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The Future of Podcasting

October 31, 2009

The Problem with Podcasting

The iTunes set-up for podcasting is not ideal for finding new shows to listen to. Also, iTunes has been inundated by the video podcasts versus the audio podcasts, and as an avid fan of audio, I think that podcast listeners, and new listeners, have quite a dilemma. First, the platforms in which podcasts are delivered aren’t widely available. And for other programs that download podcasts, for example MediaMonkey, it’s quite impossible to find podcasts unless you know which shows you want to listen to. You can read blogs like mine, other others, but again, there’s only one dominate platform. What we need, perhaps, is a media guide, like the TV guide listing channel on a cable network.

Another thing is that I love a well-produced podcast over a podcast with horrible quality; our ears tend to pick up quality a lot better than our eyes (YouTube videos, as great high quality has been, still streams many low quality videos). Though set-up may be cheap to set-up at home, podcasters can not allow a raw and unedited podcast to go on the air, there needs to be edits and cuts. There are guides out there that can help podcasters better their podcasts, like Podcast Alley. But maybe this comes from a predisposition from listening to radio for more than a decade of my life.

Last, but not least, is the availability. We can all download podcasts from iTunes, but we want our shows on our TVs, Car radios, or everywhere we go. Personally, I bring my iPod everywhere, but what if we could listen to our shows with hassle of connecting devices back and forth. To that, and all of the other issues, I’m merely addressing an issue, and not actually providing a solution. I don’t have a solution to give, though I have ideas that may or may not work.

New Media’s Shift to ‘Media’

Perhaps what shocks me the most, or at least startles me, is the shift of new media. There isn’t a stable model for videos online to profit. However, the Roku box and Mediafly are about to bring programming online to the television. The idea isn’t new of course; there have been models with the Xbox, the PS3, or home brewing your own media center. For video producers, video podcasters, or even audio podcasters, there is a shift that could bring a larger market to your shows. Viewing content on your television is much more comforting than watching everything from your computer screen. That’s why this “new media” could very well move and integrate to form “media” in general.

But this certainly brings a concern, especially for international viewers and listeners. The U.S. isn’t the only consumer of media, there’s Europeans and Asians who also take in media, not to mention Southern Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, and so on. If we’re going to shift podcasting/vlogging/and so on, we have to include the whole world.

Imagine that instead of having your computer on in the morning to read the New York Times, you’ll have it on demand on your television. Of course, a small community has already done so, but the masses will start to look into this. And when they do, we can expect a refined model of advertising, of content production, and of making money.

Concluding Thoughts

I’ve just finished reading “Crush It,” by Gary Vaynerchuck, and it’s certainly a book to reel in people who have not been exposed to the ideas of social media and collaboration on the Internet. I recommend it for content producers especially as he really pushes them to create their own brand. For all of the content producers out there, try to outreach to other communities and grab people interested in what you say. Check out Boxee or MediaFly or other partnerships to see if you can bring your media to the television, or to the car radio. It’s your chance to make a living doing what you love. As for myself, I’m still determining what is ahead for podcasting, and I’ll continue writing reviews. Hopefully this week, I can pull five reviews out, and for the rest of the month. That’s my goal at least.

– Photo courtesy of Graysky on Flickr

2 Comments leave one →
  1. maplesyrup21 permalink
    November 1, 2009 4:28 AM

    that’s interesting..

  2. November 7, 2009 5:38 PM

    I agree. We’re fairly new to the podcasting game but I have found that without a video podcast it seems difficult to find a following. Not that I believe we would have more than our 400 subscribers, but I have had feedback from people that are upset because we don’t use a video format and only produce an audio show. (Even if the quality of that show is not great)

    As far as the media shift, interesting points. I’ve often wondered what will come of video in the era of free media. I suppose all we can do is sit back and hope for the best.

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