Podcasting vs Radio - Same Difference?

Published on 26 July 2021 at 11:12

In this blog post, we look at whether podcasting and radio are one and the same!

Many have said that podcasting and radio are two sides of the same coin. They both consist of recorded audio content, which is either uploaded or broadcast, to streaming platforms or radio stations and the audio editing process for podcast episodes and prerecorded radio programs is identical. 

Both podcasting and radio programs rely on listener engagement, whether it is in the form of podcast episode downloads or phone-ins for live radio programs, for example. Similarly, some podcast episodes and radio programs can even feature regular listeners, who can give their opinions and contribute to debates and discussions. 

We also think, however, with our experiences in radio and podcasting, that there are key differences between these two mediums.

  • Radio programs, are either live or prerecorded and are always broadcast during an allocated time slot, on a specific radio station. Podcast episodes, however, are always prerecorded and you can listen to as many available episodes at any time, on various streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Acast and Apple Podcasts.

  • Radio programs, which are broadcasted by mainstream organizations, such as the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) or ABC (American Broadcasting Company), tend to be overseen by independent bodies, such as OFCOM (for the UK) and the FCC in the US. These organizations, therefore, regulate radio programs and in some cases, these organizations can even prevent radio programs, from being broadcast. Podcasting, however, enables anybody to create whatever content they wish to produce, at anytime. 

  • BBC radio programs, for example, are not allowed to advertise on behalf of businesses, however podcasts tend to work with businesses to either promote their products or services and businesses can even sponsor podcasts.

  • Radio programs will always have a specific time length, in order to accommodate other programs. Podcast episodes, however, can last for as long as you want.

  • Finally, radio programs tend to explore general topics and themes, whereas podcasts tend to have a recurrent theme.

In conclusion, podcasting and radio are similar in terms of the audio editing process and they both rely on some form of audience participation. On the other hand, radio programs, especially live radio programs are heavily regulated, unlike podcasts, which therefore, in our opinion, makes podcasting a more popular medium than radio, for aspiring content creators, to explore.

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Marie Thomas
2 years ago

This is a very interesting perspective. I’ve never thought of podcasting and radio being diametrically opposed and yet so similar.

It’s definitely something to think about.