Thursday, December 09, 2004

As if satellite wasn’t enough for commercial radio to worry about.

Interesting article on podcasting by Steve Rubel of CooperKatz in iMediaConnection. Also a feature about this emerging application on CNN. Step back and you realize it’s just Tivo for radio, with your MP3 player substituting for the DVR. Here’s a very simple bit of technology that changes the radio landscape even further. Imagine being able to record your favorite radio shows and listen to them when it’s convenient. NPR is starting to podcast some shows. Lord knows what commercial radio is going to do -- except crawl into the corner and assume the fetal position. No, as with Tivo, it’s not the death of broadcast. But it sure does change things. Eventually, the lousy content will move to the fringes and better content will emerge.

The narrowcasting opportunities are great for many marketers. Companies that cater to an audience without the critical mass that makes traditional advertising make sense could sponsor shows targeted to their niche. Sports such as badminton or table tennis. A local financial planning firm could sponsor a show about investing. No, podcasting doesn’t have to be filled with nothing but Macedonian folk music or the silly rants of angry, underachieving 40-year-olds. It can be commercial and be good.

Most importantly, in order to be commercial, it will have to be good. Compare that with the radio we’ve been stuck with for the last 20 years.

A good site to check out is And, yes, the founder is indeed that Adam Curry – a name that will ring a bell with members of the first MTV generation.

– Dean Gemmell


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