Although podcasting is new, it is well on its way to
becoming a mainstream communication medium. Podcasting,
simply put, is audio files that are delivered via RSS. Many
people believe that podcasting is solely for the
distribution of music files, but really, nothing could be
further from the truth. This emerging method of audio file
distribution has opened an array of marketing and
communication opportunities to businesses. Currently, most
who are familiar with podcasting are technically savvy, but
it is clear that podcasting will be more than a passing fad
as many businesses are adopting podcasting and employing it
in unusual yet powerful ways. Podcasting can be used for
talk shows, tutorials, music demos, educational training,
stories, comedy clips, debates or even foreign language
IPod does Podcasting.
A Look at Podcasting
While RSS has had the capacity to include audio files for a
few years, only recently have entrepreneurs made the
conceptual leap, taking advantage of the new power held
within this communication medium. In reality, podcasters
cover the gamut; some are professional broadcasters, while
others are obvious amateurs.
Podcasts are usually published with associated meta
information that includes descriptive data about each
specific audio file. This allows listeners to make a
determination of which audio items are of interest. If
listeners are using a news aggregator that supports
podcasting, they will automatically receive updates in
their feed reader or news aggregation software when a new
podcast exists for a feed that they have subscribed to.
Why is podcasting so beneficial to the subscriber?
Unlike traditional radio, with podcasting the subscriber
decides what content he/she receives. Podcasting is
extremely useful to the subscriber because the user can
easily receive information he/she would like, and listen to
it when they want. The material, once downloaded, can be
listened to and viewed on wireless handhelds, allowing
subscribers to utilize time on the road.
Topic-specific radio talk shows with commentaries,
interviews and debates can now be heard at a time and place
of the listener's choosing. Consider the benefit of
educational tutorials and foreign language instruction;
lessons could be listened to during a work commute.
Supplementary class lectures, step by step tutorials or
walking guides are all possible using podcasting. An
unlimited collection of books read aloud for elderly or
visually-impaired listeners only scratch the surface of
what is possible in the future of podcasting.
The fate of podcasting is in the hands of the subscribers.
The subscriber can easily delete podcast feeds that do not
satisfy their needs with the single tap of a button.
Ultimately, the subscriber maintains control and determines
what podcasts are deemed successful. This intrinsically
builds in a quality control level and will ensure that the
more innovative instructional and interesting podcast feeds
The technology is fresh and, like the Internet, is opening
doors to entrepreneurs. As podcasting evolves, users will
find more creative kinds of audio content to deliver. The
low barrier to entry has forced this new medium to the
forefront, as businesses and individuals have really little
to lose in adding podcasting as a communication channel.