Someone holding a tablet with a podcast app open

A podcast is an episodic series of audio or video, which a user can download and listen to and are usually free.

You usually subscribe to podcasts so that you next one is automatically downloaded to your device. The act of subscribing simply means you are notified when there is a new one waiting for you.

To subscribe, download and listen to podcasts, you will need a relevant podcast app on your phone, tablet or computer. Podcasts can also be listened to on your smart TV or your smart speakers (such as Amazon Echo or Google Home).

Features and benefits

There is lots of different content available via podcasts. This includes older episodes of radio shows, such as The Archers, comedy shows, myth busting shows, political discussions, current affairs, science and technology and so on.

Podcasts are usually automatically downloaded to your device when you are connected to Wi-Fi. Unless you change the settings on your device it does not use mobile data. Therefore, if you have a limited data plan, then podcasts are a good way to entertain yourself on a long train journey or flight. As podcasts are downloaded to your device, you can easily pause, rewind or fast forward.

TFL Volunteer Paul Webster says: "I've subscribed to a range of podcasts on the Apple Podcast app. Clicking on the podcast icon plays the latest one in the series. For me, these include St Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The Economist Today and a nutrition podcast. I listen when I choose to listen or when I receive an email notification telling me the latest podcast has arrived."

Anything else?

On Apple phones and tablets, there is a dedicated Apple Podcasts app that you can use. 

There are also a number of apps available for both Apple and Android, including:

  • Our Technology for Life team are avid podcast listeners and they have shared the names of some top podcasts that they tune in to when they want to find out what other blind and partially sighted tech experts are talking about. Read their recommendations here.

However, these have not been tested for accessibility with speech (VoiceOver on Apple or TalkBack on Android).