Wednesday, July 11, 2007

CelleCast: on-demand audio on your phone


Last night I spoke with Andrew Deal. Founder and CEO of Vancouver, Washington company CelleCast.com and they are taking an interesting approach to mobile phone audio distribution. While the concept of delivering audio content via regular phone audio signal is not new, the messaging of how they are promoting it is and is worth mentioning. They never use the word "Podcast" on their site. Go check them out as they are worth watching in this space as this company does not need to have mobile operator/carriers deals to roll the service out to the market. Andrew has also managed to recruit a very experienced broadcast radio veteran by the name of Dave Van Dyke of Bridge Rating's Research and long-time radio station owner to help him as Sr. VP Operations and Media Partnerships. I have known Dave for many years and he knows what he is doing.

This is a signal of a coming change back to pre-podcasting days -- in how companies position themselves as the hype of podcasting has faded. We are getting to a point where everyone who wants to grow a company in this area needs to reach the other 62% who do not know what a podcast is, but do know what radio and audio programs are.

You may have also noticed that this blog has changed as well to be less about "Mobile Podcasting" and more about mobile phone digital media trends and companies. You will see here less bias towards Mobilcast from this post forward as I no longer work for Melodeo. I am back to producing great digital media and online content. I am looking for my next great mobile digital media opportunity that will keep my dreams alive. Please keep me in mind if you hear of great mobile digital media opportunities and if you would like your mobile digital media company featured here then feel free to send me an email to: (rob at webtalkradio.com). My contact info is also in the right side column of this blog.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

iPhones begin Mobilecasting or is it now iPhonecasting?

Mobilcast user logs are proving to us that downloading and storage are no longer barriers to getting content on the phone with Mobilcasting. Somehow as part of this mobile podcast listening discussion we need to focus less on downloading and storage as that is an iPod and mp3 player process and is not an always connected mobile phone experience for most mobile podcast listeners today.

Now with the introduction of the iPhone, Apple or iTunes based mobile audio and video content consumption via podcasting will begin to transfer to the iPhone -"iPhonecasting" has begun. Users will not want to wait for the content to download to the iPhones flash memory. They will want to get the content on-demand via a stream as users will get frustrated with the wait.

We should even consider dropping the use of the term “Podcast” to describe it unless you are only talking about a type of content only. We should call it “Mobilecasting” or “Mobilcasting” and I hope we do not start calling it iPhonecasting. The Mobilcast java client application has been around for over a year and a half now and we have significant usage data on the question of streaming content vs. downloading content on the mobile phone. We have offered both and streaming is winning at over 95%.

The huge benefit to getting audio and soon video from RSS with media enclosure feeds on the phone is that you can always get the latest and most up to date content available in those feeds. So all of those hourly feeds become “Personalized Radio” with potential content sources from all over the world. You are basically creating your own personalized radio station on your phone with almost real time updated content. You only get what you want when you want it. I use the application everyday of the week and my consumption of audio has exploded compared to mp3 based listening like the iPod.

Apple has too many podcasters and listeners in a form of mind control with this iPod and iTunes platform. It is not the future of podcasting, because the future of podcasting is “Mobilecasting”. Give it a try and you will see what I mean.