The podcasting buzz continues

The headline from the Wall Street Journal article ought to tell you something. After all — with a few exceptions noted — big media hasn’t been quick to jump on anything new media.

As Podcasts Boom,
Big Media Rushes
To Stake a Claim

Why would big media rush to stake a claim in THIS particular form of new media when it looks with disdain on others? The article says they’re afraid of getting blindsided:

Like many new technologies, podcasting may be snubbed by the wider public or fail to spawn a profitable business model. But the media industry’s scramble signals its determination to avoid a repeat of earlier debacles when companies were slow to deal with new technologies.

…For traditional media companies, one danger of promoting podcasts is cannibalization: People who are listening to podcasts on their iPods aren’t sitting in front of the TV or listening to a regular radio station. But executives say if they don’t push their podcasts, somebody else will and they’ll lose these listeners altogether.

I think there’s another reason you’re seeing big media jump on this particular bandwagon: while the delivery mechanism may be new media (auto-download via RSS), the medium itself is old media. Time-shifting is an audience-driven response to a one-to-many (Media 1.0) model. Big Media understands one-to-many; it’s their lifeblood. And so they look at podcasting and easily understand what’s going on.

My advice for broadcasters is that they need to make podcasts available for two reasons. One, they need to understand the technology and how to move unbundled media around via RSS. Two, they’ll appear behind-the-times if they don’t.

That said, I don’t think podcasting will ever be a serious form of revenue, so I wouldn’t expend a lot of resources on it.

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