Reading through The New Influencers on the chapter on podcasts, one quote struck me. Ron Bloom, CEO of Podshow Network, calling it "5/50", believes that within 5 years 50 percent of all content consumers listen to will be generated by other consumers. I would have doubted this statement a year ago, but I'm now becoming a believer. And why not? Radio is an outdated media that's geared for the masses (whoever they are) built on an advertising model that doesn't hold up in the new world. Satellite radio and Internet radio have helped but they don't go far enough.
Podcasts fit well into the new world, where you can find whatever kind of content you want, when and where you want it. So no wonder it's exploding, from less than 100 podcasts three years ago to likely over 100,000 by now. Advertising revenue could hit $300million by 2010--small by online advertising standards, but growing rapidly.
What's fueling this is a raging consumer demand. It's all part of a bigger trend of time-shifted media, which got ignited a few years ago with digital video recorder services like Tivo. Now consumers like me can pick and choose whatever programs we want on our own schedules. Podcasts are a similar breed--download them and listen to them (in the car, on your iPod, PC, etc) at your convenience. I've discovered old radio shows and obscure NPR programs, among others.
The ramifications for small business are enormous.