Finding Podcastings’ Listening Simplicity

By Rob Greenlee
Rob GreenleeEvery time I step into a car with an AM/FM radio, I am reminded about the concept of simplicity and ease of use as key reasons why radio grew to have such a large listening audience.

When I contrast the current in-car radio experience with present podcast usability, the AM/FM radio experience is still winning the simplicity test and audiences today.

We have seen usability and simplicity gains of on demand audio and podcasting technology over the past 10 years. This adoption has started to erode the listener base of in-car radio and is causing a gradual increase in on demand audio podcasts usage. The iPod synchronization model using a cable of the past has been replaced by always internet connected smartphones and mobile computing devices that has driven the improvements in simplicity and access to on demand podcast audio content to more and more people.

The power of radio is linked to creating a more lean back type of experience around getting the content, but the content we are getting via radio just may not always be what we really want at that moment. Over the past 30 years, we have expected audio content to be managed for us by human curation.

Human curation of audio and original content creation has always been strength of broadcast radio stations, but over time we have seen the gradual erosion of the content quality and originality at radio stations as the cost of curation and creation has gone up. This drove increased need to monetize radio stations businesses and thus causing radio listeners to dislike the amount of commercial advertising spots.

Smartphones and smart agent technologies like Siri, Cortana and Alexa/Echo are pushing into a new era of machine learning, voice interaction and artificial intelligence that will understand our interests and favorites to better deliver podcasts we want when we want them anywhere. This machine learning and artificial intelligence will drive understanding that is contextual to location and interests in the car center around things like music, local news, traffic, weather and local sports events. These mobile technologies will also know and correlated with other data from searches and other media consumption patterns.

This direction seems complex and potentially confusing to podcast listeners, but I think it will bring ease of use and more simplicity to listener consumption of podcast content as we look into the future.

The best example of this is the Amazon Alexa/Echo interactive voice platform and its move to becoming an internet of things platform with podcasts being available upon voice request and management from many types of devices in our homes, work and cars.

Podcasting Metrics Debate moves to War of Words with Public Radio

Rob GreenleeSome podcasting platform players are getting all upset with many large Public Radio groups putting out Podcasting Measurement Specs that give the impression to some that they are declaring war on the long established podcasting space.

“I don’t entirely agree they are “Declaring War on Podcasting Space“.

We just need to agreed on podcasting metric standard fast via IAB Podcast Working Group or this type of stuff will keep happening out of frustration.

“No one can own this podcasting standard.”

They did put it out public and, whether right or wrong, it is a reality that many in the podcasting space do not see consistency in metrics in the podcasting space.

“This public radio doc is a symptom of the problem and not the problem.”

We all know what needs to happen (RadioInk) to avoid this and keep it out of the press. Declaring it a war just brings more negative attention to the problem that does exists that is being referred to as the “Wild West”.

Here are my thoughts on the above topic with the help of Elsie and Jessica of ShePodcasts.com

Spreaker Live Show #39: Podcasting Down Under w/Joel Zammit, Host SansPantsRadio.com

Here is another episode of the Spreaker Live Show #39 for Dec 30th, 2015.  My guest this week is Joel Zammit, Business Manager and Host at SansPantsRadio.com in Australia.  Joel is co-host of the “”Plumbing The Death Star” podcast from SansPants and is also an Media Lecturer/Tutor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

He has been operating SansPants Radio since 2011 and is part of Spreaker’s Adore.fm Podcast Network. SansPants produces 5 podcasts out of a studio in Austraila called “Plumbing the Death Star”, which is a flagship show from the group, others are “Shut up a Second”, “D&D is For Nerds”, “Movie Maintenance” and a new show called “It’s Just Good Business”.

Show Discussion Topics:
– Joel talks about his background, how SansPants start creating shows?
– Discussion about their Melbourne studios and the team of great co-hosts in shows
– We run through each show and give a run down on what is interesting about each show?
– iTunes selected “Plumbing The Death Star” and “D&D is For Nerds” as a Top podcast in 2015
– What is SansPants approach to podcasting on the content side, what are you trying to do?
– What is “Cool” now about podcasting as younger people are not typically interested in podcasting?

Show Links:
http://SansPantsRadio.com
http://Adore.fm
http://blog.spreaker.com
http://SpreakerLiveShow.com
https://Spreaker.com
Video Demo of “Spreaker Podcast Radio” App for Android

Send Questions and Comments to:
@Spreaker on Twitter using #SpreakerLive
Tech Support: support at spreaker.com
Rob Greenlee: Rob at Spreaker.com and http://twitter.com/robgreenlee

2016 Podcasting and Radio Predictions

I see that 2016 will bring continued and steady growth in the on demand audio and podcast markets though with some consolidation of larger players.

I do see a danger of expectations outpacing the realities around the adoption of on demand audio and podcasting by radio groups and stations.

Radio and Podcasting/On Demand audio will converging more in 2016, but the pace of this convergence between radio and podcasting is a 5+ year evolving direction as radio continues its slow decline and on demand / podcasts grows in listeners and content producers.  So, don’t expect huge progress this coming year.

Content will continue to rule this era in the podcasting and on demand audio market.  I do fear the buzz in the media about podcasting is creating a level of unrealistic expectations for the podcasting market.  The very few are benefiting from this heightened attention to our disruptive medium called “Podcasting”.

We are still early in having one or many major distribution and listening platforms that really are offering the compete solution that will take this medium to the next level.  This will happen as more investment comes into the medium and innovative companies can innovate more.  We are seeing the beginnings of this with a few companies, but we are still a few years away and many millions of dollars short.

I still think that podcast listening and download measurement is still too fragmented in the market.  This is holding back the market as many companies are trying to own measurement as a competitive feature.  This must change and we all get on the same measurement standard for the advertising revenue scale into the billions.

Watch me talk about 2016 predictions below in this past Saturday’s New Media Show episode.