Timeline on the Birth and Growth of Podcasting


Podcasting Timeline Kim Handysides Voiceover


For a medium that is still a teenager, podcasting seems to have appeared out of nowhere and has grown like Jack’s mythical beanstalk. Audio is genius in its ability to convey intimacy, emotion and story. The rewards of the current Golden Age of Podcasting are now being reaped.

This timeline is curated with with material sourced from Columbia’s Tow Center for Journalism and Ramona Rice, Community Manager at Podcast Websites, bullet points the speedy growth of this burgeoning mobile audio platform. Enjoy!

Podcasting: In the Beginning 1999-2005

1999 – Netscape developers thought of aggregating content to make it simpler for readers to check updates from multiple sites in one place (launched RDF Site Summary)

2000 – Dave Winer & Adam Curry adapt RDF – which would become known as RSS (Real Simple Syndication) for audio

2003 – Radio Open Source – first podcast (then called audioblog) launched by journalist Christopher Lydon – updates made to audio capabilities by Winer to accommodate Lydon who had been inserting audio interviews into his blog posts. ROS still podcasts today

2004 – term “podcast” is coined by Ben Hammersley, reporter for The Guardian, who wrote about RSS feeds allowing audio to be downloaded onto iTunes and and transferred to an iPod.

2004 – Libsyn – first audio hosting platform

2005 – PRI (Public Radio International) hosts first daily podcast

2005 – iTunes launches first podcast directory

2005 – New Oxford American Dictionary, “podcast” becomes the word of the year

2006 – The Ricky Gervais Show becomes the most downloaded podcast & This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass, launches its show freely available in podcast form


Podcasting: Growth years 2006-2014

Podcasting slowly and steadily grows, splintering into more specified content arenas

2014 – 1 billion podcast subscribers on Apple

2014 – This American Life launches a spin-off show “Serial” which is released weekly in installments – reaching 1 million downloads in just 4 weeks.

2015 – Apple’s IOS 9 allows streaming, Meerkat & Periscope introduced technology to reduce the steps to access podcasts, further increasing accessibility


Podcasting: Golden Age 2015 to present

2015 – changes in technology usher in the “Golden Age of Podcasting”; consumer awareness of podcasts increases; those who listen to podcasts, listen to more of them downloading an average of 6 per week.

2017 – mobile marketing grows to 65% of American marketplace (eMarketer)

2017 – The social phenomenon/habit of binge watching created by streaming video networks, transfers to binge listening – as such, Excellence Expected podcast experiments with making episodes available in bulk to attract binge listening.

Podcasting Timeline Kim Handysides Voiceover

Mic Love @shureblog

I’m a voiceover artist, often called upon to intro/extro, or read narration for podcasts and have an affordable team in place for editing them as well. These mobile shows are audio jewels. Please contact me if you need voice or podcasting editing services.



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