Wednesday, June 4, 2008

podcasting success

So why isn't podcasting more popular?

I was asked this question of my friend Steve Green over at http://www.audiochef.co.uk/, a startup that is looking to create a suite of virtual cookbooks aimed at the 20-something generation, who are far more familiar with the circular ipod interface than a halogen hob.

Now there are thousands of podcasts in existence, many focusing on niche topics that most people aren't interested in or that it is relevant to (In effect, podcasting has become the epitome of The Long Tail of Broadcasting) however a lot of people believe their should be far more.

Its an interesting question though, as its becomming increasingly cheaper and easier to create and produce podcasts. There is also a lot of guidance out there to help encourage best practice in podcasting, such as this recent article from Alex Nesbitt:
http://www.digitalpodcast.com/podcastnews/2008/06/01/best-practices-in-podcasting


For home users, podcasting is still viewed as the domain of the 'media geek', those tech-savvy types who understand terms such as: codecs, XML feeds, MP3, etc. There's now a dedicated market evolving to cater for the needs of these podcasters, producing decent software and equipment for the home industry, the prosumer.

However for companies, there is little excuse for producing a decent podcast on a fairly frequent and regular basis. These episodes can be produced for just a few thousand pounds, hardly TV commercial budgets, but still there seems to be a reluctance.... why?

Mat Zuker at Adage recently stated that:
My suspicion is agencies (and many marketers) are lazy. Agencies and marketers
are still more comfortable with hit-and-run advertising, viral videos and campaign sites and far less interested and impatient with recommending or executing content that sustains a campaign like a video or audio podcasting series or webisodes.

He may have a point. A podcast, like a blog and a Christmas Dog is not just a short term commitment!
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