Will Podcasting Replace Traditional Radio?

Only a handful of the”elite podcasters” actually get money for their unique content. Even though sponsors often times pay on a “cost per listener” in order to advertise on those podcasts, the primary emphasis is on how big their audience is. But whose fault is it that this is the dynamic being looked at?

One reason many sponsors give as to why they only sponsor the elite is that it’s too time-consuming to sponsor small and medium-sized podcasts. That’s why they often set the minimum number of listeners at 50,000 or possibly 10,000 downloads PER EPISODE!

But whose fault is this? We can identify, basically, four different areas in the podcast industry that we can look to in order to answer this question.

1. The sponsors.

2. The podcast hosting / listening platforms.

3. Podcasters themselves.

4. The media / sponsorship companies.

Is it the sponsor’s fault? Not really. It is true, though, that it does take a lot of time and resources for them to research, find, reach out to and negotiate prices with many podcasters. Smaller podcasters may have a great relationship and very high trust factor with their audiences. Since they many know their listeners in real life (or the listeners have actively found their podcast), they are often ignored by the major sponsors.

But the focus for the larger companies is usually on the “return on investment” (ROI). The traditional podcaster just will not produce the ROI these companies are looking for.

Is it the podcast platforms? Well, they are much to blame for the discovery part. So yes, in a way, it is the fault of the platform companies. They make it harder for some podcasts to grow and they tend to keep the elite money makers at the top of their search results. It almost seems like an old monarchy type of society, where the rules are rigged to keep the elite in power. But that really does not provide us the information on “whose fault it really is?”

So, is fault with the podcasters themselves? That’s a huge burden to put on individual podcasters. We can’t really expect hundreds of thousands of podcasters to be able to find sponsors who will want to sponsor just one small podcast. That won’t work in most cases. Also, that would take too much time for podcasters to get enough money to make the time factor profitable to reach out to sponsors. The “ROI” for individual podcasters would be lacking.

Is it the fault of the media / sponsorship companies? In my opinion, they are the actual ones to blame. When podcasting started to grow, so did the interest to make a profit out of the podcasters work. But the companies who were interested seemed to come in with the idea that the same model used for radio would translate to podcasting. But there is a problem with that theory, too.

The problem is, podcasting is not radio!

That is why podcasting is growing so fast! Podcasters do not need to pay so they can be on an individual radio station at a certain time. They can actually be on many different listening platforms, at the same time, listened to whenever and wherever by whoever, on-demand.

Podcasters do not need to have a media empire helping them produce or create their content. Podcasting truly is “by the people, for the people.”

We see many companies whose only focus is on the larger, more popular podcasts. They use the old obsolete radio model as their sponsorship guide. Not only with the podcasts they have on their platforms, but also with the dynamic ad system they insist on using.

Dynamic advertising is where the ads are changed over time, automatically. There is no input from the podcaster. It is all handled by the software at the company level.

Podcasters lose a key characteristic strength when they agree to dynamic ad inserts. The most popular (and most responsive) advertising for podcasters is where the host actually reads the ad during the recording process. This is done “pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.”

Holding on to an old model might be why some of these companies lose tens of millions of dollars each year in advertising costs each year. Which is also why they are very particular in only dealing with the larger, well-known, podcasts.

Podcasting is truly about the creators. It could be called “grassroots journalism!” This is a new medium, with hundreds of thousands of podcasters, that needs a new model to generate advertising revenue.

Podcasting started off as an amateur platform where everybody could create and publish their own content. You didn’t need an editor in chief or a media publishing giant telling you what to do, what to talk about or how to go about promoting your podcast.

People from all around the world currently record, edit, and publish their own content. Their listeners can listen to their programs whenever and wherever they want to. Truly, citizen journalism in the audio space was created by podcasters and has grown exponentially.

I liken podcasting today to where FM radio was back in the early 1980’s. FM radio was “available” (usually in elevators or doctors offices) but was not widely distributed or listened to. Just as FM radio became a “standard feature” in new cars (instead of “special order”), podcast listening ability is now becoming a “standard feature” in new cars as well. Almost every new car has a USB port and the ability to listen to podcasts through the car stereo system!

To answer the original question, “Is Podcasting Going to Replace Radio,” the answer is “NO.”

However, podcasting is going to take a BIG market segment away from traditional radio. In fact, it has already started. That is why many, smaller radio stations, have gone out of business. It is also evident in the recent published statistics concerning podcast listenership! Podcast listening is growing exponentially!

There is a great example, using an “old saying.” It goes something like this:

“When is the best time to plant a tree? Answer: “Twenty years ago.”

“When is the second best time to plant a tree?” Answer: “Today!

Concerning podcasting, “When was the best time to start a podcast?

Answer: “Five or six years ago!”

“When is the next best time to start a podcast?” Answer: “TODAY!”

If you have ever considered starting a podcast, now would be the perfect time for you to do so. The exponential growth curve is on the rise. For the foreseeable future, it will continue to grow and the dominance of podcasting will only become greater. Get into podcasting today and “catch the wave!”

What Is a Podcast? Podcasting Terminology Explained

As you begin your career online or extend your outreach to a growing audience, you may be considering podcasting. This article discusses what podcasting is and explains some of the technology in terms that anyone can understand.

Several definitions for podcast are available by googling the term. The one I like best however, says the following. A podcast is a multimedia file able to be played on a computer, mobile device or media player. The file itself may consist of audio or video and is usually obtained by downloading it from a site (website) set up just for that purpose. Although the term podcast is sometimes associated with a popular vendor’s device, the term podcast came before the device and has been in use according to Wikipedia since around 2005.

Other terms that are used when describing a podcast are terms such as “RSS”, “podcast client”, “aggregator”, “blog”, “syndication” and “digital audio files”. Looking at the definition and use of these terms along with more descriptions of the use of podcast should help us to understand what the meaning of podcast is when it comes to using podcasts for broadcasting a message.

First, RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, defined as a web feed technology that automatically detects when content on one site is updated and through subscriber feeds and aggregators, distributes it to another site or to a digital content player. A web feed allows feed readers to access a site automatically looking for new content and then post updates about that new content to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and newest information posted on different sites. A feed reader is a software package that enables you to read the code in which RSS feeds are written. This can give you a central place to read updates from news feeds, blogs, email etc. Feed readers are increasingly being included in browser software, or as part of personalized homepages.

A podcast client is the software used to access and download podcasts. Podcast clients are also known as media aggregators, programs designed to automatically access an online file, or feed, and download the audio or video file associated with it. An aggregator (also known as a feed reader) is a website or software program that gathers and displays web content such as news headlines, blogs, and podcasts from multiple website sources to a single website (location). It uses RSS or other types of feeds to find the content, and allows subscribing to feeds, allowing new content to be automatically downloaded when it is available.

Blog is a shortened version of the word weblog, material published by the owner of a website containing posts of all sorts of content, including images, texts, video, audio and even links to other sites. Often a blog will allow participation from readers through comments or guest posts. Syndication is the pulling of content from an RSS news feed into a web site making information on a website available (usually in digest form) for a wide range of uses, like RSS feeds. Syndication also allows news updates, blog entries and podcasts to be made immediately available to a Web audience.

Finally, digital audio files for our purpose refers to a file containing digital audio which is defined as follows. Analog audio signals are converted into digital samples, with each sample being assigned a value in a range of 65,536 possible values (16 bits). This converted analog signal is saved in file format and is able to played by many digital audio players such as in a cd audio player or if converted to the right format an MP3 player, media players, etc.

Now, with these basics about the podcasting world, you have a foundation to start looking into how podcasting can become useful for your needs.