The word Podcast is widely believed to come from the convergence of two terms — Pod (for iPod) and cast (from broadcast). The first use of this phrase is widely credited to BBC journalist Ben Hammersley, a technology writer and broadcaster, in 2004. But the story of podcasts starts much earlier.
Prior to Hammersley’s Audible Revolution article, the term “audioblogging” served as a term closely associated with what we consider podcasts of current day. Podcasts are episodic audio programs that can be broadcast to the world by any person, from any place and at any time, for any audience, and can cover any topic. In the 1980s, before there was a World Wide Web to distribute podcasts on, it was the Radio Computing Service (RCS) that provided software to terrestrial radio stations to play digital audio files. Over time, other companies and producers got involved in the growth of the medium, including Carl Malamud whose Internet Talk Radio launched as the first computer-radio talk show.
Fast forward to 2000 where the distribution of podcasts was radically transformed through Dave Winer’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) protocol. One of the first adopters of RSS for podcasts was Adam Curry, a VJ for MTV who went on to become known as “The Podfather” due to his early involvement in podcasting.
Despite the efforts of many, it wasn’t until the advent of the iPod and later, Apple’s support of podcasting in iTunes in 2005, that podcasts became accessible to the mainstream.
The first podcast shows