Read Write Web has a post on will podcasting survive? This post hit home for me because I interviewed Alex Iskold and have gotten to know him over the past year. He’s one smart dude and an entrepreneur with his company Adaptive Blue. He makes some great points. It seems that podcasting is not that hyped in the echo chamber of the early adopter thought leaders in SV and beyond.
I have a couple of quick observations: 1) podcasts work for users and advertisers – we proved that at PodTech. 2) validation from advertisers and the industry thru the formation of the ADM (Association of Downloadable Media) – this shows support from a growing ecosystem of upstart companies like PodTech, PodShow, Kiptronic, PodTrac, Podbridge, Nielsen Online, Personal Life Media, Rev 3, Porter Novelli, BlogTalkRadio, Vogele and Associates, Feedburner, and leaders like Apple and NPR.. 3) podcasts aren’t viral like blogs and video but audio connects deeper with users (holy grail for advertisers). 4) Apple iTunes has been a problem on the monetization side – they have no business model for independent podcasters – everyone has to fend for themselves – advantage big media companies. 5) range of quality (both sound and content) between “joe podcaster” and NPR like producers causes user experience to lean to higher quaity media companies. 6) podcasting is really an offline activity not real time online user experience.
I think that Alex has a good analysis on why he thinks podcasting is stagnating but I don’t think it’s stagnating. The numbers are not there compared with other media blogs and video – it’s not a fair comparision. Podcasting is more of an offline activity (on the run or train..etc). The numbers don’t fall into the standard online advertising metric “Pageviews” which will all know is dying fast. I found from personal experience that for advertisers and independent producers podcasting is more effective than blogging and video. That is why the ADM was formed to develop standards around the effectiveness of podcasts.
I personally see podcasting as a great opportunity and thanks to Alex’s post I’m going to start my podcast again and do a video show (now that I’m have some spare time on my hands).