Link to A Brief History of the Podcast
A Brief
History
of the
Podcast
1891
Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla Coil, which enables the sending and receiving of radio signals
1896
In England, Guglielmo Marconi takes out the first wireless telegraphy patent
1901
Guglielmo Marconi becomes the first person to transmit signals across the Atlantic Ocean, from England to Newfoundland
1920
On November 2, the day of the American presidential elections, Pittsburgh’s Station KDKA makes the first national commercial broadcast. For the first time, Americans hear the results of the presidential race before reading them in the newspaper
1925
The longest running radio show of all time, the Grand Ole Opry, makes its first broadcast on WSM Radio from Nashville, paving the way for the capital city’s nickname, “Music City”
1930
The Motorola radio, one of the first commercially successful car radios, is introduced by Galvin Manufacturing Corporation
1934
During the “Golden Age of Radio,” approximately 60% of American households have radios
1979
Sony releases the Walkman TPS-L2, the first portable music player that made listening private
2000
Dave Winer, CEO of UserLand Software, updates the Really Simple Syndication format (RSS), originally authored by Netscape, and releases RSS 0.92, which allows users to attach sound and video files to feeds. The product is referred to as an “audioblog”
2001
Apple launches the first iPod
2003

Using audioblog technology, Christopher Lydon launches the news podcast Open Source to discuss the Iraq War in a space outside of the mainstream media. Open Source now claims to be the world’s longest-running podcast

2004
Google finds more than 100 million search results for “podcast,” a portmanteau of “iPod” and “broadcast” which has come to replace the term “audioblog”
2005
Apple adds podcasts to iTunes, creating a directory of 3,000 podcasts for its customers
2005

“Podcast” is named word of the year by New Oxford American Dictionary

2006

NPR launches a podcast version of the weekly radio show, This American Life. The programs currently reach 2.5 million and 2.2 million listeners, respectively

2008

HowStuffWorks.com launches the educational podcast, Stuff You Should Know, which currently records more than 1 million downloads a week and consistently places on iTunes’ Top 10 podcasts chart

2009

The comedy podcasts WTF with Marc Maron, The Joe Rogan Experience, and Comedy Bang! Bang! are launched. Due to its popularity, Comedy Bang! Bang! gets a television spinoff on IFC (2012-2016)

2012
Apple launches the Apple Podcasts app. As of 2021, Podcasts has more than two million free shows available
2012

The news satire fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale launches. In 2013, it ranks on several top podcast lists, including #1 on iTunes’ Top 10 podcasts chart, surpassing This American Life

2014

This American Life launches the investigative journalism podcast Serial, which tops the iTunes’s podcasts chart before its debut and stays there for weeks

2015

Serial becomes the first podcast to win a Peabody Award

2015

Writer and producer Aaron Mahnke launches the folklore documentary podcast Lore, which receives the iTunes “Best of 2015” award

2016

My Favorite Murder launches. In 2019, the true crime podcast earns $15 million in revenue, making its hosts the #2 highest-earning podcasters of the year

2017

The New York Times launches The Daily. In 2020, the news podcast generates 2 million listeners each weekday and wins the Webby Voice of the Year Award

2019

Stuff You Should Know becomes the first podcast to reach one billion downloads

2020
U.S. podcast ad revenue nears $1 billion
2022
As of March, there were over 2.4 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts with 63.7 million episodes. Other popular platforms for podcasts include Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher.
1891
Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla Coil, which enables the sending and receiving of radio signals
1896
In England, Guglielmo Marconi takes out the first wireless telegraphy patent
1901
Guglielmo Marconi becomes the first person to transmit signals across the Atlantic Ocean, from England to Newfoundland
1920
On November 2, the day of the American presidential elections, Pittsburgh’s Station KDKA makes the first national commercial broadcast. For the first time, Americans hear the results of the presidential race before reading them in the newspaper
1925
The longest running radio show of all time, the Grand Ole Opry, makes its first broadcast on WSM Radio from Nashville, paving the way for the capital city’s nickname, “Music City”
1930
The Motorola radio, one of the first commercially successful car radios, is introduced by Galvin Manufacturing Corporation
1934
During the “Golden Age of Radio,” approximately 60% of American households have radios
1979
Sony releases the Walkman TPS-L2, the first portable music player that made listening private
2000
Dave Winer, CEO of UserLand Software, updates the Really Simple Syndication format (RSS), originally authored by Netscape, and releases RSS 0.92, which allows users to attach sound and video files to feeds. The product is referred to as an “audioblog”