Podcasts have become a common way for the general public to get news and entertainment. Since Apple launched Podcasts in 2005 there have been over 50 billion downloads (source), in 2017 there were over 13 billion downloads. According to Nielson over 50% of US homes now listen to podcasts.
Simply posting audio files on the internet for download is NOT podcasting.
The power of podcasting comes from a subscription model, commonly using RSS technology (Really Simple Syndication). Listeners use free software such as Apple’s Podcasts, or any simple RSS reader (also popular for reading blogs) which periodically checks for and retrieves new audio content automatically.
People can then listen to the audio on their computer and copy the audio files onto an iPhone, iPad (using software such as Podcasts) or similar mp3 player or mobile device. The majority of podcasts are now listened to on the users cell phone.
Consumers prefer to listen to WHAT they want, WHEN they want it. This allows storage of fresh new content that can be enjoyed later – at the gym, in the car, etc. Most podcasts are free to subscribe to, and easy to download.