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If You Had to Pick: Time or Content?
Let's pretend for a second that there are only two things that distinguish podcasts from radio. Let's say that the fact that the show is pre-recorded and I can therefore listen to when it's convenient for me is on thing, and the other is unique content that I can't get from main stream radio.

For those of you that actually listen to podcasts - if you had to assign one of these two things to each podcast you listen to, how would it go?

I know for me that most of the shows I listen to would be tagged under the 'time' category. I don't have a lot of crazy tastes so a lot of what I like can be found on normal radio. However, I can't pause radio and I actually have to pay attention to schedules to catch the shows I want and work my day around it.

I'm not sure where Larry's shows would be labelled, but I think he's missed the whole time-shifted attribute of podcasting altogether:

People talk about podcasting as if it is some amazing new technology, forgetting that we've had radio and books on tape for decades. The only difference is that we store the thing in a digital file now. And of course, using the internet as a medium allows anybody to create a show with unlimited reach. But just because you can do it doesn't mean people will want to listen.

It's the "The only difference is that we store the thing in a digital file now" part that resonates with me. For starters, I've identified two very real things that are different between main stream radio and podcasts. For a follow up, I'll also point out that Larry's "only difference" isn't a difference at all, in fact. Radio has been stored in digital form for years.
Humour me - tag your shows and let me know how it turned out for you. Time or content?

2 Comments/Trackbacks

Actually I meant to compare audiobooks on tape with digital files. And radio is really a stream that generally isn't stored in any way from a customer's point of view, though technology does allow them to acomplish it.

As a TiVo owner, I also get time-shifting, and just like podcasts which I do listen to, I can take TiVo shows with me.

My comment was meant to address the fact that podcasting isn't anything particularly new; it is just using newer technologies. The big difference is the reach of the internet.

I still stand by my comment that it is - for now - quite inconvenient given that a PC is required for me to do anything at all with a podcast. Even XM radio users can now save shows using their radios alone.

To answer your question though, content is more important than time, but that only makes sense. Time would only be a factor is two pieces of content we broadcast simultaneously. But I have a 2-tuner TiVo, so no problem. :)

Hey Larry,

I agree that the next big thing for podcasting is to remove the PC from the equation. There's at least once project in London, England that provides 5-minute news podcasts to commuters on the tube via Bluetooth to their mobile phones. Now that's a step in the right direction.

I'm also reasonably confident that you can get podcasts out of iTunes onto your basic ROKR phone and Nokia just launched a podcatcher for one of their phones as well.

It looks like things are well underway for getting rid of that PC.

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