Just another demograghic.

The discussion of the day is that podcasting is an inefficient way to take in information, unless you are commuting. Of course plenty of people commute, so perhaps you could build a business around podcasting for commuters, except for the massive inconvenience involved.

In order to listen to podcasts, you’d have to find items that interested you, subscribe to them, download them to your personal music player, connect the player to the car audio system, select the program you want to listen to while driving, and listen. And then select another program. And hope that you have plenty of shows that interest you.

If only somebody would put together a network of podcasters, organize their shows into some sort of schedule, and then create some way to download the podcasts wirelessly. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Sort of like radio.

People talk about podcasting as if it is some amazing new technology, forgetting that we’ve had radio and books on tape for decades. The only difference is that we store the thing in a digital file now. And of course, using the internet as a medium allows anybody to create a show with unlimited reach. But just because you can do it doesn’t mean people will want to listen.

So let’s assume that you are targeting commuters. The key is to provide something that I want to listen to on an ongoing basis, and the podcasts I’ve listened to so far are just not keeping my interest that well. And it needs to be a lot more convenient to get shows – and it will need to be wireless so that I can get what I want easily without using a PC.

The real danger for podcasting companies is that when someone figures out right content to attract a mass audience, good old-fashioned broadcasters, who already know this business and have plenty of cash, will be more than happy to jump in to commercialize it. They understand that it isn’t some cool technology for geeks; it’s just another demographic.


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