Podcast ShmodcastPosted by on April 21, 2006 at April 21, 2006 10:04 AM
Good post on podcasting today from Steve Rubel of MicroPersuasion. The question in Rubel’s post is whether podcasting is evolutionary or revolutionary. I’m not sure it’s either. But what makes a podcast different from any MP3 file available for download from Web sites prior to the advent of the iPod and its ilk? Or what makes it different from anything you might hear on the radio, minus occasional profanity?
Most days I download Adam Curry’s “Daily Source Code” podcast and play it on my laptop. The behavior is akin to listening to the radio – after all, he was a DJ, and the former MTV VJ’s podcast sounds like a drive-time radio show. I don’t think I’m listening to a podcast. I think I’m listening to the radio.
The use of audio in electronic format is almost as old as the Web. I’m sure many of us played MP3s with early versions of WinAmp on our computers nearly 10 years ago. The only difference today is that now these MP3s can be portable. So, the question to ask as you consider podcasting is whether portability is a key behavior of your target audience.
Podcasting should not be advocated just because it can be done, or because marketers have a few extra bucks to throw at a podcast. That’s waste and it’s off-strategy. Use audio when it makes sense and can help you achieve your goals. If it’s a podcast, great. If not, that’s OK, too. And if it doesn’t make sense, then consider another way to reach your target audience.
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Podcasting is certainly not revolutionary. Evolutionary is more accurate. You are right, it is no different than an MP3 available for download. Apple just did a remarkable job branding themselves and their product. A new name for an old tactic.
There is that old saying that if you give a child a hammer, everything looks like a nail. PR pros now have a new hammer, and they are forcing its use. Podcasting, as you say, must fall in line with a strategy for a specific audience.
Good post. Podcasting is the hip new tool on the block, but we need to evaluate just how worthwhile it is.
Posted by: Mike Sacks at April 24, 2006 1:51 PM
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