If you have content (and if you expect to be defended from an onslaught of competition, you’d better have it) then either you will be podcasting it or your audience will do it for you.
And they may trim out the commercials.
Case and point: Westwood One’s Loveline.
If you copy the RSS link into a podcatcher (such as the customized Mercury one here), every time a new show is posted it will be synched up to your PC and/or mp3 player. And if you think this is so complicated that nobody’s likely to do it, check with your kids. They’ll straighten you out.
And did I mention the commercials are cleaned out?
The advantages of podcasting shows like Loveline is that the audience can listen whenever they want. And anybody anywhere can listen. And, most of all, it’s an ad for the show since it broadens exposure to the show and will introduce more people to it. Yes, podcasting will bring you more over-the-air listeners.
From Westwood’s perspective, this is a GREAT idea since it sows the seeds of interest in the show in many markets where it doesn’t yet exist. If you can show stations in a non-Loveline market that X number of potential listeners already listen to the show, don’t your odds of selling the show to a radio station in that market increase? Westwood should be paying this podcasting zealot!
Needless to say, if Westwood and/or your station were to offer this podcast you could leave the commercials in – and possibly even charge a subscription to make the download legal and easy. The iTunes store proves that people will pay for functionality, depth of content, and ease of use. This is the kind of non-spot revenue that will fill your station’s coffers in the future.
So don’t shut this guy down. He’ll just be followed by a dozen more. Take a lesson from him. In fact, hire him.
Today, it’s Loveline. Tomorrow it will be your morning show. Or Rush. Or Dr. Laura. Supposedly, Premiere (vendors of Dr. Laura and Rush) feature podcasts for these and other shows, but when I toured the Premiere site I couldn’t find them.
If you think this is a problem rather than an opportunity, you just don’t get it.
And if you feel you’re safe because you don’t have any content worthy of podcasting, in the long run you’re not likely to have listeners either.