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!”

Does Satellite Radio Feel The Competitive Heat From Cable TV Music Stations?

The other day, I got rather miffed at the cable company because they had put out a list of all of their channels in a brochure, but even before I received the brochure those channels had all changed, along with the numbers. When I spoke to someone at the company about this they noted that in the contract (somewhere in the 10-pages of fine print) they had the right to change the channels and the programming at any time, for any reason, without any notification. Well, that’s great except they’re charging quite a bit of money each month, and the service quite frankly is inferior.

No, I’m not surprised the cable networks now have pretty much a monopoly, once you sign up it’s hard to leave, and even if you go with a different cable network, they are probably just as bad. Now I realize there are consumers who try to take it advantage of them, steal their programming, or try to dodge their system, but that doesn’t mean that every one of their customers is trying to pull a fast one, and yet look how we are treated. In any case, after going through all of the channels one by one, I created my own listing, table of contents, of each of the 1000 stations.

Indeed, I was amazed how many music stations there were, almost 50 in all, and those were the ones which were in English, there were also Spanish cable radio stations as well. With that many options, one has to believe that this is interfering with satellite radio – thus, a big competitor. No, you can’t take your cable box with you in your car, so satellite radio is still needed, but it prevents satellite radio from entering the home market because it would just be a duplication of the bundled services people already have in their home if they already take cable TV service. The question is; “is this really cutting into satellite radio’s customer base?”

Well, consider this, as a consumer the other day I was in an electronics store, and I noted there was a satellite radio device which was transportable. In other words you could have your satellite radio in your car, or take this device with you from your car to the beach, or into the office. Since it was one of those little miniature boom boxes, you could also take it into your home, leave it by a window, get good reception, and listen all day. However, why would you wish to do the latter if you could merely turn on the TV, put it on a, let’s say; “80s rock station” and listen all day?

It doesn’t cost any extra to have these cable TV radio stations, they come with the package, as part of the basic service. Meanwhile, it costs $9.99 per month to subscribe to satellite radio. The duplication and bundling from the cable TV networks has prevented satellite radio from entering their realm, and is in some regards diluting their market share, at least that is the way I see it.

That doesn’t mean that the cable TV network stations don’t have to deal with other things such as online radio, online TV, or many of the other challenges ahead, they do, and it will be a challenge for them moving forward. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

The 5 Strangest Radio Stations on the Internet

Internet radio is amazing, not least of all because it’s possible to find a station that caters to almost any taste.

No longer are you stuck listening to the dozen or twenty alternatives on your local AM/FM bands. Now you can tune in the whole world right from your computer — or on one of the increasingly popular wi-fi radio devices.

The listening possibilities opened up by Internet radio would be astounding even if you were limited to the regular, over-the-air stations that happen to provide an audio stream as well. But for something really different, you have to look to the Internet-only radio stations.

With perhaps 50,000 Internet radio stations on line now — an up-to-date, accurate count is probably impossible to come by — here are the 5 that I consider the strangest of the ones I’ve sampled. Just do a web search on the name if there’s one you think you’d like to listen to:

  • 12 Step Radio – Plays songs about drinking and the havoc alcohol can play with people’s lives, with an emphasis on “recovery songs” to encourage people to stay sober.
  • Radio Didgeridoo – All didgeridoo music, all the time; apparently there’s a craze for this native Australian instrument in Poland, of all places, which is where the station originates.
  • Nirvana Radio – Streams sounds that are supposed to help you meditate; the “best vibrations in the world” according to the station’s web site.
  • Birdsong Radio – You guessed it: Non-stop bird recordings, for ornithologists and those who find that sort of thing relaxing rather than annoying.
  • ATOS Theatre Organ Radio – Recordings of music played on those big old pipe organs that sometimes accompanied showings of silent films; definitely an acquired taste (ATOS stands for the American Theatre Organ Society).