Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What Happened To Audio Streaming Online?

I think streaming audio is getting short-changed right now online, as I think streaming delivery is just changing. I have been hearing tech podcasters make quick judgements that streaming is dying a slow death online. I have been delivering audio content online since 1999 and my experience is that streaming can be much more powerful to reach a larger audience then just relying on downloads. I think that people who are heavy followers of tech like Todd host of the Geek News Central podcast show do get a lot downloads, but much of the listening online now is happening in flash players which counts as a download, but is really streaming.

I just think that as the online content moves to other genre areas besides tech, that it will see stronger growth again of stream distribution. The definition of a stream needs to be widened to include Flash players, WinAmp, Windows Media, Real and now Mobilcast with adaptive chunking streaming to mobile phones. I know the problems with streaming is complexity for the content provider and the listener as the listener need a certain player and with flash it is already installed on most computers. I am not saying that Windows Media streaming will come charging back in popularity, but that ease of access to the content via streaming is powerful. What some podcasters are really saying is that listening is shifting to mobile devices like iPods and mp3 players as the reason downloads are growing faster then Windows Media like streaming.

All you need to do is look at sites like YouTube and Google video to see the power of flash based streaming players. Streaming is happening more now with video then with audio, because of the bitrate of the media file that makes it very large to download.

I am seeing first hand with logs from growing mobile phone listening with "Mobilcast", it is streaming that is dominating the delivery platform by over 95%. We are seeing downloading of longer-form programs on the mobile phone, but it is about 5% of the mobile episode consumption. The dominant length of mobile podcasts accessed through Mobilcast is 1-2 minutes in length. I think that episode playback length with get longer as networks, mobile phones bet more media enabled.

We at Mobilcast are wanting to offer all the very best podcasts to our growing mobile listeners. Please submit your video or audio feeds to us for inclusion. http://www.mobilcast.com/ and my blog at http://www.mobilcaster.com

Podcasters should be sure to use all the available methods of delivering your program.

Rob Greenlee

1 comment:

  1. Audio on the desktop was one of my first blog posts.