Out of the clouds, there seems to be so much news lately about big media companies jumping on the podcasting bandwagon as if that legitimizes the medium. All it really does is show all us “indie” podcasters is they know a good thing when they hear it.
In reading the recent AP article about the rush to have big name media companies get into podcasting I find that I get a little annoyed with these big players trying to make out like only when they start recording MP3’s will anything ever be made of this venture. Fact is that lots of “indie” podcasters poured blood, sweat, tears and their own money into what they believe in knowing that what big media could offer is the same dribble that took us away from the radio in the first place.
The AP article, found in The State.com, said:
"The runaway popularity of blogging, which has turned everyday people into online news outlets, caught the media establishment off guard. The industry is trying not to make the same mistake with podcasting; which lets nearly anyone ‘broadcast’ on the Internet."
The problem with this statement is that it has already happened. They have already made that same mistake by saying that podcasting is a fad and won’t amount to much. They dismissed the idea that podcasting would go anywhere let alone make big media companies want to podcast. Now if you look at iTunes 4.9 and click to get to the home-page for podcasts, you see ABC News, NBC, Clear Channel, Infinity Broadcasting. Lots of big media companies that have paid to be placed in front of everyone else that actually helped create this explosion of new “radio” style content.
We “indie” podcasters are the blood sweat and tears of this new movement and one driving factor that it has moved so fast is because we are tired of radio. The incessant repeating of music, jokes, styles and playlists can drive you mad wanting something real.
The article continues:
"Everyone from Disney to Newsweek to National Public Radio is offering podcasts, and Apple Computer last month made it a whole lot easier to find them and download them to iPods."
So now we have an easy way to find all the audio stuff that we’ve been trying to get away from and finally had. I haven’t listened to the radio since October 2004 and I surely don’t miss it but if I want an easy way to find the shows described above, I just have to turn it on and then tune out.
Skeptics have said that without music (meaning regular RIAA catalog music) is needed in a podcast in order to make money out of it. I think that’s a load of baloney because real talk, independent bands and niche programming is what everyone wants and the main feature of podcasting, getting what you want when you want it, is why it is so popular. There is nothing new to playing the top 10 billboard list of regular artists. Its what the song means and what it means to the listener that counts. I don’t care how many winners of American Idol get a 1 shot album deal to sing songs that were not written or produced by the artist.
The big record company’s would have such an influx of current and back catalog sales that it would make their head spin, if only they would open up the licensing to make it easier for “indie” podcasters to play the songs. But really who needs it? There is such phenomenal talent in unsigned bands that I find myself listening to more of them then any of the other big name stars. Artists like Whitney Steele, Missy, Rob Costlow. They are what are making music podcasting what it is today and since RIAA can’t see past their eyelids, they can just sit in their big offices and wonder why unsigned artists are making it.
So its really not that big media is coming to the party, its more that they are late and didn’t dress appropriately. When the big names pay more attention to what is really going on, rather than what a marketing scheme says, will there be any common ground in the podcasting universe. Its all about the content and the sincerity than the markup.