BusinessWeek has an insightful report on something that I brought up a while back: the explosion in growth of podcasting, and the dramatic changes in radio and audio on the Internet. In an article entitled “The New Radio Revolution” it reports:
“For all the hullabaloo it’s generating, podcasting is not even close to being a business yet. While startups such as Odeo and The Podcast Network are providing technological support and creating a podcasting network, right now Ibbott has barely enough ads to cover expenses, and most podcasters work for free.
EASIER ENTRY. Maybe a few will come up with a way to make a living doing it. Maybe not. Regardless, a trend is afoot that could transform the $21 billion radio industry. Consider the basics: With no licenses, no frequencies, and no towers, ordinary people are busy creating audio programming for thousands of others. They’re bypassing an entire industry.
The digital revolution took its time getting to radio. Now it’s exploding — and the big bang goes far beyond podcasting. As radio shows are turned into digital bits, they’re being delivered many different ways, from Web to satellite to cell phones. Listeners no longer have to tune in at a certain time, and within range of a signal, to catch a show or a game. As the business goes digital, the barriers to entry — including precious airwaves — count for less and less.”
As I noted, the citizen broadcaster has been birthed.
If you needed any further evidence of the ascendancy of podcasting and citizen broadcasting, consider what Evan Williams, founder of blogging software Blogger, is doing now. He is heading up a five-person startup, Odeo, designed to provide a platform for easy podcasting, as reported by the New York Times.
After audio, I predict video is next. But that is going to take a few years.