0002: New Year for New Media – The dawning of the Podcast Revolution

Lately I’ve been thinking alot about the revolution of podcasting.  For years (unfortunately that’s not hyperbole), i’ve been saying I was going to start a podcast, and now this year (technically last year, 2014), there’s been a verifiable boom in podcasting.  Everyone who’s anyone is taking a foray into podcasting.  T-Pain has a popular podcast, podcasters are becoming millionaires (John Lee Dumas for ex), and popular mainstream traditional radio and media are moving to podcast as a new form of expression.  That last point is evidenced by the popularity of 2 NPR spawned podcasts formerly tied with the perennial favorite “This American Life” – Serial, and The Startup.

So, today, as my first Idea Muscle excercise for 10List, I thought I’d come up with my ideas specifically around podcasting, the evolution (or death) of radio, and what new business platforms might take advantage of this new paradigm.
  1. Start a podcast about a topic you are already have domain expertise.  Solar Power, Spanish and business in Latin America, Fatherhood (i’m at least a player here), running, travel, travel gear, traveling father/business man…
  2. Start a podcast about something I’m very interested in learning to do, and chronicle the process of learning and (hopefully) improving: kitesurfing has been the meme for this specirfic idea for me for a number of years.  Vegan diet or Gluten Free could be another.  Perhaps even making hammocks – tried to learn this when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer, but got bored halfway through the project (it’s very time-intensive).
  3. Be a producer of podcasts – this is an idea I actually came up with myself a year or so ago, then discovered that it’s already being done by a number of folks, and is a decent way to create time-leverage (not all content requires ME doing the podcasting), and it allows me to become an expert in the platform without needing to have a “starring role” in any one podcast.
  4. Develop a program (ala stitcher) that creates value building on the podcasting explosion – should be a) unique b) positions to a niche (which is large enough to support the app from premiums), c) can b e promoted by others, d) allows for others to also leverage it as a platform for either brand exposure, advertising, other value creation.
  5. Develop the “winamp” for car radio that bridges the gap between the connected car being a mere portal to the internet and a connected car offering streaming media that is easy, free (to the user) and fast to curate/find.  How can we make the connected car digital audio experience feel as easy and customizeable as the current radio does for broadcast?  An in-dash app (thus the winamp reference) would need buy-in from each manufacturer, unless you begin to get it built directly into the equipment manufacturer’s offering (Panasonic, JVC, Bose, etc).
  6. How do you get people to discover podcasting?  I recall recently a flight attendant on a flight to Panama who asked me what Podcasting is (she honestly had never heard of it) – she commutes an hr each way to the airport, and just listens to the radio both directions.  My sister had the same reaction over Christmas break (similar commute).  Apart from introducing through their new or used car purchase (like Satellite radio did), what other ways will they discover it.  Perhaps a viable business is finding the way to bring new customers to the Podcasting world – lead generation for podcast.  What could that possibly look like?  I should do a whole 10-List on how to generate leads for podcasts.
  7. I love Garrisson Kieler.  The art of spoken word, expressed over radio is going through a Renaissance.  Just a few years ago, I told my wife he was part of a dying breed.  With the emergence of Moth Hour (among others), I’ve regained hope.  The internet offers a very distinct opportunity to run a competition to find Garrison Kieler’s replacement (and mmany others) for A Prairie Home Companion.  It’d be like the audio version of American Idol for Podcasting!  A mashup of story-telling that promises something great for the artist/locutor who can best capture the audience’s imagination via audio.
  8. My grandmother told me last week that she remembers sitting around the radio with the whole family watching the programs. She then apologized for inadvertantly using a visually-referent verb for something you can’t literally see; I chuckled, but also smiled as she explained that in essence, because of the way the ‘old-timey’ programs were done, you could “literally see in your mind’s eye” the story.  My great-grandfather prioritized a radio over other ammenities his 1930’s-family poverty could afford, and I’m grateful for it.  Maybe there will one day be a type of Artificial Intelligence that allows you to experience (Oculus-style) the image a good show puts in your mind’s eye.  I’d like to create that program (both sides of it).
  9. Create an online course for podcast producers that is that shows them how to refine their craft (bring in teachers/producers I’m friends with), gives them marketing guidance, connects them with investors and advertisors, and other value-added service.  Creates a tribe of producers who can help bring any willing content creator’s vision to life (or iTunes/Stitcher).  Authors, Business Coaches, and many more who have something to say, but no clue how to do “this podcasting thing” nor time to perfect it.
  10. syndicate advertising in specific niches I’m an expert in that caters to SME within those niches (i.e. solar manufacturers who could sponsor clean-tech podcasts, would require educating the potential sponsor).  How do you make it a platform that can be automated?
  11. Develop a course to offer to FullSail college (and others) for live, University level training of this new media – could also be ported to graduate programs to give as an elective at any University accrediting content-creators (writers, painters, audio engineers, marketing majors, journalists).  Can be a Seminar as well.
  12. Advertisers for the seminar would come from popular existing channels like Stitcher/Deezer, Lybsin, and teachers like Podcast Answerman and John Lee Dumas’s Podcaster’s Paradise.  Could even be a physical extension (weekend seminar) of Podcaster’s Paradise with hand’s-on training.
  13. Curate an audience of listener’s (like a LinkedIn or Facebook Group) aligned around specific topics, and make suggestions to them about what new stuff they should be listening to.  Can monetize through affiliate and ads (especially on a FB Group), or just use to build a tribe who trusts your own taste in audio and thoughts.
Wow, the list quite literally could go on.  That was fun.
Add to the conversation in the comments, on Social Media with the tag #my10List, or direct @my10list. What do you think?
How else will we see new media challenge the broadcast media status quo in 2015 and beyond?