doxa.comunicación | 30, pp. 107-125 | 109

January-June of 2020

David García-Marín

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

regard to topics that are already established in the agenda setting, acting as an extra-cultural, alternative engine to the stories of the hegemonic media.

Flexibility and customisation of listening are also differentiating aspects that distinguish podcasting from radio. The possibility of operating under conditions of content reception thanks to its automation and digitisation features opens up new interactive fields to podcasts that are unknown to radio. Just as every Internet user takes a different route through the Web, podcast listeners enjoy multiple ways of relating to the audio content, ranging from listening to the entire program from beginning to end, continuously interrupting sound playback, skipping back and forth, and even finding the sections of each program that are most interesting to the listener. The possibilities of media consumption in podcasting have increased in comparison to linear, standardised, homogeneous radio listening. The user-media interaction has become flexible, personalised, adapted, and multi-linear.

This model empowers the subject in the process of receiving and consuming content, and it compels us to look at the idea of engagement as opposed to the old logic of a commissioner, which remains anchored to the vertical relationships between programmers and followers of cultural products, the latter of whom are obliged to consume the content on the day and specific time that is set by such programmers through the platforms they impose. This system, which is highly present in traditional media, is the opposite of the emerging model of engagement that breaks down the hierarchical relationships between franchise and fans. Contrasting this engagement model with that of the commissioner figure, Jenkins, Ford and Green (2015) say that wherever there is a medium that encourages participation with its followers, there will be users committed to listening, disseminating, spreading, and recommending content related to that medium over the Internet.

2. Studies on podcasting. Empirical and theoretical background

The doctoral thesis by Sellas (2011) was the first systematic study on podcasting in the Spanish context. His research concluded that this medium has brought about a profound change in sound communication by posing new possibilities in comparison to traditional radio, as well as by bringing together a group of independent, creative people known for their freedom, spontaneity and informality who were not constrained by the routines of radio production and programming, and consequently were able to contribute to renewing the style and language of sound communication.

From a marketing perspective, Gallego (2010) focuses on the relationship between radio and podcasting by analysing the impact of the latter on the business model of conventional radio broadcasters and how these broadcasters utilize the variety of possibilities offered by podcasting. García-Marín (2017) approaches the podcast from a narrative perspective, setting it up as a clear example of a transmedia (transpodcast) medium that goes beyond its beginnings as an exclusively sound-based language, similar to Martínez-Costa’s (2015) concept of trans radio, and extends its stories to other platforms that complement the content and seek the participation of users. In this way, these users become the protagonists of the ‘podcastfera’, a community characterised by the creation of a complex ecosystem (García-Marín, 2019) of listeners and creators –mostly non-professionals– where independent podcasts, professional and amateur networks, and a growing number of productions from the professional media, especially from traditional radio