No podcasting boom nor will there be

Interesting thought from the Godfather of blogging, Dave Winer. As you know, he invented RSS, which is the basis for the distribution of podcasts. He states that he didn’t believe in social networks around podcasts because of the following reason:

“It was kind of obvious — podcasts aren’t like photos, you can’t make a social network form about them because people get ideas about podcasts when they’re nowhere near a computer, unlike photos or blog posts.”

Which is true if the majority of people listen to podcasts when they’re not near a computer, e.g. when they’re on the move and listening to a show on their iPod. I don’t listen to podcasts at all, not from my iTunes or from my iPod, but my guess would be that Dave is right. Does anyone has a statistic on the percentage of people listening to podcasts from iTunes versus iPod?


  1. The “Podfather” Adam Curry (and others) have old-fashioned telephone numbers you can call from your car to give audio feedback about a podcast your listening to while driving.

  2. Adam has replied to the Dave Winer content. see here:

    With connectivity ever increasing(hence our earlier conversation) we will not have any barriers left and automatic downloads(the likes of itunes/RSS) will help the proces.

    I do listen to podcasts, as well as 2 you for that one) and other sources.

    Mediaconsumption is not restricted to mediatype or connectivity only to the desire of certain types of content(how much do you want a certain type of information) and the barriers mediachannels create (RSS readers/RSS formats, Itunes billing etc etc.)

  3. @Marc: tnx for the link. And I’m not contesting that people won’t use podcasts more and more, they certainly will, indeed because a number of barriers will disappear. Winer explicitly states that iTunes has helped the distribution a lot, to say the least. But still, Winer’s point is that it won’t become a hype because it is difficult to form a social network around them because of its form – i.e. content not as condensed and instant as a blog post or a photo – and the place of consumption, i.e. not behind a keyboard. So for companies following a social network strategy those are, also IMHO, big hurdles, at least in the short term.

  4. The hype is more in the specific individuals leading the masses.
    There are multiple contributors to the Curry podcast(DSC) that have started podcasting themselves and/or are sending in audio comments(directly in MP3 or via phone voicemail messages) after listening to it first.

    To make it short.. True, Podcasting won’t form a hype in the way of a web 2.0 organic form expending in all directions but more focussed around a few individuals and specific content delivery entity’s(New York Times blogs etc etc).

    To go back to the curry example, there are multiple DSC podcast contributors that have become popular themselves and indeed unknown bands on the podsafe music network(unsigned, unknown artists) are getting a lot of rotations and income where they wouldn’t have before. This also forms a community on its own.

    About the condesity.. A podcast can be fitted with sections and additional screen information. This would allow short(condensed) media bytes if used properly.

  5. Hi,

    In my view this points is outdated to the rise of networked MP3 players like Zune, Sansa and the (free) Wifi and mobile revolution (4G, WiMax, fixed fee HSDPA etc.). All this will boost the social networking relevancy of podcasts. The iPod is just an isolated island right now.

  6. @Yuri, still, I don’t see how more distribution of Podcasts and the fact that that a lot of the consumption devices will have network features will enable the forming of social networks around the podcasts themselves. Their form – not condensed, not that instant – will prohibit this.

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