They did that in the office yesterday.
Everyone seems to think I've lost it over the promise of podcasting.
Sure its a niche inside a niche inside a niche.
But so was the homebrew computer club in the mid 70s.
Here's how I see it:
iTunes is going to include a podcast aggregator in the next version, due out this summer. Then everyone with an iPod is going to be able to get podcasts. That's a lot of people, probably north of 6 million people by now.
There are a growing number of places you can record, store, and publish podcasts online; Odeo, LibSyn (no recording tools yet), ClickCaster, etc, etc. I wouldn't recommend trying to do this in TypePad, they just haven't made podcasting easy enough yet.
While its not as simple to create a podcast as it is to create a blog, I think it will be before the end of the year.
So, you'll have millions of people creating podcasts and tens of millions of people being able to recieve them simply in their primary music application.
That seems to be a recipe for something more than a niche inside a niche inside a niche.
Now let's talk about the applications.
I went on a bike ride today.
The first thing I listened to was the most recent Mass Hysteria podcast. This is a fantastic podcast. I've written about it many times now. Paul and Janine talk about their family and their life and play music. They played four songs on this podcast, all of which I have never heard, and all of which were great. Really great. So great I am going to have to go out and buy four CDs now.
Mass Hysteria is so good that a cool Boston radio station, like 88.9 (WERS) or 89.7 (WGBH), somewhere left on the dial, should pick it up.
And I am sure there are literally hundreds of shows like it.
While I am on the subject of traditional radio taking advantage of podcasting, let me suggest that NPR pick up Down In The Flood. I think Jason's tour of american roots music would be a huge hit on NPR.
Then there was the experience of listening to my "elevator pitch" podcasts on the way back from the GW Bridge. I heard two solid pitches. Please send more.
Everyone spends time in transit, whether its on the train, subway, car, or walking to work (like I do). That is a time when most people listen to some sort of audio programming.
If you take the soon to be mass market availability of podcasts, the really high quality of some of them, the massive peer production economies, and the new applications that can evolve, you've got something really interesting.
That's why I am a podhead.