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.