I returned earlier this week from my second visit to the Podcast and New Media Expo. This was it’s third year and, I believe, they are on their third name. It has gone from the Portable Media Expo to the Podcast and New Media Expo to next year’s moniker: New Media Expo. Why all the schizophrenia? Mostly because online content producers, such as our company, seem to have won the day in terms of calling what we do by it’s proper name: CONTENT.
The general consensus from the show and, clearly, the show’s organizers, is that the term "podcast" has mostly served to muddy the waters in the minds of consumers by focusing on the medium instead of the message. At the end of the day, we are independent producers who now have access to the channels of distribution via this thing called RSS. But the "hows" are really not relevant to the conversation. The real point is this: we fell into the trap of defining what we do by focusing on the tools instead of the reward.
The good news is, users have a panoply of choices on how, when and where they receive and consume the content that THEY want to consume, and that is all to the good. Be it download, streaming, audio, video, subscription service, one-time purchase…whatever.
Continue to produce quality content and people will find it. We live in the times of a perfect storm of improved search, ease of use and an unending flow of new apps in the marketplace that make our online experiences more customizable and relevant.
Podcasting is not dead. On the contrary, it is just beginning to hit its stride. It provides the four things that any producer and any consumer could ever want: compelling content, choice, relationship building from producer to user and back again and, finally, niche programming.
All the things that traditional media have failed miserably at since Tesla invented radio.