A podcast, is an episodic series of digital audio which a user can download and listen to. It is often available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player. It is very similar to, and may overlap with, Internet radio, though perhaps distinct in revolving around topics personalized exactly to listener preferences, plus podcasts are often able be streamed or downloaded on demand.
The word was originally suggested by Ben Hammersley as a portmanteau of “iPod” (a brand of media player) and “broadcast”.
Some have labeled podcasting as a converged medium bringing together audio, the web, and portable media players, as well as a disruptive technology that has caused some people in the radio business to reconsider established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production, and distribution.
Podcast creators can monetize their podcasts by allowing companies to purchase ad time, as well as via sites such as Patreon, which provides special extras and content to listeners for a fee. Podcasting is very much a horizontal media form – producers are consumers, consumers may become producers, and both can engage in conversations with each other.