What is a podcast:

We live in the era of podcasts. They showed up as a phenomenon in the early 2000s. Put simply, a podcast is a series of episodes, which are audio files stored with one of the podcast hosting companies. Last year a third of Americans said they’ve listened to a podcast in the last month, 50% of US households have a podcast listener, and there are 60 million homes! More statistics about everything podcasts can be found here

You can find podcasts on any genre or interest, and many of them are free. They can be downloaded on both iPhone and Android platforms.         

How to start a podcast:

If you have a specialized knowledge or passion for an interesting subject, you can start your own podcast and even generate income by doing that. You don’t need to be a very technical person, nor does it require a lot of money to make a podcast. First, you have to come up with a concept (a subject, name, format, and length for each episode). Design artwork and write a description to “brand” your podcast. Record and edit your audio files in a format such as MP3s. Find a place to host your files (such as a file host that specializes in podcasts, like Libsyn or Podbean). Syndicate these audio files into an RSS feed so they can be distributed through Apple Podcasts and downloaded or streamed on any device on-demand. In podcasting, money is made via advertising and sponsorship. There are several different podcast ad networks in this line of business. The internet is your friend in exploring, but as an example, according to AdvertiseCast, average 30-second CPM (cost per 1K listeners) rates are $18, while 60-second CPMs are $25. It takes time to develop a following and get your name out there.

These are some of my favorite podcasts:  

99% Invisible  This long-running podcast, having recorded over 400 episodes, is about small and often unnoticed things surrounding us in our everyday living and their fascinating history. (Recently published as a book of most popular design podcasts, available at our library).

The Coronation by Charles Eisenstein Charles Eisenstein is new to the world of podcasts. His first one, and perhaps the best one, emerged on the brink of the epidemic, where he gave us inspiration and suggestions on how to make the best of the quarantine and the epidemic and emerge even better and stronger. His podcasts focus on human civilization and the myths that influence our culture, spirituality, anti-consumerism, and human interdependence.

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine Podcasts by an MD who digs through the annals of medical history to uncover “all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we’ve tried to fix people over the years,” with 600 episodes to choose from. In the recent episode Death Certificates, she discusses how death certificates came about and their original purpose and explains the recent myth that just six percent of COVID-19 deaths are attributed to COVID alone, explaining how death certificates are recorded and by whom.

Planet Money Running since 2008 covers everything economy and finance, including personal finance and investment savvy tips. The stories run from 5-30 minutes.  

This American Life Has millions of listeners around the world. It is literally about life and the stories our everyday living creates. One of the most memorable episodes was  116: Poultry Slam 1998 Last Meal About Francois Mitterand,  knew he was about to die and decided that the last food to cross his lips would be poultry, a tiny bird that is actually illegal to eat in France, a bird that, by tradition, is eaten with a napkin covering your head.

On the Green Fence  Started by Deutsche Welle around European environmental reporting, but as the world is turned upside down due to COvid-19, they decided to explore whether the pandemic could be a catalyst for real and sustainable change.  

Clark Howard is a popular consumer expert, teaching ways to “save more, spend less, and avoid rip-offs.” He shares current “deals,” anything from cell phones and government bonds to contact lenses, highlights travel deals, and all other money matters.

Doctor Farmacy Dr. Mark Hyman is leading a health revolution. If health and the latest science of healthy eating is your interest, this is the podcast for you. The discussions cover our broken food system and health care system. New episodes are available on Wednesdays. 

Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, philosopher, and New York Times best-selling author. His podcasts are conversations on consciousness, morality, and the future of humanity.

Proof is a 2020 new podcast from America’s Test Kitchen, an extension of a popular PBS TV show. This podcast goes beyond recipes and cooking to investigate the foods and the whys and hows of cooking. New episodes air on Thursdays.

Science of Happiness  Offers proven strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, empathy, and bridging differences that you can put into practice today. This was one of the most popular podcasts of the last year.


Library Resources:

Creative Podcast Producers by Heather C. Hudak

The Podcast Blueprint by Better Me Audio

So You Want to Start a Podcast by Kristen Meinzer

Recording Podcasts by Kristin Fontichiaro

Magda Born


Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103