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Once relegated to the fringes of digital entertainment, podcasts are now on the minds of the entire media industry. Big money acquisitions of podcasting companies are increasingly commonplace, while a growing number of major celebrities are launching podcasts of their own. In a relatively short amount of time, this audio show format has become impossible to ignore, with the most significant media companies jumping into the mix at a rapid pace.

The Early Days

The origins of podcasting actually go back to 2001 when the first iPod was released, although the name came along a bit later in 2004. The niche market initially gained some ground with those interested in new technologies, but it remained far from the ears of the masses. Apple became the main distribution platform when the company made podcasts compatible with iTunes in 2005, but significant growth didn’t occur until 2009 when several edgy comedians started to produce podcasts due to the format’s freedom and lack of censorship. Fast forward five years to 2014 and podcasting gained its first large audience with — a true crime investigative journalism program — which hit 40 million downloads over three months, leading advertisers and the entire media industry to take serious note of the emerging popularity of the podcasting format. …


Sergey Bludov

SVP Media & Entertainment

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