Podcasts Illustrate Alternate Content

While the wireless carriers install specialized DRM solutions in order to appease the major media houses, under the assumption that big media content is the main thrust of wireless data, a new trend is appearing with mobile MP3 players. Specifically, iPod users are increasingly listening to recorded audio shows created by random individuals and posted to the web, much like most weblogs. The so-called “Podcasts” are varied in content, but include music, commentary, comedy, and opinion. A study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggests that over 6M people listen to this new form of media (although that figure may be overstated.) Podcasts can usually be downloaded to the device free of charge: users sync the content over their PCs and never pay a wireless fee. I would expect that as mobile phones get more capable, users will seek this same kind of mobile content experience on their phones. Phone models such as the PalmOS-based Treo or MSFT mobile devices can already play such Podcasts. But for now, while the wireless carriers are working on locking down their phones to make them suitable for big media content, innovators are working away, creating new ecosystems which offer an experience the customers want.

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Comments on “Podcasts Illustrate Alternate Content”

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Derek Kerton (profile) says:

With Music That Isn't Theirs

The obvious observation, though is that some of the content of Podcasts is music that is owned by a media house. However, the existence of Podcasts is still interesting because it shows that 6M listeners are still interested in the value-add that individuals have contributed by assembling music, inserting commentary, or even just plain raw opinion with no music. Weblogs have shown that people want to hear their written news and opinions from real people, not just the news organizations. Reality TV and home video clip shows have shown that people want to see some video content that is individually created. It seems audio content is somewhat similar.

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