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Oct 7
News: Not Suitable for Podcasting
While most of us agree that the true strength of podcasts lie in the niche - the ability to attract extremely targetted listener groups. The ability to do so not only (should) make podcast listeners attractive to advertisers, it can also elevate a relative unknown to a respected authority on the subject. Further, one of the unique things about podcasts is "time shifted" (yes, that means they're pre-recorded). This is a boon because the public has already spoken with their TiVO and PVR purchases that they want this functionality, but at the same time it makes certain topics unsuitable for podcasts.

News, for example, is not exactly a stellar example of something built for podcasting. News expires almost instantly and therefore the time shiftedness of podcasting looses almost all of its power. Credibilty is another factor that podcasters are still struggling with. The main stream media news sources just plain old have better credibility than Jon's News Hour. Lastly, big stories take big bucks. I forget who said it, but someone once wrote that Watergate could not have been broken by a blogger. It took time, money, research skills, connections, and a lot of other things that many podcasters and bloggers don't have.

Some MSN news outlets are offering podcasts, however. I think that those will continue to work because they address the last two points. Because MSN produces daily - or more - shows, the time shift is minimal as opposed to a weekly update or news podcast.

The other way to look at it is in terms of evergreen content. Since podcasts can remain online forever, they should contain content that's relatively useful and interesting forever. Daily news expires by its very nature making the archives almost useless.

Are ther any other topics that don't work well for podcasts?

2 Comments/Trackbacks

I think the Sony root-kit fiasco was first made public on Mark R's blog. Granted he is a high profile Windows Internals authority... Not exactly Watergate - but big news nonetheless.

True, true.

While I was writing this entry it crossed my mind that there are many different definitions of "news". What I primarily think of when I speak of news is the nightly MSN type news stuff. You're correct, though, in pointing out that many newsworthy items are bypassed by MSN and only bloggers and podcasters are left to pick it up.

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