This will not be another gripe post about how bad the term podcast is to the long term growth of portable media. You will never again hear me bash it. It is here to stay and we need to make the best of the situation. I am hearing more and more private discussion about changing the meaning of the term “Podcast” away from a strong connection with the iPod and making the name mean "Portable On-Demand Cast". I think this makes a lot of sense because the name podcast is here to stay and it is more often then not understood to mean a piece of content and less to mean a type of distribution. This transition to the Portable On-Demand meaning will take time as most have been conditioned to connect the iPod with Podcasting in thinking about the medium.
I think with the coming support for podcasting on the Zune, we have an opportunity to muddy the meaning to mean something a little more open and less Apple centric.
The challenge to everyone in the podcast industry is to start talking about this rebranding concept. I think it is important to the future of a strong and diverse distribution ecosystem that users will understand better.
Podcasting today has a user understanding and communications challenge that can be addresses by all parties involved at all levels in the industry. I also think that it is important to move beyond the singular focus that many podcasters large and small have on iTunes and the iPod. We are seeing many new distribution platforms on mobile, coming Zune support of podcasting and other types of mobile and living room devices that will bring greater success to content creators.
Podcasters need to be sure they offer their podcast RSS feeds right on their websites and stop only linking over to iTunes.