Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Only Part of Podcasting that is Dead is the Hype

Please folks don't get caught by these catchy headlines of these blog posts "Internet Radio is Dead" and "Podcasting is Dead". See a portion of the Internet Radio is Dead post below:

Podcasting is dead. Even interactive podcasting with callers. Case closed. End of discussion. For that matter, compared to video, blogging is dead.

I know some podcasters get good numbers. I think I know why that is. It has nothing to do with talent. People listen for one of two reasons. Either the podcasts are so old they started back when attracting an audience was easy, OR the people making the podcasts are already established bloggers or celebrities, so they can drive traffic to their recordings.

One of the very biggest podcasts belongs to a prominent conservative blogger, whom I will not mention, because he seems like a decent guy. It's like listening to paint dry. All he does is read aloud. The copy is bad. The stories are boring. The delivery is wooden. He has no personality. But he gets an audience, because he's already well-known. I think this is a great example of the second type of podcast I mentioned above.

I would guess that with RSS included, maybe 2000 people read my blog. I can therefore send maybe a hundred people to hear a podcast, tops. If I had 50,000 people, I could send maybe 2-3000. That seems to be how it works.

Let's get real here as hype, knee jerk and unrealistic reactions like this is what got us all to this point to begin with. Portable downloadable media and blogging usage was always going to be marginal for many years, as it takes time to grow a new medium. It was never going to replace existing radio and TV like many thought it would in the early days of the podcasting boom. I do believe that RSS based syndication and distribution of digital media will continue to grow as more and more people will prefer to get content sent to them that they have subscribed to receive, store and playback on the listener and viewers timetable. The concept is already here for many already with TIVO, DVR's and iTunes. It is all about getting content the audience wants for consuming at a later time is what this is all about. Audio podcasting will grow as it is enabled to all of our cars and on our mobile devices.

Podcasting and Blogging are not Dead, but is still in a very early stage of development. I believe that those involved in these new content distribution and consumption methods are blazing the trail for a dramatic shift that is coming to all of us. The day is coming that we will be in total control of our media and content creators will be all of us and a few of us. We will all or mostly all of us will join in on the revolution of digital media and those that engage will help succeed in this new world and those that don't will slowly loose opportunities. I do believe that you need to be smart about what you do with the time you have on this earth, but expressing your personality, creativity and smarts online will always payoff if one is credible about it. Please step back and take a deep breath and don't fall for the hype or unhype about portable downloadable on-demand media. It is real and YouTube actually confirms it for us all and is not an example that podcasting is dead.

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