The iPod Revolution has fueled the upstart podcasting phenomenon. As more and more consumers add an iPod or similar device to their arsenal of media gadgets, the potential for content creation - and profit - become greater and greater.
Jason Calacanis outlined the potential and the reality very nicely at Summit 11 last fall. He reasoned that radio had the reach, the production values, and the sales skills necessary to create winning podcasts, and to eventually monetize them.
To that end, around 15 companies - including NPR and Apple - have formed a new industry group, the Association for Downloadable Media. The idea behind this coalition is to find ways to better produce, distribute, and market podcasts. As we've seen in our own Tech Polls, those who have downloaded podcasts overwhelmingly say they'd be very or somewhat likely to endure a commercial in order to receive the content. Ken Stern, NPR's CEO, has been a visionary in this area, vaulting their podcasts to industry-leading levels.
And keep in mind that PPM measures/credits podcasts, so there's even more incentive to launch a bona fide program where listeners can enjoy your content at their convenience. As iPods continue to proliferate, consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with this technology. Creating great content - repurposed personality shows or completely original material - will become a great outlet for radio broadcasters. And a nice piece of revenue that can begin to transition away from on-air and :30s and :60s and toward a more profitable, contemporary digital direction.