...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Monday, April 04, 2005


pod60No fewer than two stories on CNET today about the explosion of new "radio" services. 1) A new study by the Pew thinktank says 29% of IPod (and other MP3 box) users have downloaded podcasts. Already. 2) A new-today SiliValley startup, MSpot, has begun supplying a bunch of streaming and on-demand radio channels to Sprint cellphones for $5.95 a month. If you're a local-radio-station person, agonizing over whether to reduce your commercial load, or waiting for all those sexy new "HD radios" to burst upon the market and save your bacon--providing you can get your new digital transmitter into this year's budget--or considering flipping to one of those hot new "we play everything" formats, or wondering what to do with your Web site, and if any words in this paragraph are new to you, wake the hell up. They're piping audio through the phone system and calling it new media. And your future listeners are buying it. Because your programming bores them to tears. Is Sony or Apple about to introduce a hot new personal radio? Nope, it's XM--and it doesn't get FM. Hello! Look what Netflix's doing to the video rental business. The Pew study shows that podcasting is happening faster than you thought it was. Don't just sit there, get into it. And if you're overwhelmed by it all, just remember: ultimately, it's the programming, stupid. The way out of this is to break rules and do it better.

Afterthoughts: More podcasting news here. And check out what Wall Street's saying here.

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