Podcasting Part 2

Icouldn’t resist responding to all the comments on podcasting

First, yes you can timeshift and transport a podcast, but any streamer can offer a podcast ofa stream. So what.

2nd, I have never seen a live podcast, have you? Not only are there not livepodcasts, but the ability to communicate realtime or breaking information doesn’t work for podcasting. Which is why streaming will always have a place and at least for this type of information, an advantage. So what.

3rd. Podcasting may be hot, but I don’t hear a single person talking about the podcast of Live8. Do you? Yet everyone is talking about the superiority of AOL’s streaming delivery over MTV. Congrats to AOL.

4th. We won’t get into video since it’s not a fair comparison. The number of portabledevices capable of receiving a video podcast right now is miniscule. (Yes,I know about the devices with potential to get them, but they can’t yet and probably all have to be replaced to do so.) So what.

What’s not so what? The economics for indivdual podcasters.

Podcasting is cheap, easy and fun. Yes it’s different than streaming.But thatdoesn’t change the pitiful economics for individual podcasters.

Let me explain to you how things will work.

People are excited about podcasts.

The number of podcasts is small relative to where it will be in the next 24 months.

Big aggregators of Podcastscome on board, a la ITunes. That will skyrocket the downloads/listens for any given podcast.

The podcasters will trumpet those huge increases.

The podcasters will sell a few ads around the podcasts. Some will even sell some subscriptions if they go that way.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry who reads:

1. How easy it isto create a podcast

2. About the “explosive growth” of podcast listeners and downloads for individual podcasts

3. The couple stories trumpeted about podcasters who have an “impact” (on what will be fun to find out) or are profitable from their podcasts (although we will never get any real numbers from them. We just know it costs next to nothing to create, and there is no cost for their time, so if they get anything, that’s profitability) will spur every Tom, Dick and Harry to create their own podcast.

4. The number of podcasts available individually or through aggregators will explode beyond where they are today.

5. That will create a massive dilution in the audience size of the early entry podcasters. EVERYONE’s audience will fall as the marginal listeners find something they like better. Yes, there will be some podcasts that get more listenership than others, but most of them will be repurposed content that already has demand.

6. Individual podcasters who don’t have some other means of generating demand other than being on aggregators will fall off first and the fastest. They will just go away, the only trace remaining will be tiny webpages on the Wayback Machine.

Finally, when those formally known as podcasters do an accounting of the net dollars they earned and compareit to the time they invested, they will realize they made about 17 cents per hour all in.

All that will be left of profit motivated individual podcasters will be the few and far between and probably less than half of a percent of all podcasters (and please don’t anyone post a comment saying…if there are a million podcasters, 1 pct is 10k, half of that is 5k. That’s a ton. I’m making up these numbers to prove a point, not to be literal…Ok?).

And like personal blogs, tens of thousands if not morewill stay on as labors of love that we enjoy because of their creativity.

So in about 3 years, the Podcast phenomena will have run its course and will just be a normal part of the digital media landscape.

Just like streaming.

Read what bloggers are saying about podcasting

58 thoughts on “Podcasting Part 2

  1. I found this to be an excellent resource. The information is not only good, the blog was easy to read and understand and the best part is the advice works.
    I\’ve never had a great deal of success cold calling but haven\’t found other methods that I could afford to implement and that worked.

    Comment by Dean -

  2. The economist Tyler Cowen has an interesting response to this post on his blog “Marginal Revolution.” He suggests that it might depend on the technology– specifically the searchability of podcasts (and mp3s in general).

    I would add that if Google or Microsoft puts out a working audio/mp3 search engine using voice recognition (i.e., “search inside the MP3”), podcasts/talking blogs/audioblogging might have a much longer life-span.

    I gather this is in the works, though I have no idea when it will be ready for prime-time.

    Comment by Amardeep Singh -

  3. Podcast shmodcast, it’s just an automated way to get the download. I would rather call it an Audiocast or Mediacast. Stream it, email it, RSS it, it’s all the same MP3. Freeing people from their computer screen is why this is so big.
    The possibilities are so great I can’t see how anyone can shrug it off as not being a way to make a living. Talking blogs is what I hear most about. There are so many more ways to use this technology. For example: Audio Tours of famous sites or museums -a different tour for every age group, interest, etc. How about a five day tour of your city? Every night your MP3 player is automatically loaded with the next day’s audio tour. Couldn’t that be a viable business? Especially since a decent recording can now be made on the cheap.
    I know, So What? Well, so what if I wanted to change that Audio Tour? I just change it and “Cast” it. Try doing that with an Audio Tour CD. Automation is what the big deal is.
    The other big deal is the viral marketing implications. One little MP3 can become popular and end up on thousands of computers and MP3 players all over the world, where they can sit for years, waiting to point more people to your website. That one little MP3 could sell a load of Tee-shirts. Where else can you find that kind of leverage?
    The real moneymakers have been selling tools and info to the pioneers. Now the tools are becoming more practical -I think we’ll see more than a few people strike gold with them.

    Comment by Larry Phillips -

  4. Podcasting is like books on tape, either you like them or you don’t.. I like music, I liked Audio.net, I like ITunes but when i am working i am concentrating on work, not what someone is saying on a pod cast. I don’t like books on tape i like music, but then again I think rain is wet.

    Comment by paisley amoeba -

  5. Great analysis of the revenue opportunity (or lack thereof) in podcasting. I believe that Mark’s analysis is on point. To add my 2 centimes to the analysis, Apple, by embracing podcasting (just as it did with iTunes), has spawned yet another trojan horse to get more people buying its digital music products.

    There are now 8.5MM Google entries under the term “podcasting.” The earned media that this little phoenomenon has made for itself is pretty incredible, and for a relatively low technical cost, Apple has once again leapfrogged its competition in the portable digital audio device space by enabling the podcasts to be downloaded on any iPod. iPod getting full with podcasts? Hmm…maybe I need one with more storage. “What’s that podcasting thing? Hmm…I don’t know, but Apple has something to do with it.” It’s a clever strategy by the folks at Apple to add juice to its bottom line.

    Comment by Eric Porres -

  6. Audio publishing is fiercely competitive – the big winners are on your radio! Except for recorded music, 98% of all listening is AM/FM.

    Podcasting is a super “New Radio” distribution technology — alongside satellite, live streams, and archived webcasts.

    The magic will come from a listening guide bridging old and new radio. It should integrate content from both “the long tail” and “the tall head” and not be specific to a technology. Like TiVo for radio, also like Amazon for radio. See radiotime.com.

    Comment by Bill Moore -

  7. Good Service

    Comment by Good Service -

  8. It’s disheartening to see someone so inspiring miss the future impact of where this all going, especially with video. Though hopefully it is mostly because you have not thought about it enough, as revealed by falsely claiming there are no portable video devices [when in fact there are hundreds of them [ http://portablevideo.engadget.com ] or apps to support video enclosures of which there are already dozens, including iTunes.

    Also, beyond the portability aspect, the power is really to create a user experience that requires high quality file web delivery with no latency as a result of watching audio or video preloaded into RAM. This is happening now, ahead of future net speeds.

    Podcasters have not yet utilized the full extent of this capability as evidenced by their continuing desire to push overly compressed audio such as mp3s when they could just as well send uncompressed audio (because by the time the listener is present at the computer or player, the file is already downloaded).

    Also, AOL Live8 videos came as downloadable .wmv files. I downloaded them though enclosures in my feed reader and watched them locally without latency while being able to keep a copy and send them to my friends.

    The most important thing you can do to start thinking outside of the box on this is to start calling Kleenex what it is, “tissue”. “Podcasting” is a corporate-specific term for syndicating media. The implications for the near future, combined with this revolution in personal media recorders and an international audience, is much more profound than your shrugging.

    Comment by Andrew Baron -

  9. Does anyone else smell this as a wonderful bit of “let’s blast podcasts to see if we can amp up the debate a bit?” It reads like a current day version of guys standing in a parking lot debating the merits of Chevys versus Fords and which is better.

    Folks, it ain’t about podcasting versus blogging or podcasting versus streaming. Those arguments are specious exercises over which media is better. Speed ahead ten minutes in the galactic timeline and you’ll be wasting the same time over whether people will watch amateur video-based ‘casting on the next generation of iPods or PSPs or whatever. And they will already be watching.

    Repeat after me, the medium doesn’t matter—the message does. It’s all about content and marketing and it has been since media became mass. Mark knows this as well as anyone, because if his Mavs were playing their games in a Dallas schoolyard and no one knew, they’d attract a local audience about the same size as any start-up podcaster.

    The ball to keep your eye on is what happens when the cost of entry to producing and distributing your content (however good or bad it may be) is a relatively level playing field with the big media conglomerates. Then the battle becomes word of mouth versus the marketing cash in the pockets of the pros for one…and only one thing that no technology can make more of:

    The time the audience has to spend reading, listening or watching. That, friends is what its all about.

    Comment by Kirkv -

  10. Big picture, let’s just use and enjoy whatever is the “hot” communication tool at the moment and not be so concerned with the life expectancy of the tool.

    Comment by roland -

  11. Big picture, let’s just use and enjoy whatever is the “hot” communication tool at the moment and not be so concerned with the life expectancy of the tool.

    Comment by roland -

  12. Pingback from “关于Podcasting钱途的争论”—-播客宝典 http:///www.hopesome.com

    Comment by Hopesome -

  13. I enjoy podcasts. For instance, a good music podcast can be saved to your hard drive and played repeatedly. Or it can be used like a VCR or recorder. So the consumer can play back something he would otherwise have missed.

    For instance, I enjoy Norm Hitzges radio shows, but I am at work when he is normally on the air, it would be cool for me if I could download his show and listen to it later.

    Comment by Aquariuz -

  14. Mark,

    Following your analogy to streaming, there must be a business in there somewhere. If streaming was/is just another cog, how was broadcast.com able to be built and sold for such a substantial sum? From a consumer’s point of view, your right, a podcast is just another form of entertainment but, for the person who can aggregate in a way to get significant ears to come to one place to listen, there should be a profitable enterprise. Not that this changes your thesis that podcasting is unprofitable to the individual podcaster, but it is unrealistic to assert there is no meaningful money to be made in the podcasting “evolution/revolution.” (Now, if I could just figure out how to do it with no money🙂 )

    My two cents…

    Comment by Doug -

  15. OK, after reading Podcasting Part 2 I’m still not convinced that I need to rush out and buy a digital camera or a cellphone. Talk about your novelties…

    Inkblot

    Comment by Inkblot -

  16. People are generally confused by what they don’t understand… . It’s ok Mark .. you’re just a little confused.

    Your right though that Podcasting will become part of the digital landscape but it will be an important part of it…it’s not going to replace anything but instead change the role of other technologies (e.g. streaming, blogs,..etc).

    Soon you’ll see the light like just like John Belushi as he stood in the church in Blues Brothers.

    Comment by John Furrier -

  17. Hey Jon, are you stealing one of our bits? We did a parady a couple months ago on our podcast where we go back in time called “CasetteCasting”.

    Anyways the one thing I will throw into this discussion is the idea that doing a podcast is free or that the barrier to entry is minimal.

    I spend probably 8-10 hours of editing to get a our weekly podcast show up and that doesn’t include the time spent planning and recording it. Hey – it’s a labor of love but it’s a lot more work (well, if you care about the production I guess) than blogging. For that reason, in my humble opinion, the sheer number of podcasts will be somewhat self-regulating and in a much smaller number than bloggers. I should say that this does probably apply mostly to podcasts that attempt, at least, to produce something of a value more than a guy with a cheap mic ranting on a computer – but, hey, that’s all that folks will probably end up listening to anyways.

    I’m really glad to hear that your emphasis on podcasting being a labor of love vs. any type of monetary device. I’ve never looked at monetizing our podcast. Even putting the ubiquitous Google ads on our website for a few dollars a month seems petty to me.

    I think it’s oh-so-easy to get caught up in these ‘next big thing’ paradigms but for a couple of hobbyists from Dallas who expected nothing, we have 2000 listeners per show now and have made a ton of podcasting friends.

    Pretty cool hobby and worthwhile.

    Keep up the insightful blogging Mark – it’s always a good read.

    Comment by Jeff -

  18. How is podcasting different from recording your voice onto an mp3 file and passing it around. The only reason this is big at all is because the word “pod” is in the title and lots of people seem to think they they are able to do something now that they couldn’t do before. The tech for this has been around a long time. Just imagine if we called it “casette casting.” How sexy is that?

    Comment by Jon -

  19. Well I’m not tuned into the tech world in a big way but I would never be inclined to blow off any phenomenon that attracts this much attention. It may not be the future in its current form but everyday the world morphs endlessly and tomorrows next big thing will certainly morph out of some existing event. The truly smart money won’t lock themselves into a position as to whether this will or won’t last but rather will quietly wait and watch for a defining moment that spells opportunity….
    Just an opinion from one entrepreneur…

    Comment by Archie -

  20. I’m strugling myself with trying to figure out how somebody other than Apple is going to come along and really profit from the ‘podcasting’ phenominon. Without an iPod, isn’t podcasting essentially what we saw from Real like 10 years ago in RealAudio?

    Comment by BrahmaBull -

  21. I’m strugling myself with trying to figure out how somebody other than Apple is going to come along and really profit from the ‘podcasting’ phenominon. Without an iPod, isn’t podcasting essentially what we saw from Real like 10 years ago in RealAudio?

    Comment by BrahmaBull -

  22. The Hell and Highwater band can now create a podcast of Thursday night’s practice / performance by sometime Friday, and I don’t give a damn about anything else. That’s worth it for me …

    Comment by Bill Skeels -

  23. What fun would it be if I didnt do a podcast on this podcast post.

    enjoy Mark
    http://www.exit50.com

    Comment by Andrew -

  24. Mark,

    How does your view of the podcasting revenue potential (or lack thereof) differ from the revenue potential you saw when starting Broadcast.com?

    Comment by Bob Compton -

  25. To prove your point, if you’d have podcasted the content in this blog post, I wouldn’t be responding now. I’m with PXLated, blog don’t podcast.

    Comment by Duane Keys -

  26. Mark,

    You hit the nail on the head.

    I believe we are already seeing signs that your timeline is already starting to happen.

    I started streaming back in the late 90’s with my WebTalkGuys Radio Show and have seen my early large audience get fragmented and smaller since podcasting started. WebTalk Radio was the first broadcast radio show to start podcasting. The listener is winning, but this explosive growth in podcasting content is killing the revenue potential for individual podcasters.

    Mark, your projection for podcasting exactly mirrors my actual experience. Actually my economics for my show were much better when streaming was the big and popular way of getting my show. We may see this work out for a small number of podcasters after a few years of building an audience like I did with streaming.

    Thanks,
    Rob Greenlee
    WebTalk Radio
    http://www.webtalkradio.com

    Comment by Rob Greenlee -

  27. Thanks Mark. Billionaires who respond to minor technical support questions are in short supply! Great blog–I’ve got this bookmarked and will keep coming back.

    Comment by Ryan Keppel -

  28. No live Podcasts? Here is a link to a live podcast.

    http://www.thechrispirilloshow.com/

    Comment by Dave Anderson -

  29. I think Mark is totally right about this.

    These podcasts are just a more-easy-to-distribute form of the taped “radio” shows I used to make with my friends when I was 9 years old. Yes they are neat, and the new fad, but as far as I am concerned, a much too difficult way to get the information/entertainment I am looking for, and basically ineffective as far as getting “breaking” information.

    Perhaps in the future, the podcasters with the largest audiences will simply get picked up by some other form of media which can get beyond the limitations of podcasting (i.e. satellite radio or some other digital streaming technology that is readily available and can provide content in real time rather than people having to go back to their PC’s, downloading updated content to thir device, and then listening to it.)

    I think Mark’s most salient point is the one about dilution of the potential audience. It doesn’t make much sense for advertisers to spend a bunch of money to develop material and purchase “air-time” for spots that are only capable of reaching a relatively tiny audience. Also, it seems like one of the major benefits that listeners get as a tradeoff of all of the effort that goes into receiving information via podcasts, is that at least they are getting ad-free programming. If podcasts started to include a bunch of ads, then the “staying power” of this form of programming seems that much more questionable.

    Maybe I am stereotyping here, but it also seems like the typical podcast listener is someone who would be irritated and/or offended if their programming began to get “tainted” with ads. I could be wrong…….

    Podcasts seem like a great way for individuals to express themselves, but not a very good way for anyone to make worthwhile profits over the long-term.

    Comment by Jarrett -

  30. One thing that seems to have been left out of your comparison between streaming and podcasting – portability. 10 years ago, when streaming was the rage, you had to be plugged into a wall or you got nothing. How often do any of us sit still, near a network cable for more than a few minutes?

    With a podcast you get the media within minutes of its upload and you listen to it on your MP3 player where ever you want – in the car, on an airplane, at the gym, at your desk – you get the idea.

    Podcasting will have a boom and sifting process, just like any other new product. As a host of a podcast show (www.thepodcastnetwork.com/nba) I can tell you that I don’t care if I ever make a dime doing our show. Its a thrill to talk NBA basketball with a couple of other knowledgeable guys and share it with other rabid hoops fans.

    As part of our show, we have even gained access to next week’s Reebok Rocky Mountain Review, in Salt Lake City. Our little show will be interviewing the likes of Deron Williams, Raymond Felton and Marvin Williams. That’s profit enough for this NBA fan!

    Comment by Steve Warner -

  31. I think Craig in comment #6 hit the nail on the head. Podcasting isn’t about profit, it’s about passion. Same with most blogs. If you’re passionate about something, you want to tell the world about it.

    To be honest, I didn’t create my podcast to make a fast buck. I created it because I wanted to find people who enjoyed the same music as I did and who could perhaps point me to some new stuff. So far, that’s working out pretty well.

    On the other hand, registering bestpodcastever.com/.net./.org? THAT was to make a quick buck. 😉

    Comment by Dave's Lounge -

  32. The “Podcast phenomena will have run its course and will just be a normal part of the digital media landscape.” … So What?

    If anything, Mark states the obvious.

    Although I find many of Mark’s blog entries insightful, this is certainly the same refrain for every craze in history. Every “new thing” experiences the wave effect, where the fascination with the craze builds a huge crest of entrants who are simply there because of the hype. Every wave crashes, with a majority of losers and a minority of winners. I find it ironic that Mark’s big money was made on a business model that couldn’t produce the revenue to support the money he made from it. Mark is a very smart businessman. He knows when to cash out (eg, sell Broadcast.com to Yahoo) and what to do with his take (eg, diversity out of the internet craze and hedge against it). If there is a lesson, it is that entrants must know what will produce the revenue. There is money to be made from Podcasting; it simply will not be the obvious, “Dude, let’s produce a podcast and sell advertising on it!”.

    Podcasting is an excellent next step in improving delivery. Up-to-now, I have had to use software to rip streams for time-shifting. I now can subscribe to a podcast. With iTunes, it is simply a matter of subscribing and configuring syncing with my iPod. For those who have a good product, I will subscribe and listen; for those whose product is worthless, I won’t.

    There is an immense amount of garbage on analog and satellite radio and no way to filter to the good stuff through time-shifting. Given, Sirius’ plan to introduce more inline advertising, the future is not bright for improvement in the streaming/satellite area. At least I have better filtering capabilities with podcasting: I collect a batch of podcasts across time (ie, I collect all the podcasts that are produced during the day); I then listen when I want to listen and perform a secondary filter by skipping content that I find useless; thirdly, I can simply stop a podcast if it is “too useless”.

    It is the same magic that Tivo tapped into: time-shifting is a significant addition to a consumer’s content choice. And that isn’t new: Sony tapped into it with the Betamax. 60% of the movie industry’s revenue is now based on a concept/technology that they fought tooth-and-nail to destroy. The studios only saw movie-theaters as the real profit centers. The were wrong. The new concept should be embraced and understood.

    Technology rarely produces real “new” ideas: it simply facilitates the implementation of the same idea to be closer to the ideal. Video/audio tapes degrade, archiving them is expensive (space and money), and organization is difficult. Over the past 25 years, technology has eliminated degradation, the cost of archiving information is almost irrelevant, and organizing a collection of information is almost too easy today.

    For the internet and technologies associated with it, the aim was always to deliver a product (ie, information — music, shipping info, im, etc) faster/easier from the producer to the consumer. The internet craze rolled up into an ugly blob of idealism and greed that could do nothing but collapse in on itself. Most appalling is how repetitive the craze mentality is and how too many humans fall for it every time. That mentality allows the real Mavericks to make alot of money. Mark is just too smart to give that nugget away for free.

    Comment by john -

  33. I think your basic premise is correct. Some adopters are always fascinated by a new content delivery system. But ultimately, as with all media, content drives the ultimate success. But I do disagree with your first statement. Time shifting and transporting add value to media consumers. Clearly media consumers have shown a demand for more personal customization of the media they consume: that includes how the product is delivered or consumed by them. I see Podcasting not in content-related terms, but in delivery. In my opinion, podcasting’s future will manifest itself in more convenient and customizable delivery platform – not in its ability to uncover hidden gems of content that traditional media has ignored.

    Comment by Randy -

  34. Interesting viewpoint, but not sure I agree completely. There are billions of web pages online, yet some of them somehow manage to attract millions of people. There’s no reason that can’t be applied to podcasts (billions of podcasts, some with millions of listeners). More importantly, I don’t think people record podcasts to make money, it’s either because they feel the need to produce content for people (e.g. it’s something they enjoy doing), and/or it’s about recognition, drawing attention to yourself, and personal brand-management.

    Comment by Alex Mittal -

  35. Podcasting is another form of self marketing, a way to get your content to a right now, larger audience. I use podcasting as a way to get the interviews I do with bands to a larger audience…to further build my brand. I don’t think it is a viable form of revenue…it can help but it is not something to put all my eggs into, so to speak.

    Comment by scott -

  36. I went to live8 and did podcasts. met new friends had fun. My Bon Jovi sound check is being enjoyed by many people around the world as we speak.

    Hell Live8 was not even live it was repackaged in London for MTV and VH1…AoL did get the props for a good job.

    Andrew
    http://www.exit50.com

    Comment by Andrew -

  37. Mark –
    Although it is slightly off subject it may interest you to see that the “Wayback Machine” is currently under fire for copyright reasons. A firm that I used to work for posted a quick blog about it.

    http://www.okpatents.com/phosita/archives/2005/07/internet_archiv.html

    More on the subject, I believe you have hit the nail on the head. Podcasting, is only slightly different than a blog though in its novelty. The one major difference as a previous comment pointed out is the preference between reading to something quickly, and having to listen to someone’s voice over a longer period of time. Furthermore, I find it easier to simply pop up a blog and read it, than I do to find, subscribe, download, and find time to listen to a podcast.

    By the way, it’s good to see someone in the public eye being so straightforward and realistic about IP matter and technology.

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Brandon -

  38. I listened to one of the “A” list bloggers the other day. It took him 30 minutes to mumble through something I could have read in 2. That’s 28 extra minutes of my life wasted. Not!
    I think everyone will enjoy this…Blog, don’t PodCast…
    http://www.idlewords.com/2004/08/an_audioblogging_manifesto.htm

    Comment by PXLated -

  39. At the BloggerCon III last October Doc Searls stated:
    http://www.bloggercon.org/2004/10/19#a1692
    “I believe it’s far more important (and interesting) to make money because of our blogs, rather than with them.”

    The same goes for podcasting and, seems to me, all other media.
    http://workingpathways.com/workbetter/archive/because-of-not-with-in-traditional-media-also/

    Comment by Garrick Van Buren -

  40. I liked podcasting at first but it is too labor intensive downloading and transerring into ipod. Also, since ITunes picked it up I lost my desire for downloading the podcast, dont know why. XM and Sirius radio rock though, I love it, awesome, awesome, awesome and not labor intensive.

    Comment by Calvin -

  41. Hey Mark,

    You are correct podcasting is a great way to deliver traditional media over the net. Rush is doing it over his website.

    “NEW! The Rush Limbaugh Podcast: Every Rush Limbaugh Show available as an MP3. Simply download the Free Media Center software and it will download every show automatically!”

    It seems to be working great because he talks about it often on his show. This is absolutely a great medium to re-publish content.

    Cheers

    Johann

    Comment by Johann Sigurdsson -

  42. I think Vesselinov’s quotes are on-point. In the end, it’s just newer media displacing older media, but with lasting ramifications. Making specific predictions about the future of podcasting, or HD, or IPTV, or whatever, is quite fun and amusing for us tech/media entrepreneur junkies, but it’s kinda pointless otherwise.

    Five years ago, we had no concept of podcasting (or iPods for that matter). Seven years ago, we had no concept of peer-to-peer. Who knows what we’ll be buzzing about in another five, seven or ten years?

    I’m starting to think that we’re all saying the same thing, but in different ways. Over time, as the technology continues to proliferate, more and more people will be able to produce and distribute their own broadcasts, and more and more people will be able to conveniently access those broadcasts.

    Increasingly more people will produce and distribute their broadcasts just for fun, and increasingly more people will seek to capitalize in some way.

    Interestingly, these trends are aren’t exactly liberating to the many gatekeepers of the traditional media/entertainment industry, whose value has always been based on high entry barriers and controlled distribution channels.

    The more interesting question in my view is not which content/methods will win or lose in the short run, but how will those traditionalists behave in the long run? Will they adjust or slowly fade away?

    Comment by Charles -

  43. I think that your assessment of podcasting is on target. I am curious as to your thoughts on the video end ie; citizen journalists, mobile video, cell phones for news gathering etc…I enjoy your blog much. Thanks.

    Comment by Fernando Senosiain -

  44. I think your extrapolation of how it’s all gonna shake out over the next few years is spot-on. (Yet another linkback to your post here: http://ckpcreative.com/lohad/?p=46)

    Everyone’s scrambling because Podcasting is *The Next Big Thing* ™, and trying to figure out how to monetize the coming Podcasting Revolution (pat.pending). They miss the point. It’s all about passion, not profit.

    And not incidentally: Most Podcasts are terrible and downright unlistenable. A few border on passable. I have yet to hear anything not associated with an established radio entity that I’d call “pretty good.”

    Thanks for laying it all out there.

    Comment by Craig -

  45. I also agree with podcasting not being a viable business interest.

    However, with the push towards wifi and small devices, it’s not out of the question that many small ‘broadcasters’ could reach out and touch listeners.

    Take a look at this link….

    http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS8738622969.html

    demonstrating wifi from satellite down to a handheld device.

    ….interesting possibilities.

    Keith

    Comment by Keith -

  46. I agree… podcasting will primarily become a content delivery channel where mass audiences are hard to get. Similar to blogs. And they will not replace live streams (unless live streams get recategorized as “podcasts”).

    And it sounds like you are also allowing for a small set of “cream of the crop” podcasts that collect a large following. I agree, but I don’t think that those will necessarily exclude the aggregators. Some very popular blogs, for example, are aggregators with a personal touch.

    Great post, as always. Thanks for an awesome blog!

    Comment by BobR -

  47. New Media From The Horse’s Mouth

    “We expect that many of today’s new media might be turn out to be merely short-lived steps towards even better, newer media. We won’t be surprised if different, newer, and unexpected usages may soon be found for today’s new media. We believe that we’re perhaps only one-third to one-half way through the fundamental change now underway that might take decades; and that better, newer new media will be developed.

    However, whatever the future holds, we know now that old media are doomed to be replaced by new media. The declines in newspaper and magazine readerships, in radio listenerships, in television viewerships, and in cinema visitorships are obvious, well predate the rise of the Internet, and are accelerating.”

    http://www.corante.com/rebuildingmedia/archives/2005/07/07/new_media_from_the_horses_mouth.php

    A must read article.

    Comment by Dimitar Vesselinov -

  48. PodCasting is a novelty and not something which will likely become mainstream. I would rather read a blog article in less than a minute than listen to the blogger go on and on with 20 minutes of “Umm’s”.

    Good analysis Mark.

    -Nev

    Comment by Neville Medhora -

  49. PodCasting is a novelty and not something which will likely become mainstream. I would rather read a blog article in less than a minute than listen to the blogger go on and on with 20 minutes of “Umm’s”.

    Good analysis Mark.

    -Nev

    Comment by Neville Medhora -

  50. I liked your site

    Comment by Peter Jones -

  51. I agree with the root article. As a blogger myself, I do some podcasting but only as a supplemental “treat” to my readers. An occasional ‘cast can really make the difference when dealing with some really depressing information such as that which I discuss on the blog.

    An occasional ten or twelve minute “ice breaker” recharges readers to feel a little more “light in spirit” so they can tackle the seriousness of the main topic at hand.

    I have never thought of podcasting as a way to earn an income. I leave it to my readers and listeners to determine if my way of presenting the information is valuable enough to them that they might donate a buck or two so I can keep things going.

    As another writer here mentioned, content really is king. Build the content and your niche market will certainly find you, your blog and your podcast. Whether you make every minute count while writing and recording is what will either drive them off or keep them returning.

    Great blog Mark! You don’t mind if I use you as a new role model – do you?🙂

    Regards! And keep up the excellent work!!

    Comment by MexHez -

  52. It may not be the future in its current form but everyday the world morphs endlessly and tomorrows next big thing will certainly morph out of some existing event.

    Comment by runescape money -

  53. I should say that this does probably apply mostly to podcasts that attempt, at least, to produce something of a value more than a guy with a cheap mic ranting on a computer – but, hey, that’s all that folks will probably end up listening to anyways.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  54. Seen the latest on podcasting? From Feedburner… http://www.burningdoor.com/feedburner/archives/001755.html

    1. FeedBurner alone manages more podcasts than there are radio stations worldwide (yep, we looked it up)

    2. Podcasting is outpacing the speed of adoption of the last “most successful consumer product launch in history” (more on that in a minute)

    3. Podcast directories are growing, and driving activity back to podcasters’ originating Web sites. As we saw with text feeds, distribution begins as a mechanism to drive traffic back to the originating source and then evolves to become its own consumption medium

    Comment by Steve Holland -

  55. Mark,

    What were you thinking? Podcasting is all of the following:

    Portable
    On Demand
    “Pushed” to me via an RSS feed
    Unregulated by the FCC
    Easy to create
    Easy to Subscribe to
    Becoming more sophisticated and relevant all the time.
    Proliferating at lightspeed

    For those comparing “blogs” to podcasts, forget about it. I stare at a computer screen for half my day at work. THE LAST thing I want to do is more reading on a computer if I can avoid it.

    With a podcast, I can listen to the same content I would have had to sit there and read and instead, clean up my office, organize files, load the cast on to my pod and take out the garbage, do laundry, walk the dog, drive to the grocery store, etc, etc, etc.

    The revolution WILL BE TELEVISED! (on an ipod).

    Comment by Info Guy -

  56. Podcasting is to web content (less video) as audio books are to books – it’s a way to get information while you’re not in a position to read the web page. Handy, but with some limitations. The handiness will come when podcasters say something that you want to either follow (a story), or pay attention to (a useful article or book on a topic you care about). This is the analogy that works best for me.

    Comment by SteveG -

  57. mark,

    well, i guess a lot of people will indeed try to attack the podcasting phenomenon as another “get rich quick” opportunity. they’ll be the same ones who have tried it with every other new platform/idea.

    i tend to believe that podcasting will serve two purposes going forward. first, it will be yet another way to listen to, especially time shift, some of those radio shows you just can’t tune into at the scheduled time. i’ll use the jim rome show as a great example. i’d love to listen to an hour or two of rome every day, but it’s just not convenient. on the other hand, if i could just pull his shows on to my mp3 player and listen to them later in my car, on a plane, etc., great! rome is already offering this, but as a fee-based service. i’m not buying. why don’t they just offer it for free and consider it subsidized by the ads throughout the show? i’m one more listener who wouldn’t be there otherwise…

    btw, i’ll freely admit that the time-shift benefits of podcasting radio shows aren’t anywhere near as valuable as the time-shift benefits of tv with a tivo. any one person can probably name 5 or more shows they’d love to tivo. i’ll bet that same person has a hard time naming 2 radio programs they’d like to time-shift.

    the other area where podcasting will be successful is in that “labor of love” scenario you mention. i truly enjoy the rock show, a 30-minute podcast that comes out every friday. it’s a wonderful way for me to discover new music. are the producers making money on this? i doubt it. does that mean they’ll quit? i hope not.

    this is no different than the blogging phenomenon. lots of people probably thought they were going to strike it rich with their blog. a few dollars from adsense later, they discovered that it’s not what they expected. blogs represent another way for some people with a large platform, such as yourself, to distribute their message. blogs also allow people with little to no platform (such as myself) to put information out there for anyone who cares to listen. i don’t see either of us getting rich(er)…

    Comment by Joe Wikert -

  58. What if Jimi Hendrix were alive today and kept a MiniDisc recording running while working out new ideas and posted it as a podcast periodically? What if Friedrich Nietzsche was a part-time college professor that posted insights and fragments to a podcast while plumming the depth of his though? How valuable would this be? What if Charles Bukowksi posted a weekly podcast of throwing a party and getting drunk and throwing people out? What if Einstein posted the results of his frequent thought experiments? What if the modern equivalent of these people are out there doing this right now? All I see are a bunch of lowly capitalists trying to figure out how to make a buck while not having any idea what real human wealth is.

    Comment by Michael Kearney -

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