Wednesday, 8 April 2015

#Blog Alert Why Podcasts will be the next big thing - finally

--> I remember back in 2005 when I published the very first LBC Podcast, thinking that this could have the potential to be an amazing new medium, with a low cost that could reach millions of people, if only.  If only you were not tied to listening on your computer.  If only the download speeds were better.  If only people could easily find your material, published and curated.

Finally we have worked through all of those ‘If Onlys’  Ok so the iTunes Podcast App still could be better, but with other apps coming along like A.Cast and Audioboom – things are improving.

So why has Podcasting grown so much, so recently, here in the UK, with over 10 million downloads every week?

Well we already have a sophisticated audience who are used to the BBC Listen Again service, so consumers already understand the ease and benefit of on-demand audio content.

Just like radio you can multi-task whilst you listen to a Podcast, listen to content in the car, on a train, at the gym, and so on.

You can get what you want on-demand, and if there are back episodes, you can binge listen, rather like binge watching at TV show on Netflix.

If you take a look at the successful Podcasts in the U.S. there all tend to be either host or character led.  That narrative form is powerful and potent when listened to with the intimacy of headphones or on your own in a car. This is a genre that will grow and I guess in typical American fashion, become saturated and other formats will have to develop.

What of the future? Well I would love to see an easier way of sharing material.  Rather like you might share a link or snippet of content on Facebook or Twitter. 

There is an argument for producing your long-form Podcast and then seeding short interesting audio clips of the content on social media to draw an audience that would otherwise have to make a commitment to download your whole show – to try it out.

Whatever the future holds, we have come a long way from that afternoon in 2005 when I uploaded ‘The Sandi Toksvig Podcast’ and we imagined a few hundred people might download.  (In the end we had thousands of downloads)

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