Marketing|Demand Creation Blog: Thoughts on strategy, lead optimization, social media and the digital space

Sunday, April 17, 2005

It’s Alive! Frankenfeed

What do you get when you cross an electronic news syndication format with radio broadcasting and an ex-MTV VJ? And what does it have to do with marketing? The answer is 1) Podcasting and 2) potentially a lot.

The new-ish format for the online publishing of files evangelized by former MTV VJ Adam Curry has been growing quickly in popularity, due largely to the success of Apple Computer’s iPod digital music players at capturing the hearts (and marketshare) of today’s on-the-go person. Wikipedia defines podcasting as a “subscription-like syndication and distribution of files as they become available. Most podcasts are audio in MP3 format, syndicated through the RSS protocol. Other formats and other types of files, such as video, can also be podcasted, though these are limited by common bandwidth constraints.”

Bandwidth issues aside for a moment, this is where the marketing opportunity steps in. Consider the “personal touch” value of having audio addresses from your CEO available to employees, the media and customers easily available for on the go consumption—on the commuter train or bus, at the gym or on the airplane. No longer dependent on a live Internet connection for streaming audio, analysts and investors can subscribe to the company’s quarterly results podcasted to listen to anywhere. So why Podcast?

And as bandwidth availability and the capabilities of standalone player devices improves (eg: iPod Photo, Archos' PMA400, Sony Giga and the next generation of wireless devices) the integration of photos and video along with audio streams provides some exciting and unique opportunities to test market building potential through “viral podcasting” (using podcasting and its RSS underpinnings for viral advertising). With more than 6 million people already listening to a form of communication that only emerged last year1, this seems more than just a remote possibility.

1Pew Internet and American Life Project research (Reuters 4/3/ 2005)

Joseph Mann Sunday, April 17, 2005


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