This afternoon, I sat down to do some work, hoping not to get distracted by too much. However, against my better judgement, I decided to make a quick post on Facebook and Twitter. While on Twitter, I saw the following post that was directed to myself and a few friends.
Intrigued by the message, I clicked through to find a blog post by Mitch Joel titled The Resurrection of Podcasting. In the post, Mitch suggested that “Podcasting was supposed to be “the next big thing.’” By this, he explained that the expectation that podcasting would “create an entirely new genre with an even more impressive roster of new thinkers.” He then goes on to state that… “It hasn’t happened.”
He says.. “Some will blame the fact that it’s called ‘podcasting,’ while others will claim that it’s still not intuitive or easy to find and download the content.” Had he stopped here, I would have likely got back on track, working on the projects that I had hoped to work on this afternoon. However, then Mitch wrote… “Everyone will agree that it (podcasting) hasn’t exploded in popularity like blogging has, and that it’s even harder to figure out where the money is when it comes to podcasting.”
I’m writing this blog post to state that I Do Not Agree!
I started blogging in 1996. For the first 5 to 6 years, everyone asked… “What is a blog?” Today, I don’t know many people who don’t know what a blog is. It took several years for blogging to go “mainstream.”
Podcasting got it start in 2004/2005. Yes, “some” predicted that it would kill radio (I never agreed with them). Some believed that it would be a platform where podcast shows would be created and could be sold at massive profits (I felt these people completely missed the main benefits that podcasting offered). Some predicted that advertisers would be falling at the feet of podcast producers, begging us to take their “ad dollars” to broadcast their message to our audiences (While not so drastically, I do see many advertisers who are very eager to sponsor podcasts today and the trend is growing).
Yes, there was a lot of “hype” built up around podcasting in 2005/2006. Since then, there have been a number of people who only viewed podcasting from a “profit angle” that have declared that “podcasting is dead.” Though, the most prominent person who has ever said this will end 2012 with more than FOUR MILLION DOLLARS in ad revenue from PODCASTING in 2012. If you want to fact check that, please see my interview with Leo Laporte at http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/leointerview.
Resurrection of podcasting? The fact is that it never died! Sure, some people gave up on it. However, I was able to leave my very successful career in insurance, after 11 years, to go into podcasting full-time back in 2008, only two years after I began podcasting as a hobby. My view on how to monetize one’s efforts in podcasting has changed over the years. However, there is one thing that I do know as a fact. The number of those who listen to podcasts has grown every single year since podcasting has started.
Through one-on-one coaching and consulting, online training courses, and my own podcast about podcasting, I’ve helped thousands of people launch brand new podcasts. Most new podcasters have successfully reached into a new niche/target audience and has gained new “podcast subscribers” who had never heard of a podcast before.
These people, once they “get it,” typically become podcast listening enthusiasts and many do abandon their old habits of listening to “radio” and instead enjoy the benefits of listening to what they want, when they want to listen to it, and they love that it is portable and that they can listen to it wherever they like.
The best thing is that I, as a public speaker, can stand in a room in front of 1,000 people. I can explain to them what a podcast is. I can then ask the audience to pull out their iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry, etc (Including iPad, Nexus Tablet, Kindle Fire, etc) and I can walk them through, step by step, on how to install a free app on their device and subscribe to a podcast in under ten minutes.
When I’m not speaking in front of crowds of people, I’m happy to do this with people, one on one, everywhere I go. I consistently get people who write to me days, weeks, or months later, thanking me for introducing them to the world of podcasting and the ever growing catalog of content created by an increasing roster of impressive new speakers.
Edison Research has done a great job of tracking the impact of podcasting. In it’s 2012 report, you will find that the percentage of Americans who have ever listened to an audio podcast has grown to 29%. Also, one in four podcast consumers plug their MP3 players or smartphones into their car audio system “nearly every day.” Source: http://www.edisonresearch.com/home/archives/2012/05/the-podcast-consumer-2012.php
From 2005 through 2007, I had argued that podcasting was still in it’s infancy stage. From 2008 through 2011, I argued that podcasting was in it’s toddler stage. In Mitch’s post, he wrote that he “feels like podcasting is about to turn a corner” and that “these treasure troves of content are gaining mainstream attention. It is with this statement that I totally agree!
It’s just that I can not sit by and allow anyone to declare that podcasting has ever “died” or that it has ever been in need of any type of “resurrection” just because a handful of thought leaders had “written off” the medium of podacsting.
Podcasting never died and has never been in need of a “resurrection!”
For those who say that getting podcast content is too difficult to consume, tell that to the growing number of people who doesn’t know how to attach a file to an email but know how to subscribe to and liste podcasts on their smart phones. The ability to subscribe to podcasts in a car is already starting to emerge. Oh… And the to those who blame the term “podcasting” for anything… To them… I say… “Have you ever heard of BLOGGING?” Enough said!
One last thing. I think it is applaudable that people who are already in the mainstream are creating podcast content that is introducing entire new audiences, in mass, to the world of podcasting. I’m thankful for the Kevin Roses, Alec Baldwins, and Chris Hardwicks of the world. However, let us not discount the hard work of tens of thousands of content creators that have never “written off” the podcasting platform and who have been working, with great effort, to market to and educate the non-tech community on the benefits of podcast content. The RESEARCH shows that we have done an amazing job!
Viva La Podcasting!