10 Key Factors in the History of Podcasting

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There are many factors that led to the creation of Podcasting as it exists today. Podcasting has progressed significantly from its initial stages and still continues to do so. It’s an exciting time to jump on the podcast train, so we’re taking a look back at some of the key factors that shaped the podcast industry as we know it!

10 Key Factors in the History of Podcasting

1. Curry and Winer

The development of podcasting dates back to 2004. Former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer wrote a program called iPodder, that enabled them to automatically download Internet radio broadcasts to an iPod. Several developers improved upon this idea, and podcasting was officially born.

2. The Name

February 2004, journalist Ben Hammersley suggested the term “podcasting” to describe this new internet radio broadcasting. Seven months later, Dannie Gregoire used the term to describe the automatic download and synchronization of audio content; he also registered several ‘podcast’ related domains (i.e. podcast.net).

3. RSS

Also in 2004, Really Simple Syndication or RSS feeds became standard for allowing internet users to subscribe to websites with ever-changing content. Initially, it was used for text-based blogs to deliver new text posts to interested readers, but that same technology is what allows podcast subscribers to get audio episodes delivered to their feed.


In October 2004, detailed how-to podcast articles began to appear online, and in November, Liberated Syndication (Libsyn) launched the first Podcast Service Provider, offering storage, bandwidth, and RSS creation tools.

5. iTunes

In June 2005, Apple added podcasting to its iTunes 4.9 music software, building a directory of podcasts n the iTunes Music Store. The new iTunes could subscribe to, download and organize podcasts all in one place. Apple also promoted the creation of podcasts using its GarageBand and QuickTime Pro software and the MPEG 4 Audio (M4A) format instead of MP3.

6. President Bush

In July 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush became the first President to make a podcast when the White House website added an RSS 2.0 feed to the previously downloadable files of the president’s weekly radio addresses.

7. Google Hits

On September 28, 2005, exactly a year after first tracking hits for the word “podcasts” on Google’s search engine, Google found more than 100,000,000 hits on the word “podcasts.”On December 3, 2005, “Podcast” was named the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.

8. Podcast directories

Also in 2005, Yahoo! launched a podcast directory that let users search for, download, stream, subscribe to, and review podcasts. They shut down the service on October 31, 2007,  but it inspired a slew of future directory feeds such as blubrry and feed burner.

9. Steve Jobs

In 2006; Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated how to make a podcast using Garageband in his keynote, further expanding the popularity and accessibility of the podcast.

10. Advertising

In 2010 advertising on podcasts gained significant traction, drastically increasing the monetary potential of podcasting as a substantial business model.


The history of podcasting is complex, interesting and inspiring. These 10 factors are just some of MANY that led to the tremendous success of today’s podcast industry. The bottom line is that the future of podcasting is extremely bright. Let us help you be a part of it by making your very own!

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