Will Podcasting Replace Traditional Radio?

Only a handful of the”elite podcasters” actually get money for their unique content. Even though sponsors often times pay on a “cost per listener” in order to advertise on those podcasts, the primary emphasis is on how big their audience is. But whose fault is it that this is the dynamic being looked at?

One reason many sponsors give as to why they only sponsor the elite is that it’s too time-consuming to sponsor small and medium-sized podcasts. That’s why they often set the minimum number of listeners at 50,000 or possibly 10,000 downloads PER EPISODE!

But whose fault is this? We can identify, basically, four different areas in the podcast industry that we can look to in order to answer this question.

1. The sponsors.

2. The podcast hosting / listening platforms.

3. Podcasters themselves.

4. The media / sponsorship companies.

Is it the sponsor’s fault? Not really. It is true, though, that it does take a lot of time and resources for them to research, find, reach out to and negotiate prices with many podcasters. Smaller podcasters may have a great relationship and very high trust factor with their audiences. Since they many know their listeners in real life (or the listeners have actively found their podcast), they are often ignored by the major sponsors.

But the focus for the larger companies is usually on the “return on investment” (ROI). The traditional podcaster just will not produce the ROI these companies are looking for.

Is it the podcast platforms? Well, they are much to blame for the discovery part. So yes, in a way, it is the fault of the platform companies. They make it harder for some podcasts to grow and they tend to keep the elite money makers at the top of their search results. It almost seems like an old monarchy type of society, where the rules are rigged to keep the elite in power. But that really does not provide us the information on “whose fault it really is?”

So, is fault with the podcasters themselves? That’s a huge burden to put on individual podcasters. We can’t really expect hundreds of thousands of podcasters to be able to find sponsors who will want to sponsor just one small podcast. That won’t work in most cases. Also, that would take too much time for podcasters to get enough money to make the time factor profitable to reach out to sponsors. The “ROI” for individual podcasters would be lacking.

Is it the fault of the media / sponsorship companies? In my opinion, they are the actual ones to blame. When podcasting started to grow, so did the interest to make a profit out of the podcasters work. But the companies who were interested seemed to come in with the idea that the same model used for radio would translate to podcasting. But there is a problem with that theory, too.

The problem is, podcasting is not radio!

That is why podcasting is growing so fast! Podcasters do not need to pay so they can be on an individual radio station at a certain time. They can actually be on many different listening platforms, at the same time, listened to whenever and wherever by whoever, on-demand.

Podcasters do not need to have a media empire helping them produce or create their content. Podcasting truly is “by the people, for the people.”

We see many companies whose only focus is on the larger, more popular podcasts. They use the old obsolete radio model as their sponsorship guide. Not only with the podcasts they have on their platforms, but also with the dynamic ad system they insist on using.

Dynamic advertising is where the ads are changed over time, automatically. There is no input from the podcaster. It is all handled by the software at the company level.

Podcasters lose a key characteristic strength when they agree to dynamic ad inserts. The most popular (and most responsive) advertising for podcasters is where the host actually reads the ad during the recording process. This is done “pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.”

Holding on to an old model might be why some of these companies lose tens of millions of dollars each year in advertising costs each year. Which is also why they are very particular in only dealing with the larger, well-known, podcasts.

Podcasting is truly about the creators. It could be called “grassroots journalism!” This is a new medium, with hundreds of thousands of podcasters, that needs a new model to generate advertising revenue.

Podcasting started off as an amateur platform where everybody could create and publish their own content. You didn’t need an editor in chief or a media publishing giant telling you what to do, what to talk about or how to go about promoting your podcast.

People from all around the world currently record, edit, and publish their own content. Their listeners can listen to their programs whenever and wherever they want to. Truly, citizen journalism in the audio space was created by podcasters and has grown exponentially.

I liken podcasting today to where FM radio was back in the early 1980’s. FM radio was “available” (usually in elevators or doctors offices) but was not widely distributed or listened to. Just as FM radio became a “standard feature” in new cars (instead of “special order”), podcast listening ability is now becoming a “standard feature” in new cars as well. Almost every new car has a USB port and the ability to listen to podcasts through the car stereo system!

To answer the original question, “Is Podcasting Going to Replace Radio,” the answer is “NO.”

However, podcasting is going to take a BIG market segment away from traditional radio. In fact, it has already started. That is why many, smaller radio stations, have gone out of business. It is also evident in the recent published statistics concerning podcast listenership! Podcast listening is growing exponentially!

There is a great example, using an “old saying.” It goes something like this:

“When is the best time to plant a tree? Answer: “Twenty years ago.”

“When is the second best time to plant a tree?” Answer: “Today!

Concerning podcasting, “When was the best time to start a podcast?

Answer: “Five or six years ago!”

“When is the next best time to start a podcast?” Answer: “TODAY!”

If you have ever considered starting a podcast, now would be the perfect time for you to do so. The exponential growth curve is on the rise. For the foreseeable future, it will continue to grow and the dominance of podcasting will only become greater. Get into podcasting today and “catch the wave!”

Medcasting – Podcasting for the commercial medical industry

Medical casting or “Medcasting” is the commercial application of podcasting for medical related institutions. Medcasting is the distribution and publishing of audio and video feeds, that offer medical information delivered over the Internet, for on demand listening.

This is a new step in the evolution of on-demand medical information delivery, making it accessible, informative, useful and appealing. This mix presents the medical industry with a very unique opportunity to reach its community through this new medium. Those individuals, who are already seeking medical information actively, will use RSS subscription technology built into each podcast feed, to receive information immediately as it is updated by the medical institution. With one click of a button, a user can subscribe to a feed that may be interesting, and any related information that is ever updated to that feed will be automatically processed to their personal aggregator. An aggregator is able to subscribe to a feed, check for new content at user-determined intervals, and retrieve the content.

To take this process one step further, podcasting publishes each feed with the capability to be transferred to any portable audio or video device. So with the growth of the ipod and all the other portable media devices, you have the ability to grab Medcasts and place them on your portable player for listening or viewing. Most users attach their portable players to their computers daily or weekly, and once the player is attached they automatically receive the new medcast updates.

The flexibility of this medium is what will drive the growth of Medcasting tremendously over the next few years. Currently the most useful application for medical institutions worldwide is to compliment already existing medical information web pages. Most institutions have numerous web pages which deliver medical information in text format, by providing an audio or video link on that page it gives the user a different and potentially more effective format for receiving the information. This is also a great way to teach your existing users how to start utilizing medcasting services.

The popularity of portable on demand information will grow even greater as wireless internet services continue to flourish across the country. These portable devices will no longer have to be connected to the internet; they will receive information wirelessly as it is updated. In addition, as cell phones and portable devices continue to merge together, the market grows larger.

Additional formats that are being used consist of; medical talk shows, where various specialists within each institution will speak or answer questions on a certain topic. Medical lectures and seminars can be recorded and made available for the public or employees to download easily and on-demand. In addition, any information that may need to be delivered to employees can be recorded and made available on an in-house delivery network. For institutions that have thousands of employees, the distribution of company information is very important, and once again this offers each institution a method of on-demand delivery which is convenient to all. Medcasting can also be used as a direct line of communication, by recording video-casts of company messages from executives for company wide distribution.

There are numerous uses for medcasting currently, and over the next few years it will explode in popularity. It is beneficial to institutions as well as the consumer, and it will be seen as a great tool in any medical organizations’ operations.

Podcasting – It’s Not Just About Listening Anymore!

Podcasting is not just about listening anymore! It is about sharing what is important to you.

Traditional radio and television relies on massive listener audiences to “drive the needle.” If you have a loyal following but not massive numbers; or if the advertisers do not see a massive return on their investment (ROI), your program is dropped.

It is all about the advertising money!

I’ve been involved with podcasting and online media for over 10 years. I’ve seen how podcasting has developed. I’ve seen how podcasting has evolved. And one thing that I have noticed, is it is no longer considered “the poor man’s radio program.”

Podcasting has become a major way for people to develop a RELATIONSHIP with their audience. This relationship does not have to translate into revenue dollars (although it can).

Relationships occur because of the stories being told and the listeners are learning a thing or two along the way.

Story tellers are looking for listeners.

Listeners are looking for interesting and engaging stories.

If you actually look it in that light, that is why radio became so popular a hundred years ago. It is also why television became so popular in the mid 20th century. The ability to tell stories and capture your listeners imagination.

It is also what sparked the growth of social media platforms in the last 15 years or so. People telling their stories in a way that many people outside of their normal circle could participate.

Today, podcasting is on pace to out perform all of them!

Am I saying podcasting will replace radio? Or television?

Honestly, I don’t know. I do know that many car manufacturers are offering USB ports and podcast listening options!

Just like with television and radio, the most popular programs with podcasting will be those that establish an EMOTIONAL RELATIONSHIP between the audience and the host.

That is what I would like you to take away from this article. Podcasting is a way to connect emotionally with a listening audience. Podcasting is a way for you to tell a story (your story) in a cost-effective way that can reach, influence and possibly impact a huge audience.

Once people realize how influential podcasting has become today, they will begin to learn and understand how to establish those emotional relationships with people they do not even know. Some will make new careers from their podcasting endeavors.

Podcasting is a way for average people to share their stories. It is a way for them to make new connections. Podcasting is a way for them to grow their impact and make a difference in the lives of other people and to make a lasting impact in this world.

PODCASTING – It’s not just about listening anymore!

Lucrative Podcasting – Podcasting with a Purpose

Who knew that audio files would still be a hit these days? At first, this generation is going video crazy with the advent of MTV and other music video channels. However, this changed when iPod and other mp3 devices were introduced in the market. This paved the way for the creation of podcasts, which is now one of the marketing tools being used by online businesses to reach their target market.

A podcast is an audio file that you create in mp3 format that is uploaded to the Internet using RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) to create subscription feeds. The user will be receiving automatic downloads once a new podcast is available. Podcasting is a very inexpensive tool to help you promote the things that you are offering to the world and get in touch with your customers at the same time.

To advance in podcasting, here are some useful tips to think about.

1. Your purpose of creating a podcast should be clear and its description should give an accurate representation of its contents. It is indeed a reality that not all people will be interested in listening to your podcast. However, a good thing to note is that your target audience will be able to hear you. This is at least an achievement on your part.

2. Plan the content of your podcast. With a lot of podcasters around, you have to find ways to standout above the rest. You can also seek the help of various podcasting service providers to help you in uploading your podcast.

3. Promote your podcast by submitting it to a lot of podcast directories or join forums that discuss the same interest as yours. By doing so, a lot of people will be able to hear what you have to say and thus, it will widen your prospective market.

Dental Practitioners Become Podcasting Pros in 7 Simple Steps

Do you value community outreach activities? Are you looking for better ways to communicate with—and educate—your patients, your peers, or even the media? If your goal is to deliver your message to more people, more effectively, more often, then I have the answer you’ve been looking for … and it’s powerful, fun and remarkably simple.

Why not use the cutting edge technology of podcasting to spread awareness about the importance of proper oral health? Stay with me now—if you have a slight case of technophobia, that’s okay. I’m confident that if your practice has the technical know-how to produce an online newsletter, then learning to integrate podcasting into your outreach activities will be a snap. And believe me—podcasting is the most innovative mass-communication vehicle to emerge in years, and will greatly increase the impact and reach of your message.

Let’s begin with the basics. Think of a podcast as a radio program that anyone can download from the Internet. Put another way, a podcast is a digital file that is available to everyone—via free subscription—over the web. Most podcasts are audio files only (like CDs), but video content can be added as well (like DVDs). The main advantage of podcasting over traditional broadcasting is that users can download these web files to their personal computers, mp3 players, and/or CDs, and then listen to them at their convenience—in their car, during their morning run, or even in your reception area.

More and more, podcasts are becoming recognized as the latest robust communication tool to harness the Internet’s power to reach a large number of listeners quickly. If your podcast contains valuable information, your listeners will share it with others, rapidly disseminating your message around the globe. Also, because podcasts use RSS (really simply syndication) technology, new episodes are delivered to your subscribers seamlessly. Once a listener subscribes to a podcast using iTunes or another similar service, that service automatically downloads new episodes as they are released, making it practically instantaneous and effortless for your audience to receive your message.

Putting together a professional-sounding podcast is easier than you might think. Since valuable content is paramount, the first step is to prepare interesting topics for your episodes. I suggest that you commit to producing bi-monthly episodes, meaning that you initially need only six topics per year. Once podcasting becomes part of your routine, increase your production to twelve topics per year. If you are already producing a paper or online newsletter for your patients, the most logical progression would be to reformat some of that content into podcasts. A good way to start is to identify topics that you could cover in more detail by talking about them in a podcast rather than writing about them in a newsletter.

For example, the most recent newsletter that my dentist emailed to me included an article about the dangers of periodontal disease, including information on how it may be connected to the development of heart disease, warning signs to watch out for, and recommended preventative actions. This is valuable information that I am interested in, and I am thankful to be on this mailing list. But imagine that I have received this information in the form of an audio podcast, personally recorded by my dentist, urging me to book an appointment for a much-needed checkup. I am immediately spurred to action! Speaking directly to your audience—in your own voice and with your own inflection, tone and spirit—creates a much more intimate connection with your patients. This relationship-building quality is inherent in audio, and it’s part of what makes podcasting so powerful.

If you have doubts about the widespread acceptance of digital audio files, consider this statistic: on April 9, 2007, Apple announced the sale of its 100 millionth iPod and more than 2.5 billion songs from the iTunes Music Store. Now consider that anyone can download podcasts from this same music store and listen to them via their mp3 player or their computer, or burn them to CD … for free! As more and more people (including your patients) “tune in” to audio files via the web, offering them podcasts that complement and expand on the content of your existing newsletters provides you with another way to remind them about the importance of proper oral health and the services you provide.

So, what equipment and software do you need to record and produce a podcast? You can become a podcasting pro in just seven simple steps:

1. Verify that your PC is running Windows 2000, XP or Vista, and has the ability to play audio files.

2. Invest in a microphone. Altec Lansing makes decent products, some of which list for under $30, and are available at Future Shop. But I recommend splurging a little to improve your audio quality. Blue Microphones makes a great USB mic called the Snowball, which retails for $130 on the Canadian online Apple Store. (This mic will also work with your Windows PC.)

3. Download and install your recording software. Audacity is an excellent audio editor that is available for download from http://audacity.sourceforge.net. And you can’t beat their price point: it’s free.

4. Record and edit your podcast.

5. Partner with an online hosting service to set up a website specifically for your podcast. Liberated Syndication is extremely inexpensive and gives me everything I need. At $5 USD per month, I can lease 100 megabytes of storage space per month, which translates into about two hours of audio. This basic hosting account gives me unlimited bandwidth, meaning that even as my audience grows exponentially, my monthly cost never increases. LibSyn also provides me with easy-to-use templates for my podcast’s website, and automatically generates and updates my podcast’s RRS feed. Another, similar service worth considering is Go Daddy.

6. Upload your new podcast to your hosting service using their simple submission page. Completing the submission page is similar to sending an email. Simply type in the title of your podcast (like a subject line), add the description of your episode (like the body of your email), and include your mp3 file (as an attachment). You can even attach a corresponding image, if you like. Uploading your podcast stores the mp3 file online and makes it available to your audience—they can download your podcast from your newly created podcast website.

7. Promote your podcast! This is as easy as sending an email announcement to your contact list with the URL of your podcast’s website. But to take advantage of the various online podcast directories, you need to visit their websites and submit your podcast’s RSS feed. You should never pay to be included in these directories, since the best ones—including iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and Podcast Pickle—are free.

For Mac users, these steps are even simpler, thanks to Garage Band and iWeb. As a Mac user myself, I’d be happy to pass along some pointers to get you started.

Like you, I believe it’s important to remain connected with my client base, and as a lover of all things tech, I choose to use innovative approaches. I have successfully engaged the power of podcasting to promote my company in two weekly podcasts with rapidly growing success. And by following these seven simple steps, you too can become a podcasting pro!