I did a story this week for the magazine about the state of business for for some indie podcasters and how only a few, such as Grammar Girl and Keith and The Girl, are making money so far. And how some, such as Skepticality are coming up with inventive ways to get paid for what they do and reach new audiences. In part, the business obstacles are due to a lack of standards for metrics and ad formats. And it's also because the podcasting revolution, as Edison Research shows, is taking a while to reach a tipping point or jump the chasm to a bigger audience. (You chose the cliche.)
What was interesting was how one person I talked with harkened back to some of the expectations that arose around podcasting (like lots of other new technologies), in its early days. One promise was that it would actually bring together the radio audiences being dispursed by their dislike of commercial radio and the other options out there. In fact, though, it looks like podcasting won't be the great unifier, it's just another great fragmenter.
For the most part, the story was inspired by a series of podcasts I have been doing recently on, well, yes, the state of podcasting. When I started doing a weekly podcast about 16 months ago, I kicked it off by interviewing podcasters and then moved on to other kinds of startups. As the year anniversary came and went, I decided to do a series on podcasting and take a deep dive into the state of the podcasting business.