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October 21, 2005
Podcasting: The Bubble?
Scott Gatz from Yahoo was in town for the BlogOn conference and he stopped by our offices to talk about a survey done in August about RSS and podcasting that Yahoo recently released.
Other bloggers covered the RSS results, but I was intrigued by the results on podcasting.....28% of the people surveyed were aware of podcasting, but only 2% actually listened to podcasts.
I asked Gatz, so is this a bubble? And he said, nope, an opportunity. He pointed out that this survey was done before Yahoo this month released its podcasting service. The difference between those who had heard of podcasts and those who had used them actually reflected the fact that the tools for finding and listening to podcasts were too hard to use. With their podcasting service, Gatz said, Yahoo planned to make podcasting as accesible as it had done with RSS.
Yahoo does seem to have had real success by embedding RSS within My Yahoo, so well that most people don't even know their using RSS. Gatz said that a few million people (under 10 million was the guidance he gave) now use RSS on My Yahoo, up from 6,000 in January.
There is some bubbliness going on though with podcasting. Apple in late June released its iTunes podcasting service, so that should have shown up a little in the numbers from Yahoo. That frenzy will have to right itself. But I think podcasting is around to stay, in whatever form it ends up taking, and that Gatz is right in saying that Yahoo will turn many more people into podcasting users.
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Tooling to find podcasts and listen to them easily is just a detail. If I can find them in a second, but quality is poor, then I don't need services like Yahoo anymore. Podcasting has to develop to a serious and quality rich medium, with lot of opportunities for education, support and entertainment. At this moment everybody thinks he/she is a podcaster when touching a microphone, this is a phase we have to go through. Be patient.
Posted by: Marc at October 22, 2005 11:26 AM
Well, of course everybody who takes a microphone and records an MP3-File and put it in an RSS-Feed is a podcaster. That will not change I think, some people haven't access to the professionel tools. Or don't know how to use it. So what? Yes, quality is important but I think that the information is more valuable than the quality in which it is presented. I could have the best equipment but nothing important to say - and vice versa.
On the other hand I think there is an interesting developement in the future: Commercial vs. uncommercial podcasts. Pepsi has done that, some other companies are doing it know and it will be interesting to see what kind of podcasts will be send or in which way they'll be financed. Perhaps it'll be like soccer: There are people who make money with it and there are some who play just for the fun. We will see.
Posted by: Prospero at October 28, 2005 08:31 AM