Friday, September 28, 2007

Podcasting is Growing Up

I would like to clarify my statements from my last post in this blog about why I think the closing of Yahoo's podcast directory is a sign of a maturing podcasting industry.

I do believe that it is an industry segment that is growing in importance as more major and indie content companies join with content RSS feeds. We are seeing the formation of industry associations (ADM) and a recent round of podcast related company closures and sales. These are clear signs that an industry is maturing and consolidating. The industry is moving beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm around podcasting. Podcasting is is still the fastest growing new medium that needs to evolve into a legitimate media delivery platform. I believe that like digital media streaming that also started with huge enthusiasm back in the late 90's, the podcasting industry hype dust is settling and I believe we are seeing this now. The weaker players always get weeded out during the beginning of the maturity phase. The truth is that Yahoo did a poor job with their directory and failed to keep improving and adapting to the needs of podcast listeners. I am glad that Yahoo decided to shut it down as it was not helping listeners or podcasters. The one bad part about Yahoo closing is the perception that podcasting as a concept is in decline, which is just not the case.

I do also believe that podcast discovery and simple one-click subscription processes is the biggest problem and opportunity for the podcast industry, iTunes has been a great start but it can be done so much better with personalization technology. I am very excited to be working with the growth of RSS based digital media syndication, as I think it will be the base for all of our personal media playlist so in all of our media players in the future.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Closing of Yahoo's Podcast Directory Is Sign Of Podcast Industry Maturity

I am not surprised Yahoo has decided to close down its podcast directory site on Oct 31,2007. It jumped on a hot trend and did not have a long-term vision. Yahoo just has to many businesses to focus on and this one just did not work for them.

I just think that any podcast directory needs to be directly linked up with an easy to subscribe process and use a portable media player or mobile smart phone player to be successful. Listeners and directories need to have a one-click to subscribe and listen process. This explains the success of iTunes + iPod solution. Any other successful platform needs to have the same equation and Yahoo just did not have this connection to a portable or mobile phone player. I do think that topic segmented web-based podcast directories can be successful, but will need to eventually be merged with a simple one-button to subscribe and listen platform for them to have long-term success. I think we will see a few more directories close down or merge with other companies.

For podcasting to reach mass adoption they need to be easily subscribed to, downloaded or streamed to a internet connected media player (iPod, Zune, iRiver), car media player, TV set-top box, gaming console and mobile phone. I saw with Mobilcast that given the option - people choose 90% of the time to on-demand stream podcasts from an internet server to mobile wireless connected phone player devices. We already see streaming on TIVO with audio podcasts and most video (TIVOCasts) podcasts downloaded, but audio will most often be streamed to player devices.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Coming Podcast and Portable Media Expo


I will be attending the Podcast & Portable Media Expo later this week and over the weekend in Ontario, California. I am looking forward to the trip and getting caught up with everything that has been going on with Podcasting over the past year and seeing many friends. It is an exciting time for portable digital media and podcasting.

I am also about to start a new chapter is my digital media career as I will be starting in a new position with Microsoft the day after the podcast expo is over. More details to come after I actually start in this new position.

It pains me to do this because I will lose so many search engine listings, but I do not want any conflict of interest. I will actually switch this website domain over to http://www.mobilecasternews.com/ on October 2nd.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Live Radio to Podcasting Comes Full Circle

I think it is very interesting that podcasting is going towards live radio at new sites like BlogTalkRadio.com. I watched a Scoble show episode with Alan Levy, CEO of BlogTalkRadio.com recently and it was like this concept was totally new online.

While I like to see this coming to life again, it is just not new and is a new as old idea. I think that seeing people getting all excited about this development is funny as it is only new to people who are new to the online radio space and don't have an understanding of the history of online radio.

The thing that is new about BlogTalkRadio.com is that it is free to have a show on the network. The earlier companies charged a fee to host a show on the network. I am sure that BlogTalkRadio.com will put these earlier companies out of business with a no fee business model.

Just visit WorldTalkRadio.com that I consulted with 4 years ago and you will see what I mean. You can also see WSRadio.com.