Friday, March 31, 2006
Melodeo/Mobilcast was just announced as a finalist for the Red Herring 100. This is an honor bestowed on the top 100 most innovative and promising companies in North America.
We have been nominated because of the innovative and entrepreneurial strength of our Mobilcast solution, North America’s leading mobile Podcast service.
The theme of the Red Herring event is “Pursuit of Disruption”, which is certainly befitting of Mobilcast.
This year’s Red Herring 100 North America will be unveiled at Red Herring Spring 2006, on May 24th and 25th.
at 9:51 AM
Monday, March 27, 2006
Melodeo's Mobilcast today announced that NPR has selected Mobilcast to deliver 45 of its podcasts to mobile phone users in the U.S. and Canada. Mobilcast is a mobile phone software application and web tool that enables listeners to search for and stream or download podcasts to their phones. NPR podcasts will receive a branded channel in the Mobilcast application.
Additionally, the service will offer podcasts from NPR Member station KCRW Santa Monica, CA. Praised as one of the new medium's innovators, KCRW podcasts include national and international news analysis as well as arts and entertainment features.
NPR is one of the leading podcast providers in the world, with nearly 18 million downloads since its August 31, 2005, launch. Its titles include such podcasts as "All Songs Considered," "NPR Story of the Day," "On Gambling with Mike Pesca" under the experimental "alt.NPR" brand, and all 24 of NPR's hourly newscasts.
"Podcasting has enabled NPR and the NPR Member stations across the U.S. to extend our public service and reach new audiences," said Maria Thomas, vice president and general manager, NPR Digital Media. "Mobilcast will make it easy for mobile phone listeners to find, use and update their favorite podcasts and expand the visibility and leadership of public radio in the on-demand arena."
"We're pleased to provide NPR fans the ability to listen to their favorite podcasts over their mobile phones, updated all day, every day," said Bill Valenti, executive vice president, Melodeo. "This deal is further evidence that the progression of podcasts to mobile phones is inevitable."
NPR content is available on Mobilcast immediately. Mobilcast runs on a variety of phones, and can be downloaded from http://www.mobilcast.com/.
at 8:47 AM
Friday, March 24, 2006
I know that I am teasing you with this headline. It is true that we will be announcing some very big news on Monday morning. It is a big time content deal for us and one that should really help establish the future of podcast listening on mobile phones.
Stay tuned as I will be blogging about it early monday morning. If you want to catch it before my blog post then follow Business Wire at 6am PST.
at 12:00 PM
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
PodShow has announced that GoDaddy is now a advertiser on the 50+ PodShow podcasts. While this is interesting and somewhat newsworthy, it is also not revolutionary for GoDaddy. GoDaddy has been sponsoring podcasts for almost 6 months and this deal with PodShow did not come from any real ground work done by PodShow.
GoDaddy has been doing testing with Podcasting thru the TechPodcast Network and Todd Cochrane's Geek News Central Podcast for 6 months. Truth is that PodShow is now getting the benefit of GoDaddy's successful testing and is now expanding.
Credit and a commission should go to Todd and all of his hard work in helping PodShow get this contract.
at 5:12 PM
The National Association of Broadcaster (NAB) is conducting a session called the NAB Podcasting Summit event in Las Vegas on April 22-23rd. I have been invited to join a panel at this event to talk about Mobilcasting broadcast radio content. The organizer of the event is Scott Sheppard, CEO of Inside Media Networks and Host of the Inside Mac Radio Show.
It is my understanding that the NAB has not really enbraced Podcasting in the past as it was seen as a threat to the dominance of major broadcasters, but with the fairly recent successes that major broadcasters have had with Podcasting. The major broadcasts are starting to see how podcasting can actually help grow audience, the examples are NPR, CBSNews Podcasts, ABC's Podcasts that have had very good success.
Here is the description of the event:
The NAB Podcasting Summit, the most comprehensive two-day training event on this new emerging media for content creators explores the hot new world of on-demand broadcasting - Podcasting, the next frontier. Attendees will learn everything they need to get ahead in this exciting new media. Speakers will include the who's who in Podcasting for our industry. Topics ranging from production techniques and encoding to distribution and the business aspects of Podcasting will be covered.
Day One: Complete overview of the technology – everything you need to know to jump right in and start Podcasting yourself.
Podcasting: Audio and Video for a New Audience - April 22, 2006 (9:00AM - 6:15PM)
Day Two: Focuses on the business aspects of Podcasting such as legal issues, marketing, ethics and more. Attendees will walk away with a complete understanding of this exciting new medium.
Podcasting: Audio and Video for a New Audience - April 23, 2006 (9:00AM - 6:15PM)
Digital Media Reception - April 23, 2006 (5:45PM - 7:30PM)
at 4:36 PM
Monday, March 20, 2006
This is my last post on the Mobilcast blog. I'm leaving Melodeo to pursue some other interesting startups. Rob Greenlee will take over the blogging duties from here.
When I came to Melodeo we were in the throes of the mobile music revolution. From that evolved Mobilcast. I'm proud of what we've done with Mobilcast - we began to establish a market and a brand, backed by a cool product. The company and the product still have a ways to go before they are polished and finished, but things are trending in the right direction. I am confident Mobilcast will be a success.
For those who want to get in touch I can be reached via my personal email - firstname.lastname@example.org. Or on IM at email@example.com (MSN) or spamstan127 (AIM and Yahoo).
See you on down the road.
at 3:21 PM
Friday, March 17, 2006
I was asked by an podcasting industry media person today a few questions about my experience at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas. Here are the questions and my answers.
-What was the most noteworthy podcasting/video podcasting thing you saw or heard?
Rob: I was surprised how little it was actually discussed at SXSW. The media hype and buzz have sure dropped off about it. The other was Chris Pirillo's comments during my Podcasting 2.0 session where he talked about NPR killing Podcasting with quality and that anyone should not podcast.
While these comments may have some thread of truth, it tells me that things have not changed as much as we might all think as it relates to radio or audio. The same major media sources are starting to dominate the gathering of large audiences in podcasting, but I believe that we are still going to see long-tail podcast content creation continue to explode. I think you just need to reflect on the growth of blogs to see this happen with podcasting.
I also believe that we will see more interactivity and two way conversation come to podcasting. We will also continue to see other creative ways podcasts are used and the variety and depth of content will keep expanding.
-What stands out in your memory of SXSW overall?
Rob: The involvement of women bloggers and woman tech/creative types at this conference. While woman have been involved in tech conferences in the past, this years SXSW was quite a change from the normal tech conference of just a year ago.
Woman technologists really add a whole new dimension to the discussion on panels and bring better communication, community, activisms and more social elements to the technology discussion. I also believe that woman help balance out the male dominated elements of a technology event.
at 4:33 PM
This past Thursday, March 16, marked the start of the basketball fan’s favorite time of the year.
It was the first day of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Basketball fanatics across the US have filled out their brackets and are set up to regularly check in to find out the winners and losers, the big upsets, and how their favorite Cinderella team is doing.
But what is the fan to do if he or she is unable to get to their PC?
Mobilcast has the answer.
Yesterday, Mobilcast started offering a regular 6 minute long March Madness Bracket Update Mobilcast Podcast. Mobilcast will keep basketball fans on top of the tournament when they want, using the device they always have with them – the mobile phone.
To get Mobilcast and get this March Madness Bracket Update Mobilcast go to www.mobilcast.com.
If you want to get it on your regular mp3 player here is the RSS Feed:
Tags: March Madness NCAA Mobilcast Mobile Podcasting March Madness Podcast
at 3:58 PM
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
What happened to our competitors? I haven't heard a thing out of them in months. Our carrier partners haven't heard anything from them in months. It's discouraging - I'm a guy who loves having competitors.
The question that came up today from a couple folks here was whether the perceived absence of our competitors means the market just isn't ready for mobilcasting. I can't believe that's the case - all of our market data and feedback says the opposite.
But the fact remains that our competitors are suddenly absent. I hope that means they are working on big things that they will spring on the market soon. That will be good for all of us.
at 11:29 AM
Friday, March 10, 2006
I had lunch today with Toby Padilla, who runs Musicmobs. Musicmobs is a cool user generated content site that lets you share you iTunes playlists, letting others learn about and purchase new music. Good example of user generated content.
Of course one of the things we talked about at length was the power of user generated content. The comment that really struck me was that some of the sites that host this content - thinking about YouTube- are treading the same ground Napster did in the late 90s. Users post whatever content they want, regardless of the source. On the one hand it is the epitome of user generated stuff; on the other it disregards ownership rights. In fact YouTube has gotten itself into some trouble on this front recently, and is starting to strike deals with major content providers to legally host their content.
Got me to thinking about how copyright sensitivity will change user generated content, and whether users and the sites that host this content will need to spend additional cycles making sure they don't violate copyright law. On the one hand I think it's important to have copyright sensitivity. But I would hate to see sites that host this content become so gunshy that they lose their edge.
This will be an interesting area to watch.
at 2:37 PM
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tonight is the annual Washington Sofware Association Industry Achievement Awards. Mobilcast is a finalist for Consumer Product of the Year. We know we have at least one vote, thanks to John Cook of the Seattle PI.
I'll post the outcome as soon as I know it.
at 4:47 PM
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Today we announced a partnership with InfoWorld whereby Mobilcast becomes the exclusive mobile provider for the InfoWorld Daily Podcast.
The InfoWorld Daily Podcast is ideal for Mobilcast. It's short, topical, and updated daily. Plus it is geared towards one of our target listeners - the technical leader. There folks are frequently early adopters, and likely to try Mobilcast as one of their podcast listening tools.
In talking with InfoWorld it became clear that they understand the power of podcasting, and get how to use it to grab and keep an audience. They believe it has extended their "stickiness" with their core audience. They view mobile as the next step because it extends that audience and increases the stickiness factor.
And personally I've always liked InfoWorld. I've been reading it for 12 years, and have personally worked with a number of the editors there, including podcast host Tom Sullivan.
You can read the full release on the Mobilcast site , or on InfoWorld's site.
at 8:21 AM
Monday, March 06, 2006
Podcasting 2.0 will be a panel topic at the 2006 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, TX this coming Saturday, March 11th at 10am.
I noticed that the event was light on the topic of podcasting and asked the organizers if they needed another panelist on the topic of podcasting with myself in mind. As you might imagine, I enjoy talking about the future of podcast listening, content and distribution on the mobile phone.
Hugh from SXSW was kind enough to ask me to setup this whole new panel for the event on the topic of Podcasting 2.0, which may spark a greater discussion about what should be included in 2.0 discussions versus 3.0 enhancements.
Here is a description of the Podcasting 2.0 session:
Hear about what is coming next in the fast growing area of Podcasting 2.0 from some of the leading content creators and pioneers of next-generation podcasting distribution platforms.
Cool trends that will be discussed will be podcast listening and viewing directly on a mobile phone, dynamic program and metadata assembly, audience audio comment feeds, audience listening behavior tracking and the possible future of enhanced podcasts. How podcast listening audiences are changing and growing as topic interest widens? How will major media podcasts versus smaller commercial and non-commercial long-tail podcasters sort out? This panel will also discuss how Mobilcasting is different from Podcasting?
The panelists that I recruited for the panel are might I say terrific. Here they are and it should be a real hoot to be on the stage with these other folks.
- Chris Pirillo, founder and maintainer of Lockergnome.com, spent two years hosting the TechTV (now known as G4) television program “Call for Help” before parting ways from the company. He also hosted the first annual “Call-for-Help-a-Thon” on TechTV. Every year, Pirillo hosts Gnomedex, a technology conference in Seattle made for geeks. He has authored three books: Poor Richard's Email Publishing, Online! The Book (with John C. Dvorak), and Lockergnome's Computer Tips Compendium. He writes a monthly column for CPU Magazine (Sandhills Publishing), and hosts a live Internet broadcast aptly titled The Chris Pirillo Show.
- Laura Swisher, Co-host of “Weezy and the Swish” podcast, former G4 / Tech TV personality and is also a host of the SXSW Web Awards.
- Eric Rice, Co-Founder of AudioBlog.com, KSSX and Eric Rice Show. He is one of the world’s leading experts in consumer generated media, particularly in podcasting and videoblogging. As co-founder of Audioblog.com, Rice’s goal is to bring solid tools to enable everyone to create personalized or business media. As chief evangelist for Audioblog.com, Rice travels around the country to explain the values and simplicity of podcasting and videoblogging to the masses.
- Rob Greenlee is Sr. Marketing Manager for Seattle-based Melodeo.com that is the maker of the Mobilcast software platform that enables the streaming and downloading of Podcasts directly to mobile phones. Rob is also a long-time host, producer and founder of the 7 year-old online radio program WebTalk Radio, where he has interviewed hundreds of Internet thought leaders, researchers, executives, authors, bloggers and technology journalists over the past few years. WebTalk was formerly a nationally syndicated terrestrial broadcast radio show and is now affiliated with the TechPodcasts.com Network. WebTalk Radio was the first broadcast radio program in the world to begin podcasting.
For many early years, the broadcast radio show was named WebTalkGuys Radio and was heard on CNET Radio and XM Satellite Radio. He is also the host of WebTalk with Rob Greenlee series at ITConversations.com.
I will be posting to this blog while I am in Austin and will give you a complete run down on the topics that fell inside of 2.0 and others that will be pushed off to 3.0.
at 4:39 PM
Friday, March 03, 2006
I have been pondering our ability to reach mobile phone users with wireless internet connections or data plans. It is a challenge to find these people. I know these people exist in the wild of the real world, but do they want to use those Internet connections to listen to Mobilcast podcasts.
I ran some banner ads last week bashing the iPod (see below), but that did not work. That battle seemed like a logical one but it was an up hill battle to think that the mobile phone running Mobilcast could push the iPod out of the life of a avid Apple fan. Not happening yet! What do you think?
Here is my iPod bashing Ad.
I changed up the message in my banner ads (see below). This banner ad run is set to deliver over 3.3 million banner impressions across a network of websites. This campaign is giving lot's of brand and awareness, but slow on the actual clicks to our website.
What does this banner say to you? Is it compelling enough to get you to want to give Mobilcast a try and click on the banner?
Do us a favor and mention Mobilcast to any friend you have who has a mobile phone with an unlimited data plan that great podcast audio can be heard on the phone.
One last thing, our software only runs on a limited number of phones and carrier networks. You can get us on Cingular, T-Mobile and Canada's Rogers Wireless.
at 12:10 PM
Thursday, March 02, 2006
The Daves from Libsyn came by and hung out with us this afternoon. Always great to catch up with energetic, smart guys who are passionate about what they do. Had a great conversation about community. We were so clearly on the same page. I hope the other guys in the room internalized the importance of community from our conversation.
at 10:19 PM
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
M:Metrics, the company that is starting to do good work around measuring the mobile market, recently published a couple interesting points that were forwarded to me. They surveyed a number of mobile subscribers and learned the following:
- 40% have never heard the term podcast
- 27% have heard the term podcast, but don't know what it is
What this tells me is that we might be charging the wrong hill. Our approach has been to tell people the benefits of getting podcasts onto their phones. Based on this data that only works for 1/3 of the audience. If you believe these numbers we actually need to start a step before that and tell people what a podcast is.
Or we ignore the podcast word altogether and use terms like broadcast. Or news/weather/sports. Or entertainment. Or even radio on demand (but not TiVo for radio because folks either love or hate TiVo).
Regardless, education is key. And we need to make it very simple.
I've been talking around here about the Mobilcast web site. I think it does a great job of telling people how to install the product. But it is missing what Mobilcast is or why anyone should care. We need to fix that.
We can't stop charging the Mobilcast hill. But the best way to serve our customers, which in turn builds our business, is to make them smarter by explaining what a podcast is and why they'd want to listen to one. Then why listening on a phone is so much better than listening on a PC.
at 2:28 PM
I got the chance to help create and join a panel discussion on Podcasting and Mobilcast Content Trends at the Public Broadcasting New Media Conference in our home town of Seattle. It was a very early session and started bright and early at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday, Feb 25th. I was fully expecting that this early morning session would be lightly attended as it was early and the last day of a long conference, but boy was I wrong. The room was full and the minds in the room were clearly running on Seattle coffee. All one hundred public broadcasters in the room were full of great questions and interest in the topics around content trends. The above photo is of Maria Thomas and Chris Pirillio.
I think the core reason this panel was so well attended was the interesting mix of panelists.
Panelists included: Jason Georges, Webmaster for public radio's KCRW, panel was moderated by Chris Pirillo the walking brand, blogger, founder of Lockergnome, Chris Pirillo Show, Gnomdex tech conference and former TechTV host, innovative digital media mind Maria Thomas, VP and General Manager of NPR Digital Media and myself Rob Greenlee from Melodeo's Mobilcast and WebTalk Radio.
These public radio folks showed a strong eagerness to understand the coming challenges and opportunities that is being presented online. While public radio has long been pioneering online distribution of audio content via streaming, the area of downloading and podcasting is stretching the opportunity and the risks. I got the distinct impression that public radio is struggling with the process of coming together in some way to take advantage of scale and not continue to be so fragmented online. This coming together and consolidation of all public radio was the theme behind Maria's discussion about NPR's Podcasting project.
My goal on this panel was to share the fact that shorter length mobilcast content was the bulk of the content being listened to on the mobile phone. I also shared that as we look out into the future mobile wireless listening on the mobile phone could be a significant growth area for public radio as wireless broadband grows.
The other panelists took different directions as Jason talked about how KCRW is increasing its bitrates from 48k to 64k for podcasts, iTunes is doing a great job of presending KCRW content and how KCRW is moving into more video podcast. The video podcasts are of live in-studio musical performances. KCRW has created a low cost video production performance studio that is creating unique video content.
Maria Thomas from shared more detail on NPR's podcasting program and expressed concern that Public Radio is not a cohesive and easy to find experience online. She expressed great concern for how the Public Radio category in iTunes is full of non-public radio content and explicit rated content. She felt that public radio online was just too fragmented and is losing ground on the potential of combining efforts to drive cross traffic between public radio properties online. This consolidation would also drive more sponsorship dollars into public radio and would get more exposure compared to other major online media properties. This consolidation will allow public radio to better compete against other growing media.
Tags: NPR Public Radio KCRW Chris Pirillo Maria Thomas Jason Georges
at 10:16 AM