Since their creation in 2004, podcasts have been spreading their way onto the portable audio players of millions of curious listeners, and has now expanded it’s reach to 17% of the American population. Users have a chance to learn about a variety of topics by simply subscribing to a podcast, or listening online, and plugging their headphones in whenever they have a spare second. Now, the genre has evolved and different types of podcasts have emerged. Here are a few examples.
A podcast novel combines the idea of a podcast with the format of an audiobook. Instead of having the usual factual, nonfiction content that a podcast has, a podcast novel uses fiction to tell a story. Like in an audiobook, a podcast novel can be narrated with different voices for each character and use sound effects to better convey the narrative tale. They use the simplicity of RSS, like podcasts do, so users can automatically download them, or they can also be found them online through websites and blogs.
Many authors use the idea of podcast novels to gain a following for their written work. By posting excerpts from their novels, authors give listeners a quick taste of their stories and keep them coming back for more (like buying the whole book).
Scott Sigler, an American author of science fiction and horror and a New York Times #1 best seller of countless novels, novellas and short stories. He’s also known as one of the first authors to take up podcasting. After a book deal for his novel Earthcore fell through in 2005, he took to podcasting and gained a cult following that keeps his growing collection of published books afloat. By offering content for free at first (which he still does on his personal website), users got to see what Sigler’s work was like and fell in love with it.
Listen to episode #13 of his latest story PANDEMIC here.
Sigler also uses other social media sites to promote his podcasting, like Instagram.
Although they follow the usual format of all other podcasts, political podcasts have turned into a genre of their own as their popularity has grown in recent years. These podcasts feature interviews with journalists or politicians that are more relaxed than the usual written article. The genre as a whole provides a variety of viewpoints, and guarantees that any listener can find something educational and interesting to listen to.
NPR’s Weekly Roundup is one of the radio site’s most popular podcasts. Each week different political officials are featured on the podcast’s 45 minute to an hour long show, to discuss new developments in the political world. With relevant and constantly evolving content, the podcast keeps followers tuning in every week.
Listen to this week’s on Trump’s transition and “normalization” https://www.npr.org/player/embed/502448169/502506638” target=”_blank”>here.
A video podcast takes the audio from original podcasts, and adds in visual media. The outcome has been seen to have many advantages. It allows the produced clip to “show not tell”, assist in communication, is thought of as more engaging, and can be put on an already widely used social media site: Youtube.
The first video podcast created is believed to be Dead End Days, a serial comedy on zombies. The “vodcast” was posted weekly on its own website, DeadEndDays.com (which is no longer in service) and had 48 episodes ranging from 5 to 10 minutes in length.
Here’s one of their episodes.