A podcast or generically netcast, is an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download in order to listen to. It is often available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user's own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.[1]

The word was originally suggested by Ben Hammersley as a portmanteau of "iPod" (a brand of media player) and "broadcast".[2][3]

The files distributed are in audio format, but may sometimes include other file formats such as PDF or EPUB. Videos which are shared following a podcast model are sometimes called video podcasts or vodcasts.

The generator of a podcast maintains a central list of the files on a server as a web feed that can be accessed through the Internet. The listener or viewer uses special client application software on a computer or media player, known as a podcatcher, which accesses this web feed, checks it for updates, and downloads any new files in the series. This process can be automated to download new files automatically, which may seem to users as though new episodes are broadcast or "pushed" to them. Files are stored locally on the user's device, ready for offline use.[4] There are many different mobile applications available for people to use to subscribe and to listen to podcasts. Many of these applications allow users to download podcasts or to stream them on demand as an alternative to downloading. Many podcast players (apps as well as dedicated devices) allow listeners to skip around the podcast and control the playback speed.

Some have labeled podcasting as a converged medium bringing together audio, the web, and portable media players, as well as a disruptive technology that has caused some individuals in the radio business to reconsider established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production, and distribution.[5] Podcasts are usually free of charge to listeners and can often be created for little to no cost, which sets them apart from the traditional model of "gate-kept" media and production tools. Podcast creators can monetize their podcasts by allowing companies to purchase ad time, as well as via sites such as Patreon, which provides special extras and content to listeners for a fee. Podcasting is very much a horizontal media[6] form – producers are consumers, consumers may become producers, and both can engage in conversations with each other.[5]

Serial Podcast
The Serial podcast being played through an iPhone


"Podcast" is a portmanteau word, formed by combining "iPod" and "broadcast".[2] The term "podcasting" as a name for the nascent technology was first suggested by The Guardian columnist and BBC journalist Ben Hammersley,[7] who invented it in early February 2004 while "padding out" an article for The Guardian newspaper.[3] Despite the etymology, the content can be accessed using any computer or similar device that can play media files. Use of the term "podcast" predated Apple's addition of formal support for podcasting to the iPod, or its iTunes software.[8]

Other names for podcasting include "net cast", intended as a vendor-neutral term without the loose reference to the Apple iPod. This name is used by shows from the TWiT.tv network.[9] Some sources have also suggested the backronym "portable on demand" or "POD", for similar reasons.[10]


In 2004, former MTV video jockey Adam Curry, in collaboration with Dave Winer – co-author of the RSS specification – is credited with coming up with the idea to automate the delivery and syncing of textual content to portable audio players.[11][12][13]

Podcasting, once an obscure method of spreading audio information, has become a recognized medium for distributing audio content, whether for corporate or personal use. Podcasts are similar to radio programs in form, but they exist as audio files that can be played at a listener's convenience, anytime or anywhere.

The first application to make this process feasible was iPodderX, developed by August Trometer and Ray Slakinski.[14] By 2007, audio podcasts were doing what was historically accomplished via radio broadcasts, which had been the source of radio talk shows and news programs since the 1930s.[13] This shift occurred as a result of the evolution of internet capabilities along with increased consumer access to cheaper hardware and software for audio recording and editing.

In October 2003, Matt Schichter launched his weekly chat show The BackStage Pass. B.B. King, Third Eye Blind, Gavin DeGraw, The Beach Boys, and Jason Mraz were notable guests the first season. The hour long radio show was recorded live, transcoded to 16kbit/s audio for dial-up online streaming. Despite a lack of a commonly accepted identifying name for the medium at the time of its creation, The Backstage Pass which became known as Matt Schichter Interviews[15] is commonly believed to be the first podcast to be published online.

In August 2004, Adam Curry launched his show Daily Source Code. It was a show focused on chronicling his everyday life, delivering news, and discussions about the development of podcasting, as well as promoting new and emerging podcasts. Curry published it in an attempt to gain traction in the development of what would come to be known as podcasting and as a means of testing the software outside of a lab setting. The name Daily Source Code was chosen in the hope that it would attract an audience with an interest in technology.[16]

Daily Source Code started at a grassroots level of production and was initially directed at podcast developers. As its audience became interested in the format, these developers were inspired to create and produce their own projects and, as a result, they improved the code used to create podcasts. As more people learned how easy it was to produce podcasts, a community of pioneer podcasters quickly appeared.[12]

In June 2005, Apple released iTunes 4.9 which added formal support for podcasts, thus negating the need to use a separate program in order to download and transfer them to a mobile device. While this made access to podcasts more convenient and widespread, it also effectively ended advancement of podcatchers by independent developers. Additionally, Apple issued cease and desist orders to many podcast application developers and service providers for using the term "iPod" or "Pod" in their products' names.[17]

Podcasting icon
The logo used by Apple to represent podcasting in its iTunes software.

Within a year, many podcasts from public radio networks like the BBC, CBC Radio One, NPR, and Public Radio International placed many of their radio shows on the iTunes platform. In addition, major local radio stations like WNYC in New York City and WHYY-FM radio in Philadelphia, KCRW in Los Angeles placed their programs on their websites and later on the iTunes platform.

Concurrently, CNET, This Week in Tech, and later Bloomberg Radio, the Financial Times, and other for-profit companies provided podcast content, some using podcasting as their only distribution system.

IP issues in trademark and patent law

Trademark applications

Between February 10 and 25 March 2005, Shae Spencer Management, LLC of Fairport, New York filed a trademark application to register the term "podcast" for an "online prerecorded radio program over the internet". On September 9, 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected the application, citing Wikipedia's podcast entry as describing the history of the term. The company amended their application in March 2006, but the USPTO rejected the amended application as not sufficiently differentiated from the original. In November 2006, the application was marked as abandoned.[18]

As of September 20, 2005, known trademarks that attempted to capitalize on podcast included: ePodcast, GodCast, GuidePod, MyPod, Pod-Casting, Podango, PodCabin, Podcast, Podcast Realty, Podcaster, PodcastPeople, Podgram PodKitchen, PodShop, and Podvertiser.[13]

By February 2007, there had been 24 attempts to register trademarks containing the word "PODCAST" in the United States, but only "PODCAST READY" from Podcast Ready, Inc. was approved.[19]

Apple trademark protections

On September 26, 2004, it was reported that Apple Inc. had started to crack down on businesses using the string "POD", in product and company names. Apple sent a cease and desist letter that week to Podcast Ready, Inc., which markets an application known as "myPodder".[20] Lawyers for Apple contended that the term "pod" has been used by the public to refer to Apple's music player so extensively that it falls under Apple's trademark cover.[21] Such activity was speculated to be part of a bigger campaign for Apple to expand the scope of its existing iPod trademark, which included trademarking "IPOD", "IPODCAST", and "POD".[22] On November 16, 2006, the Apple Trademark Department stated that "Apple does not object to third-party usage of the generic term 'podcast' to accurately refer to podcasting services" and that "Apple does not license the term". However, no statement was made as to whether or not Apple believed they held rights to it.[23]

Personal Audio lawsuits

Personal Audio, a company referred to as a "patent troll" by the Electronic Frontier Foundation,[24] filed a patent on podcasting in 2009 for a claimed invention in 1996.[25] In February 2013, Personal Audio started suing high-profile podcasters for royalties,[24] including The Adam Carolla Show and the HowStuffWorks podcast. US Congressman Peter DeFazio's previously proposed "SHIELD Act" intended to curb patent trolls.[26]

In October 2013, the EFF filed a petition with the US Trademark Office to invalidate the Personal Audio patent.[27]

On August 18, 2014, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that Adam Carolla had settled with Personal Audio.[28]

On April 10, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invalidated five provisions of Personal Audio's podcasting patent.[29]


Enhanced podcasts

An enhanced podcast can display images synchronized with audio. These can contain chapter markers, hyperlinks, and artwork, all of which is synced to a specific program or device. When an enhanced podcast is played within its specific program or device, all the appropriate information should be displayed at the same time and in the same window, making it easier to display materials.

Podcast novels

A podcast novel (also known as a serialized audiobook or podcast audiobook) is a literary format that combines the concepts of a podcast and an audiobook. Like a traditional novel, a podcast novel is a work of long literary fiction; however, this form of the novel is recorded into episodes that are delivered online over a period of time and in the end available as a complete work for download. The episodes may be delivered automatically via RSS, through a website, blog, or another syndication method. These files are either listened to directly on a user's computer or loaded onto a portable media device to be listened to later.

The types of novels that are podcasted vary from new works from new authors that have never been printed,[30][31] to well-established authors that have been around for years,[32] to classic works of literature that have been in print for over a century.[33][34] In the same style as an audiobook, podcast novels may be elaborately narrated with separate voice actors for each character and sound effects, similar to a radio play. Other podcast novels have a single narrator reading the text of the story with little or no sound effects.

Podcast novels are distributed over the Internet, commonly on a weblog. Podcast novels are released in episodes on a regular schedule (e.g., once a week) or irregularly as each episode is released when completed. They can either be downloaded manually from a website or blog or be delivered automatically via RSS or another method of syndication. Ultimately, a serialized podcast novel becomes a completed audiobook.[35]

Some podcast novelists give away a free podcast version of their book as a form of promotion.[36] Some such novelists have even secured publishing contracts to have their novels printed.[30][31] Podcast novelists have commented that podcasting their novels lets them build audiences even if they cannot get a publisher to buy their books. These audiences then make it easier to secure a printing deal with a publisher at a later date. These podcast novelists also claim the exposure that releasing a free podcast gains them makes up for the fact that they are giving away their work for free.[37]

Video podcasts

A video podcast on the Crab Nebula by NASA

A video podcast (sometimes shortened to "vodcast") includes video clips. Web television series are often distributed as video podcasts.

Dead End Days (2003–2004) is commonly believed to be the first video podcast. That serialized dark comedy about zombies was broadcast from 31 October 2003 through 2004.[38]

Since the spread of the Internet and the use of Internet broadband connection TCP, which helps to identify various applications, a faster connection to the Internet has been created and a wide amount of communication has been created. Video podcasts have become extremely popular online and are often presented as short video clips, usually excerpts of a longer recording. Video clips are being used on pre-established websites, and increasing numbers of websites are being created solely for the purpose of hosting video clips and podcasts. Video podcasts are being streamed on intranets and extranets, and private and public networks, and are taking communication through the Internet to new levels.[39]

Most video clips are now submitted and produced by individuals. Video podcasts are also being used for web television, commonly referred to as Web TV, a rapidly growing genre of digital entertainment that uses various forms of new media to deliver to an audience both reruns of shows or series and content created or delivered originally online via broadband and mobile networks, web television shows, or web series. Examples include Amazon Video, Hulu, and Netflix. Other types of video podcasts used for web television may be short-form, anywhere from 2–9 minutes per episode, typically used for advertising, video blogs, amateur filming, journalism, and convergence with traditional media.

Video podcasting is also helping build businesses, especially in the sales and marketing sectors. Through video podcasts, businesses both large and small can advertise their wares and services in a modern, cost-effective way. In the past, big businesses had better access to expensive studios where sophisticated advertisements were produced, but now even the smallest businesses can create high-quality media with just a camera, editing software, and the Internet.[40]

In a two-year study, 2012-2013, conducted by a South African university a question was raised; over the years of podcast development, is podcasting socially inclusive. The results of this study concluded with minor quarks, podcasting is socially inclusive.[41]


An oggcast is a podcast recorded and distributed exclusively in the Vorbis audio codec with the Ogg container format, and/or other similarly free codecs/formats.[42] For example, a podcast distributed both in the non-free MP3 format and the free Ogg format would not technically meet the definition of an oggcast. In contrast, a podcast distributed in both the Vorbis and Speex codecs would meet the strict definition of an oggcast. The term oggcast is a combination of the word "ogg" from the term Ogg Vorbis, and the syllable "cast", from "broadcast".

The term was coined for the fifth season of the Gnu World Order by Klaatu in 2010, when the show declared itself "the world's first oggcast".[43] At the time, the show was one of the few that released only in free formats, with no MP3 feed as an option. This gave way to other shows using the term, with hosts gathering in the #oggcastplanet connect IRC channel on the Freenode network to compare notes.

The Linux Link Tech Show, one of the longer running Linux podcasts still in production, has a program in the Ogg Vorbis format in its archives from January 7, 2004.[44]

Oggcasters tend to be broadcasters who prefer not to use audio and video codecs that have patent and/or licensing restrictions, such as the MP3 codec.[42]

Recording and distributing podcasts in the Ogg Vorbis audio format has advantages. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers both support playing Vorbis files directly in the browser without requiring plugins.[45][46] Vorbis may produce better audio quality with a smaller file size than alternative codecs such as AAC or MP3.[47] However, this has not been proven conclusively. Ogg Vorbis is not bound by patents and is considered "free software" in the sense that no corporate entity owns the rights to the format. Some people feel that this is a safer container for their multimedia content for this reason.[48] However, oggcasters can generally not reach as wide of an audience as more traditional podcasters. This is mainly due to the lack of native Ogg Vorbis support in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari web browser, and the lack of Ogg Vorbis support in many mobile audio devices.[49]

Oggcast Planet maintains a central list of oggcasts.[50]

Political podcast

A political podcast focuses on current events, lasts usually a half hour to an hour, often with a relaxed and conversational tone, and features journalists and politicians and pollsters and writers and others with credentials in the public sphere. Most political podcasts have a host–guest interview format and are broadcast each week based on the news cycle. Political podcasts have blossomed in the past few years in the United States because of the long election cycle.[51][52] Larger news sites such as the Radio Atlantic[53] and the Spectator[54] have started weekly political podcasts in recent years, as well as smaller podcasts such as the Bruderhof's Life Together podcast[55] and Danny Anderson's Sectarian Review and Crooked Media's Pod Save America.[56]


A podguide is an enhanced audio tour podcast. It is a single audio file where each chapter displays a picture and a number of what to look at a certain stopover. The numbers correspond to the numbers on a map that can be downloaded via the link incorporated into the artwork of the chapters in the podguide. Podguides are in the m4a format and can only be listened to through iTunes or an iPod. It is like a soundseeing tour but with pictures and a map, so users can take the tour themselves.


Communities use collaborative podcasts to support multiple contributors podcasting through generally simplified processes, and without having to host their own individual feeds. A community podcast can also allow members of the community (related to the podcast topic) to contribute to the podcast in many different ways. This method was first used for a series of podcasts hosted by the Regional Educational Technology Center at Fordham University in 2005. Anders Gronstedt explores how businesses like IBM and EMC use podcasts as an employee training and communication channel.[57][58]

The podcast industry is very profitable. Over 50 million people listen to podcasts each month. A small, yet efficient number of listeners are also podcast creators. Creating a podcast is reasonably inexpensive. It requires just a microphone, laptop or other personal computer, and a room with some sound blocking. Podcast creators tend to have a good listener base because of their relationships with the listeners.[59]

See also


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  29. ^ Fung, Brian (April 10, 2015). "How the government just protected some of your favorite podcasts". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
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  34. ^ "Short Story Collection Vol. 001". LibriVox. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
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  36. ^ Cadelago, Chris (April 5, 2008). "Take my book. It's free". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  37. ^ Gaughran, David (September 5, 2011). ""Free" Really Can Make You Money – A Dialogue With Moses Siregar III". Let's Get Digital. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
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External links

Bill Burr

William Frederic Burr (born June 10, 1968) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and podcaster. Outside of stand-up, he is known for hosting the Monday Morning Podcast, appearing on Chappelle's Show, playing Patrick Kuby in the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad, and creating and starring in the Netflix animated sitcom F Is for Family. He also co-founded the All Things Comedy network.

Brady Haran

Brady John Haran (born 18 June 1976) is an Australian-born British independent filmmaker and video journalist who is known for his educational videos and documentary films produced for BBC News and his YouTube channels, the most notable being Periodic Videos and Numberphile. Haran is also the co-host of the Hello Internet podcast along with fellow YouTuber CGP Grey. On August 22, 2017, Haran launched his second podcast, called The Unmade Podcast, and on November 11, 2018, he launched his third podcast, The Numberphile Podcast, based on his mathematics-centered channel of the same name.

Brendan Schaub

Brendan Peter Schaub (born March 18, 1983) is an American stand-up comedian, podcast host and former professional mixed martial artist. After signing with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2009 to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, he fought for the company until 2014. He officially retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2015. Since 2014, Schaub has co-hosted The Fighter and the Kid podcast alongside Bryan Callen and also currently has a solo podcast titled BELOW THE BELT with Brendan Schaub. Since 2015, Schaub has been performing stand-up comedy, initially as a duo act with Callen and currently as a solo comedian.


Engadget is a multilingual technology blog network with daily coverage of gadgets and consumer electronics. Engadget currently operates a total of ten blogs—four written in English and six international versions with independent editorial staff. Engadget has in the past ranked among the top five in the "Technorati top 100" and was noted in Time for being one of the best blogs of 2010. It has been operated by AOL since October 2005.


h3h3Productions (often shortened to h3h3 or simply h3) is an Israeli-American comedy YouTube channel produced by husband and wife duo Ethan Edward Klein (born June 24, 1985) and Hila Klein (née Hakmon; born December 12, 1987). Their content mostly consists of reaction videos and sketch comedy in which they satirize internet culture. In addition to their main channel, they run a secondary vlog channel by the name of Ethan and Hila and a third channel called H3 Podcast. The H3 Podcast episodes were originally streamed live on twitch and later uploaded to YouTube in full, but newer episodes are livestreamed on the podcast's YouTube channel. The podcast covers a variety of topics, some controversial. There is also the H3 Podcast Highlights YouTube channel which features short clips of the podcast. The podcast primarily features Ethan and Hila interviewing celebrities and YouTubers. The podcast also has a "Top of the Week" segment, where Ethan and Hila comment on current events involving the internet and the world.


HowStuffWorks is an American commercial infotainment website founded by professor and author Marshall Brain to provide its target audience an insight into the way many things work. The site uses various media to explain complex concepts, terminology, and mechanisms—including photographs, diagrams, videos, animations, and articles.

The website was acquired by Discovery Communications in 2007, but was sold to different owners in 2014. The site has since expanded out into podcasting, focusing on factual topics. In 2018, the podcast division of the company, which had been spun-off by System1 under the name Stuff Media, was acquired by iHeartMedia for $55 million.


iHeartRadio is a free broadcast and internet radio platform owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. It was founded in April 2008 as the website iheartmusic.com. As of 2017, iHeartRadio functions as a music recommender system and is the national umbrella brand for iHeartMedia's radio network aggregating its over 850 local iHeartMedia radio stations across the United States, as well as hundreds of other stations from various other media (with companies such as Cumulus Media, Cox Radio and Beasley Broadcast Group also utilizing this service). In addition, the service includes thousands of podcasts and now also offers on demand functionality and is the only service that allows listeners to save and replay songs right from live broadcast radio to their digital playlists. The on demand features require a subscription fee. iHeartRadio is available across more than 90 device platforms including online, via mobile devices, and on some video-game consoles.iHeartRadio launched national-branded marquee events starting with the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011. Other major iHeartRadio events include the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, iHeartCountry Festival, the nationwide iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, iHeartSummer’17 Weekend and the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which generated 165 billion social media impressions. iHeartRadio regularly hosts concerts at the iHeartRadio Theaters in Los Angeles and New York.


iTunes () is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on January 9, 2001. It is used to play, download, and organize digital multimedia files, including music and video, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems. Content must be purchased through the iTunes Store, whereas iTunes is the software letting users manage their purchases.

The original and main focus of iTunes is music, with a library offering organization, collection, and storage of users' music collections. It can be used to rip songs from CDs, as well as play content with the use of dynamic, smart playlists. Options for sound optimizations exist, as well as ways to wirelessly share the iTunes library. In 2005, Apple expanded on the core features with video support, later also adding podcasts, e-books, and a section for managing mobile apps for Apple's iOS operating system, the last of which it discontinued in 2017.

The original iPhone smartphone required iTunes for activation and, until the release of iOS 5 in 2011, iTunes was required for installing software updates for the company's iOS devices. Newer iOS devices rely less on the iTunes software, though it can still be used for backup and restoration of phone contents, as well as for the transfer of files between a computer and individual iOS applications. iTunes has received significant criticism for a bloated user experience, with Apple adopting an all-encompassing feature-set in iTunes rather than sticking to its original music-based purpose.

Joe Budden

Joseph Anthony Budden II (born August 31, 1980) is an American broadcaster, former rapper, and songwriter. Budden's eponymous debut studio album was released in 2003 and debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200, selling 95,000 copies within its first week. The album featured the hit single "Pump It Up", Budden's most commercially successful solo single. He was formerly signed to major record label Def Jam, but left the label in 2007 and is currently signed to Empire Distribution.

After separating from Def Jam, he began recording and releasing solo mixtapes and albums on independent labels. In 2013, he released No Love Lost; his follow-up EP, "Some Love Lost" was released November 4, 2014. He released "All Love Lost" on October 16, 2015. Most recently, he released "Rage & The Machine" on October 21, 2016. In addition to his solo work, Budden was a member of the American hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse, alongside fellow rappers Royce da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I.Budden formerly worked as a broadcaster, at Complex’s Everyday Struggle, alongside Nadeska Alexis and DJ Akademiks in 2017, before leaving the show in January 2018. He currently hosts his own self-titled podcast, which since September 2018 is released twice a week through Spotify.

Joe Rogan

Joseph James Rogan (; born August 11, 1967) is an American stand-up comedian, mixed martial arts (MMA) color commentator, podcast host, businessman and former television host and actor.

Rogan began a career in comedy in August 1988 in the Boston area. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1994, Rogan signed an exclusive developmental deal with Disney and appeared as an actor on several television shows including Hardball and NewsRadio. In 1997, he started working for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as an interviewer and color commentator. Rogan released his first comedy special in 2000. In 2001, Rogan put his comedy career on hold after becoming the host of Fear Factor and would resume his stand-up career shortly after the show's end in 2006. In 2009, Rogan launched his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.

Nerdist Industries

Nerdist Industries, LLC is part of the digital division of Legendary Entertainment. Nerdist Industries was founded as a sole podcast (The Nerdist Podcast) created by Chris Hardwick but later spread to include a network of podcasts, a premium content YouTube channel, a news division (Nerdist News), and a television version of the original podcast produced by and aired on BBC America.

News aggregator

In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply aggregator, is client software or a web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as online newspapers, blogs, podcasts, and video blogs (vlogs) in one location for easy viewing. RSS is a synchronized subscription system. RSS uses extensible markup language (XML) to structure pieces of information to be aggregated in a feed reader that displays the information in a user-friendly interface. The updates distributed may include journal tables of contents, podcasts, videos, and news items.

Nintendo Power

Nintendo Power is a news and strategy magazine which was initially published in-house monthly by Nintendo of America, and later independently. In December 2007, Nintendo contracted publishing to Future US, the American subsidiary of British publisher Future. It is formerly one of the longest running video game magazines in the United States and Canada, and is Nintendo's official magazine in North America.

On August 21, 2012, Nintendo announced that it would not be renewing its licensing agreement with Future Publishing, and that Nintendo Power would cease publication in December. The final issue, volume 285, was released on December 11, 2012. On December 20, 2017, Nintendo Power officially returned as a podcast.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Anne Maddow ( (listen), MAD-oh; born April 1, 1973) is an American television host and liberal political commentator. Maddow hosts The Rachel Maddow Show, a nightly television show on MSNBC, and serves as the cable network's special event co-anchor alongside Brian Williams. Her syndicated talk radio program of the same name aired on Air America Radio.

Maddow holds a doctorate in politics from the Lincoln College, Oxford, and is the first openly lesbian anchor to host a major prime-time news program in the United States. Asked about her political views by the Valley Advocate, Maddow replied, "I'm undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I'm in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican party platform."

Rooster Teeth

Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC is an American media and entertainment company headquartered in Austin, Texas and owned by Ellation, a division of Otter Media, which itself is a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia under its Warner Bros. unit. Rooster Teeth was founded by Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum, Geoff Ramsey, Jason Saldaña, Gus Sorola, and Joel Heyman in 2003.

Rooster Teeth began with the production of Red vs. Blue, which premiered in April 2003 and is still in production, making it the longest running web series of all time. Due to server and web hosting costs, the founders created "Sponsorships" which is now known as "FIRST", a subscription to exclusive and earlier access to content and discounts on their merchandise store, among other benefits. The company later branched out into live-action shorts, series, comedy, Let's Play videos, and full animated productions. Other projects include reality shows, video game development, entertainment news programs, and podcasts. In 2015, Rooster Teeth released its feature-film debut Lazer Team, a science-fiction action comedy. The company hosts an annual convention, RTX, in several cities around the world.

The company's videos are regularly released on its own website and app while podcasts and Let's Plays are still released on their YouTube channel as well. As of March 2019, Rooster Teeth's primary YouTube channel currently has 9.6 million subscribers and has over 5.7 billion video views. Including all of their other channels, they maintain over 45 million subscribers.

Sam Harris

Samuel Benjamin Harris (born April 9, 1967) is an American neuroscientist, philosopher, author, critic of religion, blogger, public intellectual, and podcast host. His work touches on a wide range of topics, including rationality, ethics, free will, neuroscience, meditation, philosophy of mind, politics, Islam, terrorism, and artificial intelligence. He is described as one of the atheistic "Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse", along with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett.Harris's first book, The End of Faith (2004), won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 33 weeks. In The Moral Landscape (2010), he argues that science answers moral problems and can aid human well-being. He then published a longform essay Lying in 2011, the short book Free Will in 2012, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion in 2014, and, with British writer Maajid Nawaz, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue in 2015. Harris' work has been translated into over 20 languages. In September 2013, Harris began releasing the Making Sense podcast (originally titled Waking Up), in which he interviews guests, responds to critics, and discusses his views.

Serial (podcast)

Serial is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, narrating a nonfiction story over multiple episodes. The series was co-created and is co-produced by Koenig and Julie Snyder and developed by This American Life. Season one investigated the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee (Hangul: 이해민), an 18-year-old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore. Season two focused on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American Army soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban, and then charged with desertion. Season three, which debuted in September 2018, explores cases within the Justice Center Complex in the Cleveland area. Serial ranked number one on iTunes even before its debut and remained there for several weeks. Serial won a Peabody Award in April 2015 for its innovative telling of a long-form nonfiction story. As of September 2018, episodes of seasons one and two have been downloaded over 340 million times, establishing an ongoing podcast world record.

The Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience is a free audio and video podcast hosted by American comedian, actor, sports commentator, and television host Joe Rogan. It was launched on December 24, 2009 by Rogan and comedian Brian Redban who also produced and co-hosted. It has grown to become one of the world's most popular podcasts.

Vox Media

Vox Media, Inc. is an American digital media company based in Washington, D.C. and New York City. The company was founded in July 2005 as SportsBlogs Inc. by Jerome Armstrong, Tyler Bleszinski, and Markos Moulitsas, and was rebranded as Vox Media in 2011. The company operates additional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, and London. In June 2010, the network featured over 300 sites with over 400 paid writers. In September 2018, Comscore ranked Vox Media as the 30th-most popular media company among users from the United States.Vox Media owns seven editorial brands—The Verge, Vox, SB Nation, Eater, Polygon, Curbed and Recode—and formerly, Racked. Vox Media's brands are built on Concert, a publisher-led market place for advertising, and Chorus, its proprietary content management system. The company's lines of business include the publishing platform Chorus, Concert, Vox Creative, Vox Entertainment, and the Vox Media Podcast Network.


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