Remember the Segway? You know, the self-balancing, self-propelled two-wheeler that was going to revolutionize personal transportation?

I used to sit in my office overlooking Connecticut Avenue in Washington and watch this same dude cruise down the avenue at a brisk clip almost every day, dodging potholes, oversized sidewalk cracks, and of course pedestrians. One day he took a header, and I never saw him again. So much for Segway.

Podcasts are the over-hyped Segways of the new media world. They're for eccentrics (like Roger, who undoubtedly will attempt to defend himself in a lame comment … keep in mind, Roger was a big fan of 8-track audiocassettes!).

BusinessWeek.com titles its recent excellent overview of the podcasting “industry” … What Podcasting Revolution? They cite Pew Internet and Forrester Research as placing at 12% and 2%, respectively, the number of internet users who have downloaded podcasts. And most of these folks are still in sampling mode … very, very few actually download a favorite podcast on a regular basis.

Podcasts are essentially time-shifted radio (most of the Apple I-Tunes top 100 podcasts are produced by mainstream media outlets, and I-Tunes feeds 75% of what's out there). But radio is the ultimate real-time media. Needing yesterday's Bozo & Bumpkus radio show (or even custom-made podcast) is not like needing to retrieve that Sopranos episode you missed last night!

Despite my skepticism, I do feel obliged to cover even the most unlikely new media opportunities. I'm sure three or four of you (and Roger) will find the Business Week report quite interesting! For your sake, I'll even throw in this “recommended listening” list of top marketing/advertising podcasts, courtesy of blogger Pete Lerma.

PS: Have you taken our “Transparency vs. Privacy” survey? Just click on the survey box at the top right column of the blog.

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