Podcast - If we build it, will they come?

Discussions on how emerging technology can assist the distribution of media content through mobile, kiosks, Internet, social networks, etc.

What is the future of Podcasts?

Continued future growth.
10
53%
At the peak of penetration.
3
16%
Seen its day and is fading.
5
26%
What is a Podcast?
1
5%
 
Total votes: 19

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JonesRC
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Podcast - If we build it, will they come?

Postby JonesRC » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:48 am

An article in WebProNews in November of 2005 stated Podcasting was "ripe for a boom." Here we are four years later and I've yet to hear a pop. With the accessibility to so much Internet on line and Video on Demand (VOD) content available, I can't help wonder if we are on the down side slope of podcasting. What are your thoughts on the future of podcasting and what would it take to make it successful viable video option?

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JonesRC
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Podcast study shows current and future trends

Postby JonesRC » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:52 am


russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:07 am

Speaking for myself, I see two things that will help explode podcasting.

First would be an increase in the number of phones can can access it over-the-air. I'm sure there are phones that do it, but they and the necessary plans may not have gotten cheap enough to reach their best demographic.

Second would be cars that will connect to the phones so as to play podcasts during driving.

This will make podcasting like conventional radio where you can select something and listen to it "on the go" without having to download it or set up a sync before hand.

Note that these two developments would also have a big negative impact on conventional radio.
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Postby njpomeroy » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:42 pm

jonesrc wrote: What are your thoughts on the future of podcasting and what would it take to make it successful viable video option?


In my opinion:

(1) Better, cheaper bandwidth
HD (even SD) video files are enormous, compared to web surfing. The majority of people aren't willing to pay the money it costs to get fast (10Mb/sec) internet access to make file transfers doable in near-real time. More than half the people I know won't spend more than $20/month on internet, which gets them a cruddy 1Mb/sec ADSL connection. Having ubiquitous cheap internet comes in one of 2 methods: government utility rollout (like in some European countries, or municipalities in the US) or increased/real competition in local areas (take away US monopolies to cable companies etc have in laying new wire). Good luck on either of those.

Even the current prevalent streaming technologies that offer "HD resolution" video do it at such a low bitrate (to match the slow download speeds) it's fairly blocky/pixelated/ugly on HD TVs. I have a 10Mb/sec download (fiberoptic to the house, baby!) and my streaming "HD" looks fairly good, but not great.

(2) Better support of RSS-type protocols, and better storage in consumer electronic devices: TVs, cable/satellite set top boxes
*Most* people don't want to hook up their computers to their TV (or buy an additional computer for the TV), and they want to watch TV on their TV while sitting on the couch. As long as set-top boxes and TVs have no storage, and can't access storage on the local network, there's nowhere to put the files. I happen to have a "home theater PC" hooked up to my TV, so video podcasts (and audio for that matter) are a normal part of the content available on the TV.

(3) MPAA and TV studios need to change their attitudes, or people need to decide to want something besides the big entertainment productions.
Right now, the idea that you can have a file on your personal computer with "their" content on it gives them hives. They hate having any level of control taken out of their hands. They'd rather stream because it's just buffered in memory and dumped after it's been displayed. The grubby customer has no chance to *save* it. They have been very clear in saying they want you to pay for it every time you watch a video or listen to a song. If they could make that stick, they would. They don't license content distribution to anyone who can't assure them that the distribution ends with the customer.
The flip side of this is they only have this power because people want to see big-studio movies and TV shows. There are hundreds of video podcasts available for viewing by small media producers or individuals who are not trying to "lock down" the content. People have to want to watch those. I *do*, for example, which is why video podcasts are working great for me.

(4) There is still a significant barrier-to-entry in *finding* the content you want.
TV channels show you what they want; cable and satellite companies package content. There isn't anyone spoonfeeding the populace with video-podcasted shows. They require people to seek them out (and therefore know about them beforehand). We know how proactive people are. Not.

_Successful podcast-models_

(1) iTunes-purchased TV and movies use a podcasting-model with copy-protected files for content distribution, and they are somewhat successful. Notice that they have a settop box with local storage (the AppleTV), and limit the HD to 720p to make file sizes manageable, and their software works to pre-download your subscribed video before you view it, but it's still painful to use with average high-speed internet.
But even so they are denied high-profile TV and Movie licenses which end up going to streaming media ventures (a number of TV studios took their shows off iTunes to stream via Hulu.com).

(2) Lastly (man I am long-winded today)...
Podcasting is currently *very* successful in certain market segments. In fact, TOO successful for older business models to continue as they did previously.
For example, NPR and PRI have put a lot of their content into podcasts. Their podcast listenership has been growing rapidly (they are more than 1/2 of the most subscribed to podcasts via the iTunes podcast directory), and it's been eating away at the radio-listenership of their affiliate radio stations (I've read). They've noticed that people are moving away from listening over the airwaves, and moved to the podcast feeds. This has had the unintended consequence of moving pledge dollars from the local stations to the shows' producers' station. (e.g. This American Life's WBEZ Chicago ends up getting donations from San Francisco residents instead of KQED SF).


To summarize:

It'll never "pop" until people can find and watch something of comparable quality (both production value *and* video presentation) in a comfortable environment on equipment built with it in mind. This happen over the studios' (metaphorical) dead bodies.
Oh and it has to be less-expensive than the alternatives (cable, sat, IPTV, VoD, built-in streaming). "Just as cheap" doesn't make people ditch a currently working system.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:44 pm

I think Russell is right about the car radios needing to be used more with mobile phones and iPod Touch which are receiving the podcast files.

I do use the car radio for mine and the solution is simple, my phone is linked to a $15 FM Transmitter and received on FM by the car radio.
However I dont think many people know how useful an FM Transmitter can be.

The bigger problem I see with podcasts is one of how to organise and control them. What is missing is a truly GREAT RSS application that will rocket our User Experience in receiving and listening to new clips.

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Postby PNMarkW2 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:12 pm

jonesrc wrote:I've yet to hear a pop.


What kind of "pop" are you expecting to hear? At what point would you consider podcasting a success?
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JonesRC
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Not a Sonic Boom

Postby JonesRC » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:12 pm

PNMarkW2 wrote:What kind of "pop" are you expecting to hear? At what point would you consider podcasting a success?


We're not seeing a lot in requests to provide content in a podcast format. Is there a fear of accessibility to content? Is there a fear to entry? Not many people understand what RSS is. Could that be limiting the growth of podcasting or are they finding other ways to access what they want?

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as a non techie

Postby librrtp-p40 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:42 pm

I think RSS feeds and podcasts are terms which are foreign to many of the people who are not very tech saavy. Instead they understand how to look for material on the Church's website and the Mormon Channel but they don't really stretch their technological wings because they see no reason to do so.

Does the Church offer much, if any material this way?

For the sake of arguement I would hazard that if you were to offer up content with some brief instructions on how to access it you might get some takers but then again I am just a non techie. :D

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:13 am

librrtp wrote:I think RSS feeds and podcasts are terms which are foreign to many of the people who are not very tech saavy. Instead they understand how to look for material on the Church's website and the Mormon Channel but they don't really stretch their technological wings because they see no reason to do so.


I agree with you here. I think I might have mentioned it before but while I was on holiday I attended a joint RS/Priesthood session and the lesson was to showcase some of the content the church has available online. The presenter had clearly prepared to showcase a lot of material and various tools but when he asked "you are all familar with lds.org" there was no response and then he said "hands up those who are familar with lds.org" and when the majority did NOT put their hands up and when listening to the subsequent comments from those people I think he realised exactly what you are saying. In fairness there were a fair amount of "mature" members but there is still something to be learned from this.

librrtp wrote: Does the Church offer much, if any material this way?


I think the church offers a lot of stuff via RSS, see here.

librrtp wrote: For the sake of arguement I would hazard that if you were to offer up content with some brief instructions on how to access it you might get some takers but then again I am just a non techie. :D


I think the above link I gave also has some description of how you use RSS and what software you would use etc.

And the great thing about RSS is that it can be used for any kind of information updates you want to know about either all of the information, part of it (quick read) or a simply a link to the webpage with all the information.

Amongst my RSS links are many of the church ones but also ones from news sites, technology site articles, selected blogs I like to read, radio and tv programs, my ISP provide me one about our internet usage, I have a number of work related ones, I use news.google.com with specific word search as an RSS and I am also using one to keep track of jogging done by me and my friends.
When we looked to move house the (Real) Estate Agents provided RSS links of houses for our specific criteria and then you just check your RSS links on a regular basis for updates.

RSS comes in handy when you want to keep track of a lot of information as you have it available to you from one place.
Having used it extensively myself I would say having a good RSS Reader installed is crucial and my personal favourite is the Google Reader. It is so easy to use and group all your RSS links.

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Postby librrtp-p40 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:48 am

dkjorgi wrote: I agree with you here. I think I might have mentioned it before but while I was on holiday I attended a joint RS/Priesthood session and the lesson was to showcase some of the content the church has available online. The presenter had clearly prepared to showcase a lot of material and various tools but when he asked "you are all familar with lds.org" there was no response and then he said "hands up those who are familar with lds.org" and when the majority did NOT put their hands up and when listening to the subsequent comments from those people I think he realised exactly what you are saying. In fairness there were a fair amount of "mature" members but there is still something to be learned from this. .

That would have been an interesting session to attend. I am not a techie, I like to try some new things but it isn’t automatically intuitive to me and I tend to not feel as though I have the time to struggle through to the end and I think many others fall into the same +/- .75SD. and just try to do muddle through. Too bad a canned presentation couldn’t be put together as a digital download and then pushed out to the local levels as a RS/PH joint lesson available to help promote the material on the web, as it is you have to be looking for it or hear about it from someone else inorder to discover it.
dkjorgi wrote: I think the church offers a lot of stuff via RSS, see here.

Thanks I had not seen that list before but had stumbled across some shorter ones, I have been tempted to add the Daily Gem to my RSS feeds but as it is most of mine are already going unread.


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