The Blog

What Are Podcasts And What Is The Difference Between A Podcast And An Internet Radio Show?

Two of my most frequently asked questions are: “What are podcasts?” and “what is the difference between a podcast and an internet radio show?”  Even with the popularity of podcasts on the rise, the difference between these mediums isn’t always clear. 

Let’s break these questions down very simply because people still either don’t know what a podcast is, or they conflate podcasts and internet radio shows very easily.

What Is A Podcast?

While there is great debate about what a podcast truly is, the most simple answer is this:

(SOURCE): a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer

There are a number of different factors which go into producing a podcast, and how it’s presented, but at its core, a podcast is a digital audio or video file which is sent into the world via RSS feed, and then played by a consumer through the RSS feed and a podcast app like Apple Podcasts or digital player on a podcasting website.

What Is An Internet Radio Show?

Once again, there is debate over what actually constitutes an internet radio show. At it’s most simple form though, an internet radio show is this:

(SOURCE): An Internet radio station, online radio station, net radio, or web radio is an audio stream that can be accessed through the Internet. We call this either a stream, radio stream or a listening link. You will therefore not be able to listen to it with your usual radio receiver. Instead, you can listen to it from your computer, tablet, smartphone or connected speaker.

What Is The Difference Between A Podcast And An Internet Radio Show?

Here are 4 main differences between a podcast and an internet radio show:

1. Podcasts are pre-recorded

Internet radio stations, and internet radio broadcasting, air live on a specific day and time, while podcasts are pre-recorded.  This allows for podcasts to be edited, while the content on internet radio shows is raw and live as it happens.

2. Podcasts can be played on demand

Listeners can download and tune into a podcast episode according to their own schedules.  Unless an online radio station or internet radio streaming show decides to publish a recording of their show as a podcast, their listeners will potentially miss out if they aren’t able to tune in when the show is live.

3. Podcasts can go live at any time

Since podcasts are pre-recorded, you have control over when your content will go live.  If you want to record your podcast at 10am on a Tuesday and have the episode go live at 3pm on a Thursday, you are absolutely able to!  Since you are not on a live schedule like you would be on web radio, you can determine the best schedule to release your episodes, according to the needs and wants of your audience.

4. Podcasts are published by an RSS feed

As long as you have an internet connection, you can create an RSS feed. A podcast by its very definition is published by an RSS feed.  RSS feeds have become the go-to way for users to track and engage with your audio content as it’s published.

What Is An RSS Feed?

An RSS feed stands for “Really Simple Syndication”.  Essentially, it allows websites to publish updates at any time so that any reader can consume them.

(SOURCE): Fundamentally, RSS is simply an XML text file. It’s created by a website publisher and contains a running list of articles or other content published by the site, with the newest entry always at the top of the list. Each entry contains details like the article’s title, description, and link to the content.

RSS feeds are published and updated in real time, so if you subscribe to a site’s RSS feed, you’ll always have access to the newest published content. That can be handy for news sites and podcasts that are frequently updated.

If you’re ready to make the jump into podcasting or just want to take your podcast to the next level with amazing guests, connect with our team at Interview Connections!