Last year podcasting in America increased by eleven percent. 112 million Americans tuned in. Other statistics:
- 42 million Americans listen to a podcast every week and the average number of podcasts listened to is five.
- The 25 – 54 year old age group is the largest group of podcast listeners.
- While the overall growth in podcast listening is steady, listening growth in-car and on devices such as Alexa and Google Home is increasing.
- 85 percent of listeners hear all or most of the podcasts.
Many are enjoying the benefits of listening to podcasts on their phone while doing things, such as folding laundry or driving to work. They’re entertained, informed, or even enlightened by what they listen to.
If starting a podcast is something that interests you, among the first things you’ll need to do is get the right equipment. Here is are some basics you’ll need to get started.
A good starting place for equipment is the microphone. You don’t need the most expensive microphone when you’re starting out. It’s okay to get a low or medium cost microphone, then upgrade when your podcast gets more popular and you start earning more money from it.
With podcasting, you’ll probably want to go with a dynamic microphone. Dynamic mics tend to be better because they only pick up your voice and not a lot of outside noise. If you’re in a completely quiet or soundproof environment, condenser microphones work best, but they aren’t suitable for noisy environments in the home office or studio.
There are some other decisions, including how much you want to spend and how the mic is plugged in. Some mics use USB connections and plug directly into your computer. Others use plugs called XLR Plugs and require the use of a sound mixer or a digital recorder. Also, you’ll need to use some type of stand so you can keep your microphone still in a comfortable position.
The hardware you’ll need is primarily a computer that allows you to record your podcast, edit it, work with it on your website, and publish the podcast. You may need to buy a new computer to create your podcasts, though this is definitely not a requirement. When buying hardware specifically for podcasting look for a computer that can easily handle audio editing, has recording equipment already installed, and has a large hard drive so you don’t run out of space.
You’re going to need software that allows you to record and edit your podcast. This is typically simple software which may already be loaded on your computer. A good choice is Audacity, a free, full function audio recording and editing platform. Once you get past the learning curve Audacity is a fairly easy program to use. It isn’t at all flashy looking. In fact, it looks kind of ancient. Versions are available for Mac, Windows or Linux operating systems.
There are also several paid audio software programs available. Here’s a website that reviews several different Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) both free and paid. One of the better paid options is Audition which is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package.
As a beginner, it is good to start with something that is basic — and probably free — since editing can be a little complicated in the beginning. Have fun with it and let the money follow. Pick a niche that you know and like and you’re on your way.