“An unknown number of those Apple-made microstars will convince themselves that they hold a first-mover advantage in an untapped medium…Eventually they’ll fail, and they’ll fail faster than ever before…For the first time in the history of the Net, big media showed up early to play.”
The big media podcasts on iTunes main page are in direct competition with your best friend’s podcast, the podcast on your favorite avocation, and your own. In that list, who’s the star?
This weekend, I discussed podcasting with someone in the public radio business. As much of a win podcasting is for public radio to maintain the relationship with members (it’s the only way I can listen to On the Media) it very directly pits WNYC against KCRW against WBEZ against KNOW against the local NPR affiliate in your neighborhood. Now when I’m driving through Wisconsin, I can get my public radio fix without listening to Calling All Pets.
I’m excited for public radio to podcast more, their experience in donation collection could be extremely helpful to podcasters interested in covering their costs. I also think it’ll be a great way for some of the smaller affiliates, like Wisconsin Public Radio to attract members outside the reach of their broadcast antenna.
There’s very little preventing listeners rewarding all the public radio stations I listed above with membership. Though, the rewarding will be in response to a specific program that resonates with a specific listener, not just because the station exists.
The playing field is level, so this is true for all podcasts – big media, public radio, and 8,000+ others.