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No More Podcast in The New Media Expo

RipLooks like Tim Bourquin and the crew at TNC New Media are working along the same lines as I proposed in my presentation at this year’s Podcast & New Media Expo. My first few slides featured the tombstone at left. Yes I did have a slide that said  “Podcasting is Dead,” but as with all things it was the context that mattered. I’m as heavily invested in podcasting as anyone. You’ll have to listen to the full presentation when it is available on our Podcast Academy channel (irony?).

The main thrust of my argument is that podcasting is dead for those trying to monetize the content they produce because it no longer holds any special sway or benefit. Frankly, in some cases the term may be hindering content producers because of the perception of that term among advertisers. The podcast community, the use of podcasting for individuals, corporations and organizations to distribute content, the ease of entry and all the benefits podcasting has brought us are alive and well. But if you are trying to make money from your content, you need to face facts; you are a Digital Media Entrepreneur. (Some like New Media Entrepreneur – that works too.) The sooner you expand your scope the better. That is a much bigger pool to swim in, and as such, all avenues of distribution must be considered, RSS or otherwise. While the phrase “podcasting is dead” sounds drastic, it is a good thing. It is meant to grab the audience’s attention and drive the point home: expand your scope. After all, in years past would have rather been a newsletter article writer or have expanded your scope and been in the publishing business?

Anyway, I noticed on the page for next year’s event, the name has changed. Now it is the New Media Expo.
New Media Expo

27 Responses to “No More Podcast in The New Media Expo”

  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Chris Brogan... Oct 1st, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Being that I *just* got picked on for saying I’m not a podcaster, I’m going to say that I utterly agree with you on the terms. I’m a media maker. But wow. It’s amazing to see how fast this space is morphing. Truly. I’m redefining my view after this past event. Why? Because I saw this firsthand at the event: the vultures are here. And we have to figure out which strata we’re aiming for.

    If none of this makes sense, it’s because I am still formulating on the fly. And yet, I’m saying that I’m with you.

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Tim Bourquin Oct 1st, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I wondered how long it would take someone to post about this – we put up the new logo about four hours ago.

    Like our move to Las Vegas, we know this will generate some raised eyebrows. However, it has nothing to do with how we feel about podcasting – I continue to believe in the concept and in delivery of content by RSS subscription.

    However, the terms Podcasting and New Media have now become redundant. It’s a bit like having the Book and Publishing Expo. Podcasting is simply a subset of New Media, and therefore it just isn’t necessary anymore to call it out specifically.

    Furthermore, believe it or not, when calling potential sponsors or reaching out to new attendees, we still hear (every single day) “That show isn’t for us – we don’t create content specifically for iPods.”

    The show will still have a heavy – even primary – focus on podcasting. But we want to also include video bloggers, bloggers, and all forms of new media without getting pigeon-holed into one specific form.

    Tim Bourquin, Founder
    New Media Expo

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Ed Roberts Oct 1st, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Very well put. We have all been talking for quite some time that in the end, it’s all CONTENT. Means of distribution are really irrelevant. Internet streaming, downloading, listening in on a mobile phone, or other device. While you can point to “podcast” as your RSS deliverable part of your content, in the end it doesn’t make a great deal of difference where someone listens. To the general public, they could care less either.

  4. Gravatar Icon 4 Daniel Oct 2nd, 2007 at 5:51 am

    I’m of two minds on this one.

    On the one hand, you’re right (or actually Leo has been right for a year) and it was a point I made several years ago with respect to blogging. Podcasting is the mechanism in the same way that blogging is. Some blogs are as professionally done and well thought out as any book or magazine article and some are dashed off like a Twitter entry. They are all labeled blog.

    But this isn’t new. Ken Burns’ work and American Idol are both television shows. It’s how people (for now) consume them. So what we do is podcasting because that’s how people consume them. It’s very hard to get people to change how they think of you. Revisit any of the Ries and Trout books on this problem and you can see that you’re heading down a difficult path.

    You may change what you call yourself, but will other people?

    As long as there is a podcast category in itunes, that’s a hard move to make. Maybe video and screencasts have a chance but you don’t want to make it harder for your audience to find and purchase or otherwise consume your work.

    Me and my fellow mathematicians have hated that the popular media always refers to arithmetic as mathematics – as if that is all that mathematics is. Math is painted as a non-creative, algorithmic pursuit in which there is a right and a wrong answer. Those of us who do it for a living know that that isn’t so. In hundreds of years of trying, we’ve never been able to change the public’s mind.

    As I said, I’m on both sides of this issue. You may win this battle because it means so little. I look at the world my daughter will live in and wonder if all of the fighting to change “chairman” to “chairperson” helps more women occupy those slots or if people have been willing to change the policies while leaving the important positions still filled by males.


  5. Gravatar Icon 5 Steve Garfield Oct 2nd, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Great seeing you at the expo.

    I just finished an interview where I described myself as a videoblogger. I’ve been saying that for a long time. It’s easy.

    But I recently went to the Tribeca Short Film Festival in NYC and watched 4 hours of short films. They were all less than 7 minutes long.

    After seeing those films it dawned on me that I’m a filmmaker too. But that also defines what I am along with the content itslef and transport mechanism.

    Video – Blog – Film…


    I like the media maker term…

  6. Gravatar Icon 6 Don McAllister Oct 3rd, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Just in case the trackback doesn’t work, here is a link to my thoughts on the subject.

  7. Gravatar Icon 7 Leesa Barnes Oct 3rd, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    But why should I now become a new media generalist? I won’t because being a generalist in the past has done little for my professional (and financial) health.

    Maybe the writing’s on the wall and I don’t “get it” because I can’t read the language, but I’ll continue to do this podcasting thing for as long as I can. Specializing in one area of new media has done wonders for me. I won’t be changing just yet.

  8. Gravatar Icon 8 Peter Beck Oct 3rd, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    I sensed a shift this year, too.

    Maybe it was more internal to me and my audience — I’ve been podcasting about a year now, and my intended audience is medical professionals, pretty niche — but the question constantly on my mind this Expo was, “How ELSE can I make contact with my target audience, given that most of them don’t podcast?”

    It’s not an odd position to be in: you podcast, your content is a podcast, and yet your audience doesn’t frequent podcasts (yet). Even odder if you’re trying to encourage THAT audience to BECOME podcasters.

    Podcasting seems to have matured enough as a medium, as a movement, that folks who do it are starting to think outside that box. No longer just asking “How do I podcast?” but “How else can I reach my audience, whatever the medium necessary?”

    It’s a healthy sign.

  9. Gravatar Icon 9 Rob Walch Oct 3rd, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    I do not understand peoples desire to run away from the name podcast. There is no other name that is even close in name recognition to describe subscribing to media files via RSS. And don’t for a second think that the kick in the croch junk up on YouTube will come close to holding the relationship a podcaster has to his audience. People want to throw podcasting in with YouTube and other downloadable media. Why?
    Do you think when an ad overlays on top of the Dramatic Chipmonk – someone will go – “You know what, I trust the Chipmunk” Podcasting is different and should be celebrated and not treated like a virus. The Name podcast has been embraced and accepted by all the big media brands. Apple, CNN, Microsoft, Sprint, AOL, Verizon, Amazon… So why do Bloggers want to get away from such a powerfull brand. It does not make sense. I think Tim made a mistake dropping the name Podcast from the expo. When he sells the expo – time will tell if I was right or wrong. But make no mistake – the name was dropped to try and expand the expo in the eyes of buyers and I think running away from a powerfull brand like “podcast” is a mistake. IMHO.

    I am a podcaster and Damn proud of it. If you put out rich media on a RSS feed you are a podcaster too.

    Rob W

  10. Gravatar Icon 10 Michael Oct 3rd, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    I am surprised by the number of people who have interpreted this post as an affront to the term “podcast”. Heck, I have as much invested in that name as anyone with the Podcast Academy™, Podcast Solutions, Podcast Academy: The Business Podcasting Book, etc. However, if you want to make money – expand your horizon beyond content delivered via an RSS enclosure. Content is content – anyway you can get it out is valid. Podcast or otherwise.

  11. Gravatar Icon 11 Justin Kownacki Oct 4th, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Welcome to the social media sphere, where we’ll spend eons discussing what we should label ourselves and minutes trying to produce quality content that brings in an audience beyond our immediate circle of friends…

    Who needs Web 3.0 when Web 2.0 is the REAL home of semantics?


  12. Gravatar Icon 12 rox Oct 4th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    As Justin says, it’s easy to talk about (or be distracted by) the language. And still, the language does matter. Words pack a punch (did you feel that?) and being conscious of the energy is useful.

    At the same time, podcasting is akin to so many other new technologies. The early adopters fight hard to create something out of nothing, and a love-hate relationship with wider adoption. By default, the bigger something becomes, the less “special” is each of the players.

    It’s just like founders having a hard time transitioning to CEO. The energy, the skills, the tactics – it keeps changing. As David Eckoff likes to say, being adaptable is what keeps you in the game.

  13. Gravatar Icon 13 Charles Stricklin Oct 6th, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Maybe this also ties in with Howard Lindzon’s (or was it Jim Louderback?) insistence on calling the content “shows” instead of “podcasts” or “video podcasts” or “videoblogs” or whatever?

    We’re part of the media now. We produce content. It’s consumed on computers, iPods, Zunes, TiVos, DVDs and probably dozens of other outlets I’m not aware of (yet). And, just like “Big Media” we’ll make money not only off our content and advertising, but from merchandising (20%-30% of Ask A Ninja’s income comes from DVD and t-shirt sales), lead generation and other income streams.

    This might also put to bed the old and tired, “Why call it a ‘podcast’ when you don’t need an iPod to listen to it?” and the “podcast vs. video podcast” arguments. Just call them “shows”! (I’m in the same boat as Podcast Academy and, no doubt, hundreds of other shows/sites with “podcast” embedded in the name. Doh!)

    Oh well, at least these are all indications that you and I are working in an industry that is ever-evolving and not getting stale anytime soon.

  14. Gravatar Icon 14 Trucker Tom Oct 9th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    It’s the same old argument — the word “podcast” may not be the best term because it implies you need an iPod, but so far even after three years no one has come up with a better name. The podcasting process takes several other things — MP3 files, video files, downloads, RSS feeds — and puts them together under one name. Personally I don’t care what that name is, but no one has come up with a better name that’s as catchy. “Downloadable Digital Media Cast” just doesn’t have much appeal. People may try to toss away the name podcast but I think we are stuck with it as long as iPods are the primary playback devices.

  15. Gravatar Icon 15 Michael Oct 9th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Did I blow it that badly, that people still think that this is a discussion about the word “podcast?” What an old and useless argument. The word is here to stay. As I thought I had explained, this is about expanding the horizon of available opportunities for those wishing to monetize, not a discussion about the catagorization and term applied to those who practice distributing audio and video files via an RSS enclosure.

  16. Gravatar Icon 16 Charles Stricklin` Oct 10th, 2007 at 7:58 am

    I understood the broader implications, however I was suggesting the move into other forms of distribution and expanding audience might afford the opportunity to rename and rebrand our industry, if we so choose.

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Michael W. Geoghegan is founder and CEO of GigaVox Media, a production, consulting and technology company focused on audio/video new media.

As a pioneer of podcasting, Michael created some of the first corporate podcasts, including efforts by Disney. Michael is also creator of the 2008 James Beard Award winning "GrapeRadio" and "Reel Reviews: Films Worth Watching". He is editor-in-chief of the Podcast Academy™ book series and co-author of Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting.

Michael speaks frequently on podcasting's impact on new media and its corporate applications and is often quoted by the media including in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and Wired Magazine.