What about mobile podcasting? That is podcasts on cell phones? I get this question all the time. I’m not bullish about it in the short term but it is obvious that it will happen. The question is when? Today Alltel announced that they are offering podcasts. AllTell, the No. 5 U.S. cellphone provider, said on Tuesday it will provide a service to download audio clips from the Internet to cellphones in a bid to expand its business beyond voice services.
Personally there are many reason why podcasts aren’t on cellphones now and why adopting isn’t happening at itunes like breakneck speed. It has nothing to do with demand. It’s a combination of technical and vendor issues. Also there is the impact of music and DRM which also hold back podcasting.
Some thoughts on mobile podcasting
- Mobile podcasting will initially take off as side-loaded solution to phones that have memory cards (e.g. Motorola Q) + phone-based search and tagging of podcasts.
- Over-the-air streaming will come later supported by a monthly subscription service or mobile advertising.
- Ad-driven white-label mobile podcasting service/software has some potential to succeed.
- Arriving within the next year in the US
Several barriers currently to Music – main ones are:
- lack of good, open-DRM software or tracking software
- labels asking for too much rev-share and not willing to try non-DRM solutions
- No money in the system today - who pays for what is a big question on people’s minds especially the carriers
- Has to be supported by mobile advertising – podcasters will get a rev share of all ads generated from listening to mobile podcasts
- Mobile advertising is early but coming along -
- There is no way to charge consumers for podcasts
- File sizes can be large - 3-4 hours long which is a big problem – average podcast is 30-60 minutes long
- The files are MP3s, not all compressed like AAC+ or WME-Advanced
Factors in favor of mobile podcasting
- DRM doesn’t matter for podcasting (as opposed to mobile music)
- Flat-rate data plans – being adopted fast by consumers – Sprint charges $15 per month
- Content and Carriers are testing the market with a mobile podcasting prototypes
It is clear that mobility is the killer app for podcasting as both an entertainment and communications tool but first music needs to penetrate first. It’s a matter of time but just not this year.
Companies working on this.
If there are anyone other companies that I missed in this space of mobile podcasting or mobile broadcast send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll include them in another post or highlight them.
Copyright ©2008 PodTech.net. All rights reserved. Modified: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:09:46 -0700