Why I Started Podcasting, and Why I Continue

3 min read

Since it's the new year and a new decade, we thought it'd be great to hear from Simplecast member Jaime Black about how and why he got started podcasting, and what keeps him going.

In 2005, I was seven years into a radio career at Chicago’s late, great alternative rock radio station, Q101. After starting at the station as an intern in 1998, I had worked my way up to being the producer of the station’s local music show by 2001. My job was to book bands to be interviewed on the weekly Sunday night show. And while I loved the station and could not have been more proud of getting to be part of the legacy of that show, my role was behind the scenes. Not on the microphone.

In addition to my work at the radio station in 2005, I was also working at the Apple Store at that time. This entailed teaching customers how to use iPods and iTunes. And somewhere between my work booking radio interviews and teaching consumers how to use an iPod, something clicked. And that’s when I took my first steps into the then very new world of podcasting.

In August 2005, myself and my creative collaborators launched the first episode of my Dynasty Podcasts series. As it does to this day, the earliest episodes of Dynasty Podcasts showcased Chicago’s creative community, from musicians to behind the scenes industry and more.

From day one, podcasting was exciting because it offered broadcasting possibilities that radio couldn’t. For one thing, if I wanted to conduct a 30 or 40 minute interview with a guest, I could. Which was something that wouldn’t have worked on terrestrial FM radio. And if I wanted to try something ambitious or unique or experimental with my podcast format, I could. Simple as that. I didn’t have to get approval from multiple department heads at a company. And that’s not to say I didn’t love my radio work. I did. I have nothing but the deepest appreciation for my time working at a great radio station with tremendously talented people. Podcasting just offered some ways of doing things that radio just couldn’t.

Now, at the start of a new decade, I have been podcasting for a decade and a half. I still love that podcasting allows me to create unique longform content. And I still love that I get to decide the format, concept, and model of my show. But podcasting is remarkably different now than it was in 2005.

Today, podcasting is taken far more seriously than it was a decade and a half ago. Not only that, but I now fully appreciate the connective aspect of podcasting. I can invite creatives and entrepreneurs who I admire and respect onto Dynasty Podcasts, and have a far more in-depth and meaningful dialogue with them than I would be able to at a loud networking event. I also appreciate how much I’m able to learn from the talent on my podcast, and my goal is for anyone listening to come away with knowledge they can apply to their own creative pursuits.

Ultimately, I love podcasting because it’s a platform for meaningful conversation, at a time when so many platforms are built around mere seconds of content. And that’s absolutely valid, as well. But I love getting to host an in-depth conversation with a creator I admire as much as I love listening to any one of the seemingly infinite quality podcasts that exist right now. For anyone who’s been thinking about hitting record and talking into a mic as we head into a brand new year and decade, I hope that you do. You never know where some quality conversations can lead you.

Jaime Black has been podcasting for a decade and a half, and has worked in the broadcast industries for over two decades. In 2005, he launched Dynasty Podcasts, the first ever and longest-running music podcast in Chicago's history. Since that time, Dynasty Podcasts has produced nearly 1,000 episodes, including interviews, panels, workshops, and more. He also teaches a Podcasting 101 class with over 100 five star reviews, operates a new podcast studio in Chicago, and produces podcasts for a number of brands, including Crain's Chicago Business.