Industry Insider - Broadcasting vs Podcasting – What is the Difference and Why?

Posted on by Jamie Ashbrook


The power and benefit of being constantly accessible for your listener base is of the utmost importance for online broadcasters – podcasts on the other hand offer a different experience as they’re chunks of information usually consisting of an hour or so focusing on a specific topic.

We will magnify the differences between the two and look where both are headed in the future.



What are they? – Digital audio files that can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device that focus on a specific programme. Podcasts vary in topic, but they are typically used for news updates. There are audio podcasts, video podcasts, enhanced podcasts, and screencasts.

Who listens to podcasts? – Anyone as they’re free. Each podcast has its own audience, so programmes are tailored to fit the user.

Where can I download them from? – They’re available on platforms like iTunes, apps from Google Play, and websites like



What are they? – Transmissions via terrestrial radio (AM/FM) and online that output audio on various topics via talk shows, focuses on events like festivals, and of course play music. Broadcasts are typically controlled live from a studio by a number of DJs, user interaction is key as people listening in real-time can request tracks.

Who listens to broadcasts? – Much like podcasts anyone can tune in, but broadcasts are more accessible due to radio so they reach a wider audience.

Where can I listen? – Both terrestrial and online are everywhere, they’re in cars, radios, websites, and mobile devices.


Which Is Better?

Both are unique as they each provide a different service, however podcasts were in demand in 2005 and were at an all time high in 2007, but have steadily decreased whilst interest in live radio has remained constant and slowly risen over the years in popularity.

Despite being lower live broadcasts are more consistant, whereas podcasts aren’t very stable so the market is unpredictable and difficult to engage.

Why are live broadcasts so popular and steadily on the rise? It’s due to the “live” factor which provides a much more engaging experience for listeners then tuning into someone’s playlist – whether that’s engaging fans in real-time chat around the track you’re currently playing or letting listeners suggest and vote on upcoming tracks. Social media has proved this to be true, like with Twitter and Facebook, people like to be engaged instead of passively consuming content.



We now know that online radio has and will steadily rise, the market for transmissions over the Internet is predictable, something that can be taken into account to capture future listeners. Many broadcasters at Wavestreaming are taking advantage and pulling in the listeners, which means they need to upscale their package. Here are four example stations that are expanding rapidly –

  1. Jerry George from ProgRock Radio was taking on too many listeners and exceeding his bandwidth.

    We have been growing and we are probably going to exceed our cap this month

  2. Some stations increase in a short space of time, much like John Gause from Street Style Radio.

    It looks like we are running out of bandwith due so popularity in our station. I need to see what is the next upgrade and pricing

  3. Fabrizio Lavado from Kpopway Radio wanted to upgrade to Wavestreaming’s largest package to be able to take on as many listeners as they can.

    I would like to upgrade to the biggest size package please, the XXL package. Thanks

  4. Even smaller packages for private streams are upgrading to take advantage of the dedicated listeners from live radio, like Hugh Browne from AudioRealm Radio.

    I currently pay $10.00 for 15 listeners at one time, I understand there is a package for 500 concurrent listeners for $29.00 and would like to upgrade


Podcasting and broadcasting are two very different services, each have their own unique features and uses. Podcasts were popular a couple of years ago but have fallen with time so aren’t very stable in terms of market share, whereas broadcasts, like with online and terrestrial radio, have remained constant and are a steady platform to attract listeners.

Upscaling to facilitate listeners is key as you never know when spikes of users will be tuning in, you want to be reliable to have repeat listenership. Wavestreaming’s support can be contacted to answer any questions in relation to upscaling or if you’re an existing client you can upgrade.


Contact Wavestreaming Support or checkout Wavestreaming’s Services and Products.



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