Don’t believe everything you read in the media

I like listening to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code as background listening as I’m working. That’s how I usually listen to radio – background listening while I’m doing something else.

So it is for me with podcasts like the DSC, which I play on a PC in my office and listen to through the PC’s speakers (I listen on my iPod when I’m travelling). Time-shifted radio equivalent, of course, as I listen when I want to and not according to a broadcast schedule.

And there I was this early evening, enjoying today’s DSC as I read Greg Lindsay’s story in Business 2.0 in which he predicts the end for podcasters other than mainstream media who will edge out the indie podcasters. The advent of iTunes is a key reason, Lindsay says, declaring that "podcasting is soooo over." This is the third US publication – mainstream media – in recent days which has published such narrow doom and gloom commentary.

I’d classify Shel and I as "indie podcasters" with our For Immediate Release podcast. Just us two guys, independents both, who do a twice-weekly business show. So according to Lindsay, we may as well shut up shop and do something else as it will never work and we won’t make any money at it.

We’re not in it for the money, actually. I was outlining my response commentary – and then I read Shel’s post today on the subject:

[…] Indie podcasting will survive and thrive because of the value of the information it contains. Clearly, Neville and I will never attract an audience as large as movie reviewers Ebert & Roeper (one of the podcasts available from iTunes). However, public relations practitioners and others interested in organizational communication will never obtain content comparable to what “For Immediate Release” offers from a mainstream media source. There isn’t a radio station on earth that would produce a show dealing with the subject matter that Neville and I address because the audience isn’t big enough to attract the requisite advertising dollars to support it.

But Neville and I don’t need any advertising dollars. We’re not in it for the money. We are passionate about it and, as a consequence, our audience continues to grow. I’m not the least bit worried that our humble podcast is (in Lindsay’s words) “sooo over” because we represent the only option for those interested in our subject matter. And so it is with most other podcasts, including those focused on beer, wine, knitting, endurance sports, theme parks, and other niche interests. Public relations professionals have understood for years the value of narrowcasting.

Brilliant, Shel! This and the sound arguments in the rest of your post say it all.

I have a music recommendation for Lindsay as he ponders the future of podcasting. A great rock track included in today’s DSC – On a Podcast by Cruisebox.  Terrific song, the first one I’ve heard that’s about podcasting, and which I predict will be the siren call for indie podcasters. It’s from Cruisebox’ forthcoming CD Tell the FCC to Stick It (is that a great title or what?).

Available for download under a Creative Commons license. Various versions, given the explicit lyrics.

3 thoughts on “Don’t believe everything you read in the media

  1. Neville, you are soooo right. And so is Shel in his comments. These critics of podcasting seem to be missing the whole point. The true beauty of podcasting is its NICHE nature. I listen to For Immediate Release, which I’m pretty sure I’ll never hear on the CBC or the BBC. Ditto for those who tune into shows about raising pedigreed peacocks or whatever.
    Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re on the right path!

  2. Agree and add more…

    Neville Hobson posted a great follow up to a Business 2.0 article that I completely agree with. I hold that each new medium that comes out does not replace current media distribution, but enhances it. Blogs do not replace news sources like CNN, MSN…

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