Zane C Weber lives and breathes podcasts and podcasting. Having listened to them from before iPods we even a thing, and dedicating every waking hour to this emerging artform, they are creating this podcast to ask the simple question; What does podcasting mean, for life, the universe and everything?
In 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary selected ‘podcast’ as its word of the year meaning that enough people were making podcasts, listening to them, or at least uttering the word podcast in everyday contexts to warrant the announcement. But despite occasioning a media sensation, the actual extent of podcasting is still unknown.
The dictionary definition for the neologism was simple: ‘a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar programme made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player’ BUT podcasting is a considerably more vexed term. Simultaneously conjuring notions of personal freedom and escape from the vice-grip of commercial broadcasting.
For futurists, hobbyists, and not-for-profits, podcasts embody a new, more democratic kind of expression. For media companies and other corporations, they represent a new way to connect to niche audiences and another potential revenue stream. But can the two exist side-by-side?