The opportunities of podcasting

I came across an interesting article on podcasting tonight and thought I’d share.

Scott Gatz from Yahoo was in town for the BlogOn conference and he stopped by our offices to talk about a survey done in August about RSS and podcasting that Yahoo recently released.

Other bloggers covered the RSS results, but I was intrigued by the results on podcasting…..28% of the people surveyed were aware of podcasting, but only 2% actually listened to podcasts.

I asked Gatz, so is this a bubble? And he said, nope, an opportunity. He pointed out that this survey was done before Yahoo this month released its podcasting service. The difference between those who had heard of podcasts and those who had used them actually reflected the fact that the tools for finding and listening to podcasts were too hard to use. With their podcasting service, Gatz said, Yahoo planned to make podcasting as accesible as it had done with RSS.

Yahoo does seem to have had real success by embedding RSS within My Yahoo, so well that most people don’t even know their using RSS. Gatz said that a few million people (under 10 million was the guidance he gave) now use RSS on My Yahoo, up from 6,000 in January.

Even though this article is old, and even though numbers for podcasting have risen, I still think this is an interesting point. What is "podcasting", really? It’s not about an iPod and it’s not even about downloading to a mobile device. To me, podcasting is about making cool audio content easy to create and easy to access. If that means it can be quickly moved to an iPod, great! But that’s only one part of it.

That’s actually the premise we’ve built the Big in Japan Fancast system on – ease of use for all involved. Audiences can use a traditional phone to record content. They can listen to the content online or on your iPod (or other music player). And organizations can easily moderate content to ensure a positive, yet honest flow of content.