While there are some similarities, there are significant differences when comparing a podcast and a radio.
Both are there to provide their audience with valuable information through audio sources. Information, entertainment, and education are in-common features.
For the 21st century, it is characteristic that digital technologies have become the first choice of people. Getting all the necessary information quickly and easily makes us especially happy. More and more often, we see people with headphones. For example: while walking, on transports, in gyms, at computers, when doing household chores, etc.
Opinions about podcasts and radio are still divided. We will try to explain both through this article and conclude what the main differences are.
What is a podcast?
The podcast has its roots in the 1980s and was known as audio blogging.
However, the popularity of podcasts has grown dramatically in recent years. Today, they exist in more than 100 languages, and people around the world admire them.
By definition from podcastinsights.com, the word podcast deriving from a combination of the words “iPod” and “broadcast” (Apple does not retain any copyright to the word, although the term itself has been the subject of controversy and attempts at authorization). There is also a definition from the backronym “portable on demand,” – which many accept as incorrect.
It is an audio or digital file that you can access via the Internet and deals with various topics. Today, there is almost no area that interests you without a podcast.
There is no predefined format in terms of podcast length, frequency, and style. They are like the audio version of your favorite show consisted of episodes that can divide into seasons. Access via phone, computer, numerous platforms or download and listened to without using the Internet (offline).
Most podcasts are free, but there are some with premium content that you can access for a fee. They are very accessible and can be listened to almost everywhere. It is also possible to subscribe to podcasts – to be always informed when a new episode is published.
People love them because they offer a wide range of topics and niches. Technology, psychology, entertainment, information are just some of the them that podcasts cover.
Episodes can last from a few minutes to a few hours, and new episodes can be released daily, weekly, or monthly. They can be in the form of a discussion, storytelling, or interview and can feature solo or multiple hosts. They are recorded and edited in advance.
What is a radio?
Radio is a traditional broadcast medium – enjoyed by many generations.
Its programs are produced by the radio stations responsible for sending them to listeners via a radio tower. This way, people can join the radio program in their car or at home.
You are probably already familiar with amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM). AM can reach longer distances than FM but is more prone to interference. FM range may be limited by a variety of physical objects, such as buildings and mountains.
The influence of radio is still widespread today because it inspired wireless communication. People love it because they can find out the latest news and listen to their favorite music for free and without connecting to the Internet.
Morning radio programs generally begin with shows that convey to listeners the weather forecast, road conditions, and news current for the current day in combination with music. They are mostly listened to in the car on the way to work. There are also various sports and music shows.
Among the most popular formats are radio programs that listeners can join by dialing a phone number. Whether it’s a competition – a discussion on a specific topic or to fulfill musical desires, shows like this always get calls from listeners. Along with them, shows for choosing the most listened to songs are also very popular.
They represent live broadcasts produced by a station or an individual that broadcasts over an airwave.
What are the main differences?
You have probably already concluded that one of the main differences is the content.
Because both attract different audiences, the types of content also differ. Radio stations bring a wider circle of people. To achieve this, they generate content that more people can connect to – so many people will stay interested for hours. On the other hand, podcasts rarely discuss general topics. They are often associated with a specific niche.
We have already mentioned that radio shows broadcast live, while the podcast is recorded and edited in advance. It is clear here that – participants in radio shows have to pay a lot of attention to how and what they will say. In a podcast, inappropriate parts can always be “cut.”
Another difference is that you can listen to the podcast at any time. Admittedly, you can also radio, but if you don’t turn it on at the beginning of the show, you’ll hardly be able to make up for the part you missed.
Besides, in the podcast, you will rarely hear the music. It’s because podcasts do not have the appropriate licensing conditions. But the radio stations easily get the necessary licenses to play protected songs.
One of the more prominent differences is the commercials. Radio is known for its saturated relationship between commercial and content. You can hear five minutes of ads in 30 minutes of content. This fact is because advertisements are one of the main generations of radio station revenue. When it comes to podcasts – mostly only sponsors who have supported them are advertised without interrupting the main content.
Anyway, it is up to you to decide what you enjoy more and what your favorite is. We are sure that both media will still find places in the hearts of listeners in the future.
What do you choose? Write to us – in the comments.