Podcasts, radio stations, what’s the difference? Are they really that different. Yes, and here are the reasons why.
The Subject Matter Defines the Type
When speaking of radio talk shows, you can talk about anything and everything, your topics can cover a lot of things. When talking about radio stations, they also play plenty of things. If you call yourself a hit radio stations, you can play all the hits, from rock hits to pop hits, even opera hits.
Podcasts, on the other hand, deal with a very specific topic, like a video game, for example. Podcasts are grouped into types, categories, and this is the most used filter when searching for them in applications dedicated to bringing you podcasts, often dubbed podcatchers.
Radios are Always Online
A radio is always online, well, transmitting, anyway. You can listen to a radio at all times, tuning in whenever you feel like it. Sure, you may get tons of various content and music to listen to, but you can do it at all times.
Podcasts, on the other hand, you can watch or listen to at only a specific time, if you want to catch them live. Some podcasts are recorded, on SoundCloud, for example, or on other sound or video hosting and sharing services, like YouTube, for example. You can watch them, provided the podcast host takes care of the upload and availability.
Speech-Time Versus Music-Time
Radios allow hosts to take a break and play some music, as that is what radios primarily do, play music. This allows for some refreshments and other necessities to be done. Speech-time is not that long on a radio, unless a talk show is airing.
Podcasts cannot really play music, at least published music, because copyright strikes are a real thing, not to mention going to court. Podcasts do allow the hosts to talk a lot more, which is great, as a topic can be covered in detail.
Podcasts Might Stay Longer
When something is aired on the radio or said on the radio, it exists in that moment only. Nobody records each and every moment of a radio transmission. It would consume way too much data. Sure, some amount of data has to be recorded and kept for a time, but after that, it is gone.
Now, podcasts, they can keep on going for a long time, for however long someone is paying a hosting service to keep the files online. If downloads are an option, then you can also store the podcasts on your own drives, if you really want to keep them.
These are the main differences between podcasts and a radio station, format, topic choice, length and storage.