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Is Podcasting the Wave of the Future?

By | August 31, 2007

This week on the Podcasting Blog I’ve got some comments on an article I read that states podcasting is basically at a plateau. I’ve also got a new site up that demonstrates some monetization methods that I’ve been talking about here. I’m Ken Walker, stay tuned and I’ll be right back.

Hey everybody thanks for listening, I tell you what, it has been another busy week for me I’ve had some very late nights and I think this Labor Day weekend is actually going to be spent outside. I’m actually gonna take Monday off and do a bit of relaxing with the family. Plus it’s gonna give me a great opportunity to do some grilling and I’ve got a special announcement on that in the second half of the show today.

I was reading an article today, and I’ll post the URL in the show notes that basically says podcasting is stagnate. Compared to blogs and video, it’s just not catching up. I don’t agree with that really because podcasting is huge, but the article states that podcasting is mostly useful during commutes, but that people can’t scan through their podcasts, it also says it’s hard to monetize on a podcast, that ‘big media’ control the podcast market.

These are actually pretty good points, but I wanna address ‘em. First off, just sign into iTunes and look at the podcasts and you’ll see that podcasting is far from stagnate, I mean it’s huge, but a lot of the content is video, which is still a podcast, it’s just a video podcast.

I understand it’s not as big as blogging because really, #1 it’s tons easier to blog than it is to podcast, and it takes a lot more work to do a podcast right. I mean, you need to get some good equipment, get a quiet place to record, edit, mix, post-production, all that, definitely more time involved than just sitting down and typing a few paragraphs on a blog, so really I doubt that podcasting is ever going to be as wide-spread as blogging, but I’ll tell you what’s real big today, and that’s combining blogging with podcasting, like what I do here.

When you blog and podcast together, I think you get the best of both worlds. Also, I don’t know about the usefulness statement he made about commuting, because, granted my situation is a little isolated, but I think there’s tons of people that sync up their iPods in the morning before they go to work and play them in their car on the commute. Or maybe they listen with their headphones on if they take a bus.

I mean, I just don’t really see that as being an issue. People subscribe to what they want to hear, and then they listen when there’s something to listen to.

Now the statement about monetization, that’s a very illusive thing. I know of some great success stories of people making a living off of their podcast, but you know what the key is there, high-quality. If you take a thousand people and they all start podcasting, I mean chances are a big percentage of them aren’t really gonna have what it takes. Let’s say you end up with a hundred people that are capable of doing a great job, they’ve got good ideas, a good personality, all that, of those probably like 10 are gonna know how to get the right equipment and use it to produce a good show, I mean it’s that simple. The other 990 shows just aren’t gonna do well, so what you end up with is 10 podcasts out of a 1,000 that do well and it’s obvious why.

Actually, the next statement kinda ties into this, he says big media really owns the town and sadly I think he’s pretty much right on that, but what that means is that to be competitive, you have to compete. You’ve gotta have somebody that knows what they’re doing behind the mic, somebody who knows how to mix and engineer everything, and lots of other resources.

Now it’s possible for a one-man show to do all that, but it’s hard. It kinda does show you though that podcasting is here to stay because a lot of these big media companies have put a lot of time and money and resources into setting these things up. I mean, all your major players have usually several podcasts, not just one.

And to be honest, I get a little depressed sometimes because I go to iTunes and I search for something, and yeah, there’s lots of big time media outfits that have podcasts and it makes it real hard for Indi podcasters.

I think the place that a podcaster is gonna find though, is in the niche markets. For the most part, and there’s always exceptions, but for the most part, you’re not gonna compete with the 5 million view podcasts, the topics that millions of people are interested in. I mean you can try, but competition is gonna be tough and big media is gonna get you.

I think what we need to focus on is a niche market where maybe 10,000 or 100,000 people would be interested and podcast about that. That kinda stuff is where the Indi podcaster is gonna thrive because big media isn’t gonna cover it. Now, like I said, there’s exceptions to the rule, we’ve all heard about successes like Grammar Girl. Big media isn’t really gonna be interested, but she’s an Indi podcaster that’s doing great and appealing to a large crowd.

This is kinda a good segue into my next segment, I’ve launched a new website catered to a specific niche market and we’ll take a look at it right after this message from our sponsor.

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One of my biggest goals with podcasting, and really a lot of the work I do, is that I wanna do something that I enjoy. I really like taking pictures and using Photoshop, and I do training on that. I was thinking awhile back though, about what I could do that would appeal to a larger group of people, not just computer people who like Photoshop.

So I was thinking about things I like to do and things I’m good at, and I decided to launch a website about outdoor grilling. I did a little bit of research and I think it’s something that’s really missing out there so I launched a new podcast at realmengrill.com.

The site is still pretty new, but I did manage to get my first episode live the other day, and I tell you what, when you hear this, I hope the site is back on. That domain is hosted at GoDaddy and I made an SSL Certificate change, after spending the whole night getting the site setup and looking good, it was working just fine, but I did this SSL Certificate change and all of a sudden everything on the site disappeared! I mean, I was down.

I called and talked to a rep and he assured me that it was only because of account changes and that after awhile it would come back up, so I’m praying that it will. Hopefully by the time you hear this podcast, I’ll be back online.

Anyhow, I’m gonna try a few things with the site. I’ve got a spot for Adwords there, I’ve signed up with some affiliate programs, and I’m gonna see how it works out. My model is that the podcast will provide content that people want, and that the site will be supported by the ads and sales of affiliate products.

It’s a niche market, it’s on the edge though because there’s lots of main stream cooking programs and big media could do something like this, so I’ll have to be creative and provide something unique, but I’m willing to take that chance. Check out the site and let me know what you think, I’ll be talking about the whole setup process in the near future, in case you’re thinking of setting up something like this. Again, it’s at realmengrill.com

That’s it for this week’s show, I’m Ken Walker, you can reach me at podcasting@seocompany.ca, or just post a comment on the blog. I’ll see you next week.

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Topics: Podcast Promotion | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Is Podcasting the Wave of the Future?”

  1. Paul Says:
    September 4th, 2007 at 7:42 am

    I used to do interviews over the telephone but now I am having a lot of trouble getting good quality. I am using a Toneport UX2, JK Audio Quick Tap and Cool Edit Pro 2.1. I only use the guest side of the interview and I have noticed that the line quality has been very poor. I am wondering if in the day of VOIP if it is practical to depend on the telephone for broadcast quality production.

    Could you do a program on recording off the phone.

  2. Ken Walker Says:
    September 4th, 2007 at 8:06 am

    That is a great suggestion Paul, I’ll make sure to cover that soon. In the mean time, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Skype, but as far as audio quality goes, if the person you’re interviewing can use Skype as well, you’ll get much better quality audio (depending on their mike). There are applications that will record the conversation and split the tracks, you on the left, them on the right, for example. Reliability? Well, that is another story.


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