How to Listen to Podcasts
There is no shortage of blog posts about how to listen to podcasts – but so many of them make it so complicated!
Sometimes you just want to know what is the easiest way to listen to a podcast on your smartphone, when you’re traveling or commuting, during exercise, and or at home… Am I right?
Podcasts have really evolved over the years to be an easy and enjoyable way to get information and entertainment conveniently and the increase in listeners over the years reflects that.
According to the latest Nielsen Audience Report “the number of heavy podcast listeners – those listening every day – grew by more 3.6 million”!
It’s like the old fashioned radio has been revamped to include being able to choose what to listen to and even when you want to listen.
The beauty of it is that listening to podcasts is free… no monthly subscription required.
But how to listen to podcasts depends on where you are and what your typical listening style is. You may listen differently at home versus driving in your car or even on your evening walk.
Figuring out the best way to listen can be overwhelming. Many podcast hosts have several options for how to listen on their websites and you may be wondering – what is the best way for me to hear my favorite podcast without downloading a million new apps?
WHERE you listen most, affects your choice for HOW you want to listen.
A majority of how you listen depends on where you want to listen. Are you listening on an iPhone or Android? Or is it a computer or mostly in your car? Do you want to be able to download it and listen offline?
Knowing which device you listen from most is a great way to start to figure out the easiest way for you to listen to podcasts.
If you listen from a smartphone.
Android or iPhone? That is the question. Your choice of apps can vary if you have an iPhone (iOS) or Android.
For iPhone users, the easiest option is Apple Podcasts.
Apple makes it super simple with Apple Podcasts already installed for you. With the app already on your phone (if not type in Apple Podcasts in the app store), you can find a podcast in the handy search bar and it’s easy to subscribe with a tap of a button to the podcasts you enjoy most.
Interestingly enough, the term “podcast” actually derives from Apple. It’s a combo of listening on iPods to broadcasts. (You can use that for your next trivia game!)
You can also download episodes if you want to be “offline” later to skip roaming charges when you’re not on WiFi.
According to 9 to 5 Mac, “Apple Podcasts is the dominant player in the podcast app market. Usage wise, it’s the most popular podcast app on smartphones”.
However, one of the drawbacks to Apple Podcasts is it’s not as easy to get recommendations based on what you like as it is with an app like Pandora (see below).
For Android Users:
Google Play is an easy “go-to” option for Android users since it’s usually already installed and ready to go (see: How to listen to podcasts on your android device using Google Play Music app.)
You can download thousands of different podcasts and also subscribe to your favorites.
Don’t like those two? How about these?
While Apple Podcast and Google Play are the easiest way to go for your smartphone, you may want more options for your listening ears or you may want to listen from another device, such as your computer.
Here are some other easy options to get you started:
Pandora gives recommendations for podcasts similar to how their music listening works.
You can use the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” feature and it will find more podcasts like the ones you like (thumbs up) and less of the ones you don’t (thumbs down).
You can also save podcasts by adding them to “My Collection” but you aren’t able to subscribe like you can with Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
Downside: You can’t take your podcasts offline without one of their premium plans and you’ll be listening to ads similar to their free music platform.
You can listen and download podcasts from your iPhone, Android, or computer with Stitcher.
Stitcher is a good choice if you want to be able to create playlists and it’s integrated in over 50 models of cars if you listen frequently while you drive.
You can also listen easily through Alexa with Stitcher just by asking her to play a podcast for you (Apple Podcast and Spotify have this option as well when you connect them).
Spotify is a nice choice to listen to podcasts if you like to search by genre or play it through Alexa. You can also create playlists similar to Pandora.
Downside: You will listen to ads and have the inability to download to listen offline without the premium version.
We will say that Spotify premium and being able to create playlists and listen ad-free to music also – is worth the money!
Are you taking your podcast “to go”?
Listening in the car, while walking or exercising, can affect your choices if you want the ability to listen without being connected to WiFi (especially if you don’t have an unlimited data plan).
To sum it up: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher all allow you to download episodes and listen offline. But, Pandora and Spotify require a premium subscription to do that.
What does it mean when I see Libsyn or Cadence13 and others?
This shows how the podcast is being hosted and is an easy way to listen from your computer. The amount of bandwidth required to host a podcast on a website is HUGE and it would slow down their website speed tremendously.
The solution for this is that podcasters choose a “hosting” platform to share their podcasts and make it easy for you to listen from your computer or smartphone.
Which is why when you go to a person’s podcast on their website, it will often have the option to click a link to listen and take you to a page like Stitcher, Libsyn, Apple Podcast, or you can listen right from the webpage but often there’s the name of the hosting service in the corner of the podcast.
Listening from your computer?
If you’d like to listen from your computer, you can use Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, as well as any number of options from the podcast hosts websites.
If you want to be able to create playlists, use features like Pandora’s thumbs up and thumbs down – you’ll need to create a free account and log in for each (and just to listen at all in some cases).
Bottom line, it’s never been easier to listen to podcasts and there is sure to be one way that you like most.
If you want to go for the easiest way with your Smartphone, stick with Apple Podcast for iPhones and Google Play for Androids.
From your computer, Pandora is a fun way to get to like or dislike the podcasts or you can simply listen from your favorite hosts website.
Connecting Pandora, Spotify, or Stitcher to your Alexa or other smart home listening device is a fun way to play it in your home.
Podcasts are here to stay.
The way podcast listening options have exploded is proof that podcasts are here to stay! It’s predicted that the number of listeners in the U.S. could double by the year 2023.
People love getting content in this digestible format which is completely portable so there’s no excuse to not squeeze in your favorites.
It’s such a reminder that guest podcasting should not be overlooked as a great marketing strategy – especially if you are on a budget (see: The Most Overlooked Marketing Strategy on a Budget).
You don’t want to just guest podcasts anywhere though.
You want to make sure you have a good strategy to connect to people in your niche.
Podcast Clout is the go-to place to find the podcasts that make the most sense for you to send your pitches to and to find out the best ways to contact the hosts.
Pitching yourself as a guest can be time-consuming if you don’t know where to look or how to contact them. Podcast Clout provides a head start so you can use your time wisely.
Well? Are you ready to listen?