • Law enforcement. The Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

     Police Department has a free video podcast of its half-hour weekly news magazine called "CrimeWatch," which airs on local TV. It documents community policing (CAPS) success stories.
  • Educational Institutions use Podcast for self guided Campus Tour
    Campus tour
    A campus tour is a tour of a college or university's campus. Prospective students, their parents and other visitors take campus tours to learn about the college or university's facilities, as well as student life, culture on campus, academics, and programs offered by the institution...


Education and academia

A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

s enable students and teachers to share information with anyone anytime. If a student is absent, he or she can download the podcast of the recorded lesson. Teachers may also create podcasts to be used as a preparation tool for students. This would be pedagogically equivalent to having students read a text before a lesson. It can be a tool for teachers or administrators to communicate curriculum, assignments and other information with parents and the community. Teachers can record book talk
Book talk
A booktalk in the broadest terms is what is spoken with the intent to convince someone to read a book. Booktalks are traditionally conducted in a classroom setting for students. However, booktalks can be performed outside a school setting and with a variety of age groups as well. It is not a book...

s, vocabulary or foreign language lessons, international pen pal letters (podcast pals!), music performance, interviews, debates. Podcasting can be a publishing tool for student oral presentations. Video podcast
Video podcast
Video podcast is a term used for the online delivery of video on demand video clip content via Atom or RSS enclosures...

s can be used in all these ways as well.
  • Mobile Learning: Podcasting can be categorised as an m-learning
    The term M-Learning, or "mobile learning", has different meanings for different communities. Although related to e-learning and distance education, it is distinct in its focus on learning across contexts and learning with mobile devices...

     strategy for teaching and learning. In 2004 Musselburgh
    Musselburgh is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, six miles east of Edinburgh city centre.-History:...

     Grammar School pioneered podcast lessons with foreign language audio revision and homework,. In the second half of 2005, a Communication Studies course at the University of Western Australia used student-created podcasts as the main assessment item. have proven beneficial in early elementary education as well. In 2005 Students in the Write was created for second grade students at Morse Elementary School in Tarrytown, NY. By providing students with an authentic audience, teachers noticed significantly increased motivation to write. Students were also found to improve fluency and listening skills. On the 21st February 2006 Lance Anderson, Dr. Chris Smith (the Naked Scientist)
    The Naked Scientists
    The Naked Scientists is a one-hour audience-interactive science radio talk show broadcast live by the BBC in the East of England, nationally by BBC Radio 5 Live and internationally as a podcast. The programme was created and is edited by Cambridge University Pathology Department clinical lecturer...

    , Nigel Paice and Debbie McGowan took part in the first podcast forum at Cambridge University. The event was hosted by the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies.
  • Mobile Knowledge Transfer: Podcasting is also used as a further channel in Corporations to disseminate information and knowledge faster and easier. It can be seen as a further development of Rapid E-Learning as the content can be created fast and without much effort. Learners can learn in idle times which saves time and money for them and the organizations. If audiopodcasts are used they can be used during other activities like driving a car, or traveling by train/ bus. A target group often targeted is the salesforce, as they are highly mobile. There Podcasting can be used for sales enablement (see case study) with the goal of having the sales employee aware and knowledgeable on the companies products, processes, initiatives etc. An often used format is expert interviews with statements of experienced role models to bring across also informal/ tacit knowledge.
  • Journalism Education: School podcasts can be created to expose students to journalism and new-media concepts. Regularly released "news" podcasts can be released by a school group.
  • Academic Journal Digests: The Society of Critical Care Medicine has a podcast used to update clinicians with summaries of important articles, as well as interviews.
  • Supply Chain Management Education: In October, 2007 Dr Stephan Brady presented his paper on "Podcasting in Supply Chain Education" at the CSCMP Educators Conference. In this paper he outlined how podcasting can be used in and outside of the classroom for enhancing supply chain courses through blended, or hybrid learning.
  • Professional Development: Professional development podcasts exist for educators. Some podcasts may be general in nature or may be slightly more specific and focus on the use of interactive white boards in the classroom.
  • Religion: Godcasting
    A Godcast is a podcast of religious nature, including music, preaching, seminary lectures, Bible readings, meditations and kids' programs. Such podcasts are available within most religious traditions and across multiple formats - audio only as well as audio-visual.The number of Godcasts is growing...

     has been used by many religious groups. Many churches produce podcasts of talks and sermons. Disciples with Microphones provides podcasts relating to the Catholic
    The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

  • Tutorials: A tutorial on almost any subject can be created as either an audio podcast or video vodcast. Through screencast
    A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The term screencast compares with the related term screenshot; whereas screenshot is a picture of a computer screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the...

    ing, many video podcasts demonstrate how to use software and operating systems.


  • Comedy. Comedians such as Ricky Gervais
    The Ricky Gervais Show
    The Ricky Gervais Show is a comedy audio show in the UK starring Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington, later adapted into an animated televised version debuting for HBO and Channel 4 in 2010. The show started in November 2001 on Xfm, and aired in weekly periods for months at a time...

    , Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry's Podgrams
    Stephen Fry's Podgrams is a series of podcasts performed and recorded by British comedian and author Stephen Fry. First made downloadable on 20 February 2008, the series of podgrams is a collection of Fry's writings, speeches and collective thoughts...

     and Marc Maron
    WTF with Marc Maron
    WTF with Marc Maron is a twice-weekly podcast hosted by stand up comedian Marc Maron. The show launched in September 2009. The program primarily consists of interviews with comedians and comedy writers, as well as others in the entertainment and radio communities...

     have created some of the most popular podgrams.
  • Television commentary. Battlestar Galactica
    Battlestar Galactica
    Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction franchise created by Glen A. Larson. The franchise began with the Battlestar Galactica TV series in 1978, and was followed by a brief sequel TV series in 1980, a line of book adaptations, original novels, comic books, a board game, and video games...

    writer and executive producer Ronald D. Moore
    Ronald D. Moore
    Ronald Dowl Moore is an American screenwriter and television producer best known for his work on Star Trek and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica miniseries and television series, for which he won a Peabody Award for creative excellence in 2005 and an Emmy Award in 2008.-Early life and...

     creates commentary podcasts for each new episode of Battlestar Galactica. Other television shows such as Doctor Who
    Doctor Who
    Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

     have since followed suit.
  • Radio series. Some radio programmes such as The Now Show
    The Now Show
    The Now Show is a British radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4, which satirises the week's news. The show is a mixture of stand-up, sketches and songs presented by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis...

    and The News Quiz
    The News Quiz
    The News Quiz is a topical panel game broadcast on British radio BBC Radio 4.-History:It was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman. Subsequently it was chaired by Simon Hoggart, Barry Took , and then again by Simon Hoggart until March 2006. Hoggart was replaced by Sandi Toksvig in...

    allow entire episodes to be downloaded as podcasts.
  • As a platform for fan DVD-style commentary tracks (Audio commentary
    Audio commentary
    On disc-based video formats, an audio commentary is an additional audio track consisting of a lecture or comments by one or more speakers, that plays in real time with video...

    ). Enables fans to add their own comments and thoughts to any of their favourite films.
  • Sports. In 2005, unofficial podcasts for major sports teams launched, providing fans both in and outside of the teams' direct broadcast areas with on-demand commentary. The Cubscast founders also formed the first city-specific sports podcast network, hosting one podcast for each major Chicago team.
  • Pornography. Porncasting and podnography are sometimes used to refer to pornography in podcasts.
  • Reintroducing Classical Children's Literature. Podcasts such as Albert Lea Public Library
    Albert Lea Public Library
    The Albert Lea Public Library serves the City of Albert Lea, Minnesota and surrounding communities, and is a member of Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, the SE Minnesota library region. Recently renovated in 2007, the library features a state of the art computer lab and 20 public access computers...

    's Classics On-the-Go program bring classical (noncopyrighted) children's literature back to life for everyone to share.
  • Fiction. Podcasts like Escape Pod
    Escape Pod (podcast)
    Escape Pod is a magazine-style podcast launched on 12 May 2005 which presents stories in the genre of science fiction. It has been called "the world's leading science fiction podcast". Until his retirement in May 2010, the podcast was hosted by founder Steve Eley and edited by Jeremiah Tolbert...

     are used to distribute short stories in audio book
    Audio book
    An audiobook or audio book is a recording of a text being read. It is not necessarily an exact audio version of a book or magazine.Spoken audio has been available in schools and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops since the 1930s. Many spoken word albums were made prior to the...

     format. Other podcasts distribute stories in the format of radio drama
    Radio drama
    Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...



  • Newspapers. Newspapers use podcasts to broadcast audio content from print interviews and drive traffic to their websites. The San Francisco Chronicle is believed to be the first major daily newspaper to start podcasting using an external website, in Feb 2005. Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

    's South China Morning Post
    South China Morning Post
    The South China Morning Post , together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is an English-language Hong Kong newspaper, published by the SCMP Group with a circulation of 104,000....

     was the first to use its own website and the first in Asia, having launched on April 19, 2005
  • Communication from space. On 7 August 20ng..
  • Conference and meeting alerts. Podcasts can be packaged to alert attendees to agendas, hosted roundtables and daily feedback.


  • Replacement for live music audio streams. Whereas streaming a performance live over the Internet requires careful coordination of person and machine, podcasting offers the ability to do slight time-shifting of performances and greatly reduces the complexity of the effort. The quality of the program is often higher as post-production adjustments can be made prior to release. For example, programs can provide a live stream of their program, but most listeners don't hear it until weeks later on NPR
    NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

    . Podcasted versions of the programs split the difference, usually coming out a few days after the live program, but well before the traditional broadcast.


  • Politics: In the U.S., both major political parties have various podcasts, as do numerous politicians.

Publicity and marketing

  • As a promotional vehicle for an upcoming event, such as Pixar's
    Pixar Animation Studios, pronounced , is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California. The studio has earned 26 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Its films have made over $6.3 billion worldwide...

     Cars Video Podcast, which advertised the release of Disney/Pixar's Cars
    Cars (film)
    Cars is a 2006 American animated family film produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Joe Ranft. It is the seventh Disney·Pixar feature film, and Pixar's final, independently-produced motion picture before its purchase by Disney...

     animated feature film with a series of behind-the-scenes clips.

Special interests

  • Farm Podcasting makes information available about farming. The term was coined to identify a program that is produced exclusively as a podcast
    A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

     on the subject of agriculture
    Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

    . There are now multiple companies who specialize in farm podcasting and are producing regular programming targeted to farmers and the general public on the subject of agriculture.

Non-traditional and alternative content

  • A way for people and organizations to avoid regulatory bodies, such as the British Ofcom
    Ofcom is the government-approved regulatory authority for the broadcasting and telecommunications industries in the United Kingdom. Ofcom was initially established by the Office of Communications Act 2002. It received its full authority from the Communications Act 2003...

    , or American Federal Communications Commission
    Federal Communications Commission
    The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

     (FCC) that would not allow a program to be broadcast in traditional media.

See also

  • Autocast
    AutoCAST is a software program for casting methods design, simulation and optimization. It uses geometric reasoning for automating the design of casting methods elements – cores, mold cavity layout, feeders, feedaids and gating channels. Fast and intelligent simulation technology is employed to...

    ing (the automatic generation of podcasts from text-only sources)
  • Blogcasting (the blogging Podcast)
  • Mediacasting (any distribution of audio/video media files utilizing RSS)
  • Mobilecast
    A mobilecast or mobilcast is a podcast designed to be downloaded or streamed to a mobile phone. Listening to podcasts on mobile phones becomes more attractive as mobile data speed improves, and mobile phones themselves become more useful audio devices by adding more audio and video file formats,...

     (podcasting to mobile phones)
  • Vodcasting (video podcasting)
  • Narrowcasting
    Narrowcasting has traditionally been understood as the dissemination of information to a narrow audience, not to the general public. Narrowcasting involves aiming media messages at specific segments of the public defined by values, preferences, or demographic attributes. Also called niche...

     (podcasting is a form of narrowcasting)
  • Peercasting
    Peercasting is a method of multicasting streams, usually audio and/or video, to the Internet via peer-to-peer technology. It can be used for commercial, independent, and amateur multicasts. Unlike traditional IP Multicast, peercasting can facilitate on-demand content delivery.-Operation:It usually...

    (peercasting allows live streams to be redistributed by the viewers/listener, greatly reducing bandwidth needs for the originating broadcaster)
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