Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 20, 2007 6:40 AM

Are Major Corporations Killing The Podcast Space?

Rob Hyndman is a Canadian Lawyer who is also a Blogger and one of the organizers behind the Mesh Conference (I'm a huge fan of his Blog). In a post from yesterday entitled, Podcasts: Everything Old Is New Again, Hyndman talks about his recent exploration for new Podcasts in iTunes and his feelings regarding the entry of many mainstream media into the space. I strongly recommend you read his post first here: Everything Old Is New Again. He ends the Blog entry with this thought:

"It was inevitable, I suppose, but I can't help thinking that every time a new mainstream podcast crowds out a new podcaster, somewhere an angel dies."

First off, full disclosure: Twist Image, helped Scotiabank launch and produce their Podcast, The Money Clip (Hyndman mentions the Scotiabank Podcast in his Blog entry).

I don't think it's a problem that mainstream media has started producing Podcasts, specifically because in this new channel it is not a clutter issue like it is on TV (i.e. 57 channels and nothing on). I call the new world, Digital Darwinism: you can produce as much content as you want, if it's not good, no one will listen to it and subscribe (you won't evolve, you'll die). I really don't care how or who produced it - I just want killer content.

It's like search results - it doesn't matter how many pages of Google search results there are for a given term, all that matters is that there is the one result that is relevant to what I was searching for. Twist Image and Scotiabank have discovered that there are many, many people looking for great content on personal finance (hence The Money Clip).

Right now, there are three types of Podcasts:

1. Independently produced content (like our Podcast, Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast).

2. Major media repackaging their content from other channels into a Podcast (like CBC 3).

3. Major corporations with budgets producing Podcasts (like Scotiabank's The Money Clip).

I'm not sure that independently produced Podcasts should trump a major corporation with a budget. I think listeners are much smarter consumers than ever before and they are making much more diligent decisions about how they want to spend their time. No angels are dying ;) I think independently produced Podcasts need to keep stepping it up by creating content rich shows if they want to stay ahead of mainstream corporations.

As a huge fan of listening to Podcasts, all I want is great content. Whether it's from the American Copywriter guys, NPR or Scotiabank.

And now for the sales pitch: this is exactly the type of stuff I will be discussing next Thursday at the AIMS Canada - Association of Internet Marketing and Sales event, Should Your Company Be Podcasting? with my presentation: "Podcasting- The Audience Is Listening... The Audience Is Creating." There are also a couple of seats still open for Geek Dinner Toronto IV. If you're in Toronto on Thursday, January 25th, 2007 - please come on down and we can hang out.

(special thanks to Rob Hyndman for inspiring these thoughts).

By Mitch Joel