Podcasting is Still Underestimated.

Jim Cuene asks:

[Is podcasting the] Next shiny new object or real game changer?

It all depends on the game in question – and how long the game is (the future takes a while).

For existing ad-supported broadcast radio – yes. The game is over.

Case in point – this weekend we drove 6 hrs listening to podcasts through the car stereo. Some Croncast, some BBC Naked Scientist, some Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, some On The Media.

A year ago, we may have been lucky to listen to 2 of those programs during that drive. Today, these are the most “main stream programming” in my podcast backlog.

For the geographically-specific radio broadcaster to survive – they need to offer something the portable mp3 players can’t: Hyper-local and hyper-timely programming.

In addition, I don’t envy the marketing and customer acquisition teams for HD Radio, XM or Sirius satellite radio. Their job will only get more difficult as podcasting gets easier.

If the game is internet publishing – eh. Podcasting rounds out the capabilities. It’s now as easy to deliver audio, video, documents, and other files, as easy as it is to deliver text to a passionate, niche group of individual customers.