Thursday, April 30, 2009

Radio/Podcasting -- Not quite the same

Mark Ramsey makes a good point in a Hear 2.0 post, entitled "Commercial Radio's Podcasting Myth."

The myth of [commercial radio] podcasting is that this long-form way is the way listeners want to consume our content simply because it’s the way they consume our content over the air – a context in which they have no choice in the matter, by the way.

Actually, they do have a choice – it’s to tune in and out, ever-hopeful for a “hit” or “highlight.” And tune in and out is exactly what they do.

When we transform the radio show to the podcast we are thinking about the medium all wrong. In an on-demand world for much of commercial radio, the unit of currency is not the “show,” it’s the “hit,” the “highlight.” Listening to radio over the air is as different from listening on-demand as an album is different from a song.
So let's take a look at our favorite case study, WJMA. They're part of the way there. Their news podcasts are short -- and that's good. But they're simply an excerpt from an on-air podcast -- and that's bad.

As Ramsey points out, podcasts are listened to -- and used differently -- than on-air content. A little bit of shaping would make these news podcasts work effectively as podcasts. They still need a quick intro, a graphic, and some helpful metadata (like station ID, contact info, etc.).

Different media, different requirements.

So we continue to day 26 of the WJMA Podwatch.

- Ralph

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