I read a pretty good article today over on Baluart. The article deals with a lot of issues and information relating to podcasting, but the part that I found most thought provoking was near the end.
For those looking to advertise through podcasting, the Yankee Group advises that podcasts should be built around focused topics that appeal to specific demographic groups. Subscription-based models have been considered by some podcasters, but in the near future, it’s likely that advertising will be the principal revenue stream for those looking to profit from podcasting.
I wonder if we're seeing a technology-based paradigm shift already? I mean, the technology required to search the audio portion of podcasts is just starting to come onboard. Automated systems like PodZinger and manual transcription services like Transcribr are able to provide blow-by-blow accounts of a podcast episode, and I think that might change things a bit.
It seems to me that one of the reasons why many people recommend a tightly focussed topic is to guarantee listeners that if they invest the time to listen to the show, they'll get what they want out of it. However, if we can search podcasts just like a web page, then listeners can find the information they're looking for in a variety of podcasts. I know that about 60% of the traffic to my personal website comes to me via search engines. When the technology exists to provide that kind of indexing to podcasts we'll see a drastic change in podcast traffic and community.