Is Podcasting Dead?
Haven't heard much about Podcasting in a long time. Is it dying? Are Youtube sites the downfall because they're more convenient and accessible?
Do any of you use Podcasting to help promote your business and its working effectively?
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Oh, I think it is very much alive, in audio and video forms, and has a great future ahead of it. But as always, after the initial fascination with a new platform wears off, it has to be about the CONTENT. As long as you have good content, people will work to get it. In addition, they have to know it exists, so promoting the podcast neesd as much work as producing the show. You need to get over that decision-making hump where someone decides to subscribe adn get it automatically.
[Milton Hockman] "Haven't heard much about Podcasting in a long time. Is it dying? Are Youtube sites the downfall because they're more convenient and accessible? Do any of you use Podcasting to help promote your business and its working effectively?"
Personally, I think that podcasting is a useful, if limited, way to market. Done cheaply enough, it is useful and effective -- to a point.
The problem is that as Franklin has stated numerous times, podcasting is NOT something that works if you consider it a place where you can use crappy production values. In fact, as Franklin also states, the net is where you actually need to use high production values to rise above the glut of people who are releasing crap.
But a problem comes in because if you are using it to promote your business, the chances are that your views will be in the hundreds or less, not in the tens of thousands or millions. Tracking your production costs against a return like that, it is often an ineffective way to market.
If you are thinking bigger and are trying to compete with a show, then the jury is still out as to whether podcasting will be viable anytime soon -- this, as there are few advertisers who wish to sponsor anything other than the huge mass-market shows. Smaller, targeted shows continue to struggle and I think we are at least 18 to 24 months away from seeing advertisers and the tracking systems that will prove that the investment in podcasting is a sound one.
But, as they say, those that get in early reap the rewards when the market rises and they rise with the tide. Those that get in later will find that, while they are entering a "sure thing" -- their opportunity to create a large market footprint have decreased at the same ratio as the expanding market and support systems that have given advertisers the security they needed to play in the podcasting market.
For the bigger players, these times are already here. For the small and middle markets, the terrain is a little rougher and the dollars are hard earned.
But to those that want to reach a small market with their podcast, they can create something that will help make their case to the clients that they can get to watch their show. Have I seen that work for many? No. But then leaders, lead, and the rest follow.
I guess the moral of the story is that when there is no gamble in a thing, there is also little chance of any measurable reward.
That's my take on it...
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Have you been to iTunes? There are reams of Podcast titles - many of them are quite well done.
The best shows appear to be from existing producers of content, such as NPR, Washington Post, etc, as well as from dedicated podcast producers. As the others have said, shoddy production values only go so far in any medium. But there are some very well done shows indeed.
One problem I see with the word "podcast" is the assumption by people that you need an iPod to view the podcast, and that you need iTunes and Quicktime player - which believe it or not, a lot of people do not have, at least on their business computers.
Some call their podcast something else. Like the Harvard Business Review Ideacast. Same thing just cast in a different light.
Using it for self-promotion can be like a needle in a hay stack, given the number of people doing the same thing. Unless your content is spectacular, in which case people will find it.
We actually sell Podcasts, along with web-based access to some content.
Buy the DVD, you get the podcast version free. People may rip a DVD to iTunes anyway, so we just give them that file format.
I think the hype of the word Podcast has been transformed into it being just another file format to offer.
Podcasting is still in its toddler stage -- mostly walking, but not quite toilet-trained.
The thing is, people are only now figuring out that you can't just throw up a podcast and expect to make money from it -- any more than you can put up a web page and start making money.
I mean, if you earned $1 more than you spent this year, you made more profit than Google has from YouTube. Not that Goog WON'T profit from YouTube....I'm just saying.
(In fact, one source of money: YouTube is working on licensing movies for rent, something they'd started before the Goog.)
So, to your original question about podcasting being dead, I don't think so. I think that as the hubbub dies down, people are learning yet again that nothing is easy or obvious. New platforms call for new business models....or become part of the business model that all platforms are useful only to the extent that they drive more people to the stuff you've been doing all along.
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Yes, except for niche marketing,
I feel podcasts are definitely dying or already dead.
Unfortunately most are like bad radio shows...
Places like Lynda.com are more the future of content distribution...
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