Friday, April 21, 2006

Kantor: Too many podcasting choices equals disinterest

Just read an article written by Andrew Kantor over at USA Today about the reasons why podcasting hasn't taken off as quickly as people have predicted.

I found the beginning of his article quite hilarious, in particular his take on what makes podcasting different from putting audio files on your website:

The automatic part is important. Podcasting is not simply putting audio files on your site and letting people download them. That's known as "putting audio files on your site and letting people download them." To be a podcast, it has to be automated. No RSS, no syndication, no podcast.

What a gem!

Now, Kantor goes on to give 3 reasons why podcasting hasn't run radio off the map as quickly as some have predicted, in particular:

  1. There's just way too much "junk" podcasts out there creating what I call "podspam."
  2. The technology to access podcasts is too complicated.
  3. And lastly, the vast amount of choice makes podcasting too overwhelming to be bothered with.

Okay, so I agree with Kantor on #1. For #2, podcast listeners should just download iTunes and be done with it. It's the only podcatcher that really matters anyways.

But for #3, I would argue that the same holds true for radio and TV. With digital cable, satellite TV/radio and the Internet all competing for our earholes and eyeballs, we are given way too many choices when it comes to our entertainment.

I may be able to just click the "on" button on my remote, but because I now have digital cable, I have 900 channels to flip through. In the city of Toronto where I live, there are hundreds of stations to choose from. It would take me a week just to go from station to station to decide what I'll listen to.

So no, podcasting isn't the only culprit here when it comes to choice.

8:49pm ET update - Here's another take on USA Today's coverage of podcasting.

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