On-Demand and Time-Shifted Talk Radio is the Future of Audio Podcasting

The talk of the death of podcasting is an annual right of passage these days,  but I am starting to think that nothing is really wrong in the podcasting medium. We are just seeing the natural maturation of this form of media.  Saying that is not to discount the need for the medium to improve its distribution platforms and offer greater quality content. It seems like the future should be centered on developing more synergy with the broadcast radio side.  I know this is a little counter to what we might all think, but really radio has wide adoption and podcasting fills a need that radio is weak at and that is around on-demand and time-shifted consumption of serialized audio programming.  It seems like many of the folks on the radio side don’t really get podcasting and the podcasting side does not get how radio works.  Both could really learn from the other and help each other.

I also see the video side of podcasting beginning to fade away as video shifts to being more cloud based-streaming that can be more easily monitized.  It seems that within a few short years podcasting will be 90% audio and radio stations will be much larger podcasters then they are today.  The other major concern area for me is around distribution platforms viability long-term as it is very difficult for any of these platforms to make any or enough money to keep investing in these platforms.

Here is an excerpt from a recent Wired Gadget Lab article:

“Stitcher Stitcher is a free talk radio app that lets you listen to your favorite programs on demand. You can choose from more than 7,000 shows, and the app is available on all major phone platforms — including Windows Phone for the first time.

“We decided that the time was right to create a Windows Phone Mango app now that Windows Phone is definitely becoming the third member of the space,” said Collin Billings, Stitcher’s director of user experience.

Stitcher aggregates popular content by source (for example, NPR, BBC and CNN) and by topic (for example, food and motorcycles). Content is wirelessly synced, so if you start listening to a program on your Windows Phone, you can pick up where you left off on an Internet-connected radio or on your PC.

The app’s name is derived from the practice of “stitching” together multiple stations and podcasts to create a personalized talk radio playlist. If you’re not quite sure what to listen to, or are looking to branch out to new sources, you can see what other listeners of the same show also liked.”

I need to say that the lack of podcast aggregator platform revenue is number 1# limiting issue around podcast distribution platform innovation and improvement.  The answer to this question looks a lot like Stitcher with more integration with internet radio in the car and on mobile/wifi devices.

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7 Responses to On-Demand and Time-Shifted Talk Radio is the Future of Audio Podcasting

  1. Rob

    Stitcher is largely a podcast player as it does nothing more than stream media from a hosted location they have a segment of live streamed shows but the majority of the podcast content is simply a served media file.

    Audio Podcasts remain by far the most profitable and or listened to as people have a lot more time to listen than to watch. Video is sexy but for most, the compensation does not even cover the cost of hosting, which is another factor that keeps the profit margin on sponsored shows significantly greater with Audio shows.

    Todd..

    Media buy

  2. Rob Greenlee says:

    The issue with Stitcher right now is scale, but the opportunity across other aggregators is for many podcast platforms to look at the medium more like how Stitcher has done. Stitcher is a fairly small company with limited resources to scale and have made mistakes, but the overall strategy they take is a good example to all and offers a good direction for other platforms to move towards. I agree that audio is the strongest and largest part of this medium.

  3. Couldn’t agree more that podcasting world and AM/FM need to come together. It’s a very arbitrary distinction muddies up the user experience by creating 2 non-compatible systems to get audio they want to hear.

    DAR.fm has a library of 16,000 AM/FM radio shows which are available for time shifting. Recently podcasts were added to the library. The goal is to make one comprehensive audio catalog that has all audio – in one place with one interface. Shows can be listened to on the web, smartphones or internet radio (without a PC).

    Merging podcasts and broadcast radio makes sense for users and the industry.

  4. Should have included Youtube video about how to time shift any AM/FM radio show and listen on a dedicated internet radio. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygYuWqVFkrM

  5. Rob Greenlee says:

    Michael, You correct that I should have included your DAR.fm service in my blog post about this topic. I would like to learn more about your service as clearly audio podcasts need to be merged more into online radio services. I will ping you via email to chat. I think that all the present streaming music services are missing an opportunity to blend talk programming into the value package for services like yours and spotify. Generally music streaming services have just not got the common relationship between talk radio and music programming as a natual paring. @Rob Greenlee

  6. podcast_team says:

    Interesting article Rob, particularly your comments on the drop off of video podcasts. we’ve wished for years now that Vimeo would open up their RSS feeds to enclose the source video and not the moogaloop.swf file (that you can’t catch in your podcast client) as they do today…

    Vimeo users have been shouting for this functionality for years and you’ll see in this post – https://vimeo.com/forums/topic:5609 – that I quote:

    “We’re actually considering offering this feature and are talking with Apple about it as we speak. We’ll let you guys know more as things unfold. These negotiations take time so we appreciate your patience.” – Blake Whitman, Vimeo.

    Mountain Lion now has Vimeo baked into the OS (http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/44418/vimeo-not-youtube-gets-instant-share-mountain-lion) so we really hope that some agreements have been made that this helps breathe some life into video podcasts. Fingers crossed.

  7. Jamar Kubala says:

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