Gone are the days when you had to tune up your radio to your favourite station, but also, gone are the days when you had to wait for a specific time to listen to your favourite radio show.

Internet radio is a live broadcast audio streaming service that allows you to tune into a radio station anytime of day and anywhere in the world on the Internet. Podcasts, however work differently. They allow you to stream or download your favourite shows after they have been uploaded onto the Internet at anytime from anywhere. But what are the pros and cons for both? What do people prefer? Which, between the two, suits you?

Podcasts that can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device that focus on a specific programme. They are free and they also have a targeted audience so they are tailored to appeal to a specific audience. Podcasts are shows or series of episodes that people can subscribe to and they are shared all over the Internet. It is basically a radio show on demand where you can view past episodes and listen to them at any time.

Internet radio is typically controlled live from a studio by a number of DJs. It is always streaming live so you can either listen to it on an app or a webpage. The thing about Internet radio is that, unlike podcasts, once you hear the show, you have no other way of hearing ever again. You hear it once at that time, real-time, and that’s that. You will never find them anywhere except in your memory and even that is debateable.

However, the two work on the Internet for different reasons and those who listen to either one or both of them are interested because of their own particular reasons, but they are interested, nonetheless.

World-wide interest between live radio online and podcasts over time, 2004 – present.

Above: A graph detailing the world wide interest in live radio online and podcasts from 2004 – present. (Source: Google trends).

Despite having lower interest rates, live radio online is more consistent than the online podcasts. One could blame this on the lack of audience participation that listeners “supposedly” do not have on podcasts, however, audiences can still interact with podcasters through social media, by requesting certain topics or commenting on the show, even if it is not in real time.

Internet/online radio and podcasts are a different ways of looking at broadcasting spoken content to an audience. They both have their pros and cons, but they definitely work for those who listen to them.




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