When people cannot grasp the future – Yes, Podcastings 15 minutes are up.


On Marketing Shift there is an article about Podcasting saying it’s 15 minutes are up.

The multitude of independent podcasters will scratch and claw for the occasional hour when people want to hear about a niche of their interest, but podcasting will have about the same long term business impact as e-books.

Reading the article and the comments I have to agree and disagree at the same time.

First the usual complain: Given the fact that many people do not know what Podcast are it is always great to ask them if they have downloaded one.

Saying that the technology has been around for a decade misses the critical point that let podcasting explode when it started – the combination of techniques who had been around for a long time. (If you want to stay in this one should add that recording capability has been around for several decades …)

But lets put that aside and think for a moment that the author actually believe the current report which he is citing (which neglects so many aspects I will not even start with it, critical ones, not minor ones): A good article would have take a look into the development and compared it with other media.

E-Books, the ones he chose as comparison, have never been so wildly adopted into the multimedia mix of companies and where not as heavily produced by individuals and supported by over a billion players world wide (mp3 players and mobile phones). Looking at the development of Tivo and Co, the worldwide spread, the numbers around it is hard to come to a conclusion like that – except when one really does not like the new media and wants it down for different reasons.

The commenters suggest the study was more done for the dying radio industry – well, looking at the studies about new media in the last year I would say you can find faults in so many of them that I would not even go there.

So a sloppy article – why do I even write about it? Because when a blog named (!) marketing shift writes such a piece in this way, you have to ask yourself how many other things they do not get?

The Business Week Article which is referred to “What Podcasting Revolution?” is better build and ask more relevant questions although some of the premises are wrong as well.

When 75% of the traffic for podcasting goes through itunes (something I cannot confirm) why does it cut of the rest not to have an ipod? I do have an ipod and still do not use itunes for podcast downloading. ;)

In both articles I am strongly missing a few points. Podcasting in itself – for many people indeed a revolution in it self – is not ‘just that’ anymore. But that has not been the case since the release of itunes. If at all then Itunes did kill the podcasting star.

Podcasting belongs into the same row of inventions like the VCR and Tivo, because it changed how a lot of people consume media. I for example have increased from nearly zero radio consumption to “a lot” because of pocasting. I have changed from nearly no TV at all to a lot of stuff I get through the internet. Although Audio is much more, my media consumption has changed – and it is no likely to go back. Just like with Text and Blogs / News through the internet. There is few going back to old ways like newspapers.

Like me, many people have changed their behaviour forever and this will gain more traction over time.

People who still consume ‘normal’ media will start changing the moment it is compelling enough. How many people do Tivo and alike in the US? Is it so much different than VCR? Basically that has been around for decades as well! But suddenly when people get Tivo, they change. Away from traditional media. And has DVD changed the way we look at “video”?

Absolutly. It changed drastically. *This* is the context in which I expect those number to be interpreted.

Podcasting in itself as a revolution for its own had its time and I am more than happy that I was able to be part of it. It was a small burst, but now it IS mainstream. Not in the sense of everybody is using it but that it is mainstream that it is used the way it is.

But how can I say it is mainstream if only few people use it? Because that is a development which has to be seen as well. The era of mainstream mass media is nearing its end.

The future is my interests, content for me, highly selected and delivered just to me. When I want, where I want, what I want, how I want. With cross connections over the globe, cultures and languages.

THAT is not going away or going back to the old ways. That is the revolution. And that is the context in which everything has to be jugded … If you do not see how the world has been changing in the last years and deny how much more this will change over the coming years, you should start reading job applications for a different job.

Just look a year back, or 5. It is incredible what will be coming and Podcasting has been part of this. And will be in the future.

Technorati Tags: , ,


2 Responses to “When people cannot grasp the future – Yes, Podcastings 15 minutes are up.”

  1. Cameron Reilly says:

    I gave my perspective on this in details on the show yesterday Nic. Would love to get your thoughts.

  2. Nicole says:

    Cameron I generally agree with what you said in your podcast.

    the most important part is the “amount” of people they use for those surveys and it is time that we fight back every time they try to sell us such a thing as “valid survey”. :)