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What Was The First Podcast Ever Released?

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What Was The First Podcast?

In recent years, the podcasting industry has experienced a tremendous surge in popularity, captivating a global audience and making it a mainstream pastime for countless individuals.

With the abundance of podcasts available, covering a wide range of genres and topics, there’s something for everyone. Whether your interests lie in soccer or science, you can indulge in captivating discussions led by field experts all day long!

However, you might be wondering, what was the first podcast created?

Podcasting has a captivating history. It becomes even more fascinating when you delve into the important figures who played a crucial role in shaping the mainstream podcasting scene we know and love today.

So, if you want to discover more about the early years of podcasting and how it has evolved, keep reading onwards as we explore everything you need to know!

Key Takeaways

What was the first podcast?

The first podcast to be ever released was “Radio Open Source” by Christopher Lydon, in the year 2003. However, it’s important to note that this was before the term “podcast” was actually coined.

Post the creation of the term “podcast”, the first show to be recognized as a podcast was “The Daily Source Code” which was hosted by Adam Curry, also known as ‘the Podfather.’ This particular show started in August 2004, shortly after the term “podcast” was introduced.

Who was the first big podcaster?

The first big podcaster is generally recognized to be Adam Curry, a former MTV VJ. Curry started the podcast “The Daily Source Code” in August 2004 and it became very popular, helping to popularize the medium of podcasting itself.

Related: What Is The Number One Podcast In The World?

When Did People Become Aware Of Podcasts?

When Did People Become Aware Of Podcasts?

The first podcast service provider, Odeo, was launched in 2005. This platform allowed users to create, manage, and stream their podcasts with ease. Soon after its launch, numerous podcasting services were created for both the consumer and business markets.

Since then, the podcast industry has continued to grow exponentially. Not only is it being used as a tool for content sharing but also as a powerful medium for marketing campaigns, educational programs, and political discussions.  

Today, the podcast industry is estimated to be worth billions of dollars with a projected growth rate of 25% annually.

The most downloaded podcast in 2020, The Joe Rogan Experience, has over 190 million monthly downloads and continues to be one of the most popular shows in the world.

As technology advances and more user-friendly platforms become available, podcasts are likely to become even more mainstream. With more people tuning in from all around the globe, this is sure to be an exciting journey for podcast listeners everywhere.

How iTunes Paved The Way For Podcasts

However, podcasts go further back than this, well into the 1990s. However, podcasts first became more popular back in 2005, and it was all thanks to iTunes!

With the release of the iTunes 4.9 update, people gained unprecedented access to podcasts. They could now easily subscribe to their preferred podcast creators and create playlists that seamlessly combined music and podcasts.

The early predecessors of Apple Podcasts was a game changer that opened the platform to the mainstream, allowing people to listen to podcasts on the go.

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This gave podcasters a chance to create podcasts, reach more listeners and monetize their content, which led to the podcast industry’s exponential growth.

This platform integration marked a significant shift in the way people consumed personal audio and video content.

While the iPod was not the sole device used for audio files consumption at the time, it was quite common for individuals to own a more versatile MP3 device.

Due to Apple’s significant PR power compared to other companies, they dominated the market extensively.

But, this doesn’t mean that Apple in any way invented podcasting, so, where did all of this begin?

When Did People Begin To Podcast? 

During the early 2000s, the landscape was vastly different compared to the present day. Many of the super quick communication systems and podcast service provider that we now rely on had yet to be developed.

Consequently, a significant amount of time was dedicated to the establishment of networks and systems that would enhance the speed, affordability, and efficiency of communication.

The history of podcasting often gets intertwined with music streaming, particularly due to the higher demand for music at that time. However, it is important not to overlook the significant history of podcasting.

In 2004, journalist Ben Hammersley coined the term “podcast” in an article for the British newspaper, the Guardian.

In this article, Hammersley stated that there was a revolution taking place in the audio world, and said “But what to call it? Audio Blogging? Podcasting? Guerilla Media?”.

But whilst this might be the first mention of the term podcasting, it’s still not where podcasting began!

Before this, Adam Curry and Dave Winer, who were a broadcaster and a software developer respectively, had come together to try and popularize the use of an RSS feed that promotes the sharing of music, texts, and videos.

During this time, an entrepreneur named Tristan Louis proposed the concept of sharing videos and audio via RSS to Winer and several other developers. This approach would later prove to be significantly more efficient.

The founding of the podcast is credited to the combination of Louis’ entrepreneurial skills, Curry’s previous ideas about file sharing, and Winer’s expertise with RSS feeds.

Their collective effort brought together a significant contribution to the podcasting industry.

What About Elsewhere?

old cassette tape

Whilst most of the Western world will consider Curry, Winer, and Louis to be the inventors of the podcast, some claim that podcasts were invented in Russia long before this, however. 

The Illusion of Independent Radio, a program featured on Russian radio, showcased music, panel discussions, and interviews. These were made possible by the efforts of a secretive underground network of subscribers.

At the time, this audio partner was dedicated to Russia’s underground culture and was known as “Hurray Boom Boom!” It was a magazine.

From 1989 to 1990, the producers of this program exchanged ideas and music across Eastern and Western Europe.

Resembling contemporary podcasts, they recorded and created audio in their home studios. This content was consumed by listeners, free from corporate or governmental influence.

Despite the absence of internet, this audio was distributed to podcast listeners through cassette tapes. Nevertheless, it possesses many qualities that people often use to describe a podcast.

In fact, the podcast as we know it today reflects much of the criteria established by Curry, Winer, and Louis. It encompasses ideas and audio content delivered in the most efficient manner possible.

Although they lacked an RSS Feed, the cassette still served as an effective means of delivery, independent distribution, and creation, capturing the attention of a willing audience.


What Was The First Podcast

Today, there are podcast networks and podcast directory services, as well as podcast apps for users to easily search and find what they are looking for.

With more people tuning in every day, the podcast industry is sure to continue its growth.

The history of the podcast is complex, and there’s no denying that podcasts have evolved into one of the best forms of communication ever.

So, whether you believe in the true origins of the podcast or not, it’s time to start listening. What are you waiting for?

There’s something out there for everyone, so find one you like and get listening!

Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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