The future of podcasting — Will video kill the radio star?


Podcasting, which traces its roots back to “audioblogging” in the 1980s, has enjoyed a renaissance as smart phones have become nearly ubiquitous. But what does the future hold?

The great hope for podcasting might be the emotional, immersive nature of the medium. It’s a rich content relationship, not a digital “snack” and a unique opportunity to provide both entertainment and information. A podcast is a companion and the engagement level might make it ideal for business development.

bugglesNow that Tom Webster and I have 10 episodes of The Marketing Companion podcast under our belts, we thought it would be a good time to take a fresh look at the state of podcasting and its future. We also debut our line of clothing and exciting wearable technology: Google Pants. You have to hear it to believe it.

By the way, if you would like to be a part of the podcast, email me an audio file with your comment or question and it might make it into an upcoming show. This week’s podcast covers a lot of ground, including:

  • The latest data on podcasting popularity and usage
  • The promise of blogging to your ears
  • Some of the problems and promises of podcasting
  • Surprising observations about podcasting demographics and metrics
  • Technologies and trends that could ignite podcasting
  • The future of podcasting — Mark and Tom disagree.
  • Podcasting as a source of business leads

… and much more. Ready? Set? Well then, here you go:

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  • Gordon Diver

    Great job gentlemen! Tom Webster is definitely the Mel Torme of the podcast world and wanted to leave some feedback for Mark. I think a part of the lack of feedback, is that where we’re listening.Also that comments may be shared/left on the social channel a listener is introduced to the session.

  • Sander Biehn

    I am a fan of the podcasts and on-line radio. I have a friend in Toronto who incessantly listens to books on tape and other audio media while working out.
    The real trick is keeping it enthusiastic and real. Having proper guests who know the subject and have something interesting to say is important. Sounds obvious, but I sometimes wonder. Present company definitely excluded!!!

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  • “Podcasting, which began as “audioblogging” in the 1980s”

    That should probably be changed to the late 1990s. IRC was introduced in the fall of 1988. In the late 80s we were still playing with Archie, Veronica and Gopher. Mosaic (the first official web browser) was released in 1993. The web was allowed to go commercial in 1994. Audioblogging would have come after that. Probably much after that. So yes, instead of the “1980s” it should probably be the “2000s”.

  • I am a huge fan of podcasts and would like to see more innovation/diversity in the podcatcher world. Since 2001 or so, I’ve maintained a very popular non-monetized page of podcatchers and have tried to spread the word to users that they have choices. iTunes seems to have taken the steam out of this, even though its handling of podcasts is rudimentary at best. THe list is used by huge talk show podcasts and small bloggers alike…

  • Very good point Gordon! I will try to start doing that.

  • Will we suffer over time by not having guests?

  • Thanks for the clarification Doug.

  • Thanks for the helpful link Scott.

  • Gordon Diver

    Happy to contribute Mark.

  • Ryan Talbot

    Without ITunes you would lose according to statistics minimum 50% of your audience and that’s being very generous. So I would give apple a little cred. Be unhappy with google and their utter lack of support behind RSS. And thank god for companies like stitcher which I believe is the most important for future proofing. Putting podcasts into cars is the real radio killer!!

  • Thanks for taking the time to comment Ryan.

  • Neil Davidson

    I agree with you Mark that video will not eat podcasts. My business is built on selling video production services yet i consume podcasts because it is something that i can do whilst walking, cycling, cooking, cleaning or standing in a busy train carriage etc.
    As well as that I get fatigue from being in front of a screen so much, this renders Podcasts a nice break from a screen.
    Finally it feels like a slightly more comfortably paced and simple medium of content consumption sometimes (this may be my age speaking). It is more passive to consume.
    I hope that podcasts have a place for a long time to come.

  • Very much appreciate the comment and your expert perspective Neil. Honored to have you stop by.

  • @businessesgrow:disqus Haven’t listened to the episode yet… but here are my thoughts on Podcasting:

    Podcasting is NOT going anywhere and if anything is only going to become more popular. What I do see happening is podcasts which are originally taped as Video that are then turned into Podcasts. One of my most popular podcasts yet was actually done originally as a Google Hangout. I then striped the Audio and turned it into a podcast as well.

    This is a great way to use your time to create content in multiple formats that suits your audience’s need.

    The mobility of podcasts are their strength and our world isn’t becoming any less mobile.

    My two cents.


  • NextMarket

    A clarification question: The EFF pointed to the earliest podcasting prior art at around ~1992 or 3. Blogging started in the last 90s. Did you really mean to say audio blogging started in the late 80s?

  • let’s hope so : ) I certainly agree. Thank you sir!

  • Has its origins in the 1980s. I should have been clearer. Thanks.

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