Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"What Could Go Wrong With Podcasting"

Interesting column on DMNews poses this question. The author, Frank Salerno of River Communications in NJ, hits a couple salient points that are worth repeating.

First, you don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts. In fact, the majority of iPod owners haven't downloaded a podcast, and the majority of podcast listeners do so on a PC. It's the PC centric nature of podcast listening that creates challenges for Mobilcast as well, because we are trying to break a listener's habit. It's hard work.

Second, a number of podcasts are long form. But the audience is oriented around short form content, specifically 3-5 minute songs. Salerno makes vague reference to the MTV Generation, those with short attention spans and no patience for story or plot development. This is where Mobilcast gets it right. The very nature of mobile phone usage makes long form podcasts hard to listen to. So we orient around short form, and via Mobilcast Studio try to get our content affiliates to do the same. Interestingly about 90% of mobilcasts downloaded are 10 minutes or less in length. Perfect for the short attention span in addition to the mobile phone user.

The challenge that is ignored in the article, however, is general awarness of what a podcast is in general. More on that in another post.

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