Steve Rubel: Podcasting Will Be a Losing Game for Most Big Media
As podcast listening becomes more popular, big media will try a few avenues to monetize their investment. Some will eventually try audio ads. However, this will lead many listeners to revolt and unsubscribe. Those who do stick around will certainly fast forward passed the ads. Others will try paid subscriptions. Personally, I doubt anyone will pay for podcasts from the MSM when they can get the same content free through other channels. Would you pay to listen to Ebert and Roper on your iPod or just simply TiVo it and skip the ads?
I can’t help but think that Steve’s wrong on this one. Seven or eight years ago, you could have written virtually the same paragraph – but with the word “podcast” replaced by “web site”. I’m already listening to Podcasts with audio ads, courtesy of The Podcast Network – but I keep on listening to their shows because they’re of high quality compared with a lot of shows out there.
That’s not to say that small companies won’t come in and make money, or that enthusiastic amateurs won’t carry on making great podcasts. Just as News.com has survived and prospered despite the presence of older media companies, and just as millions of people wrote blogs and do their own sites, so others in the Podcasting sphere will do likewise (I’d back the Podcast Network boys, personally).