One of the topics I’ve been speaking about over the past year has been online news trends, and there’s a few recent pointers from The Editors Weblog that speak a bit more in-depth about two of my themes: video and podcasting.
Podcasting has always seemed to have a limited audience:
- the at work audience is often unable to listen to audio;
- during the commute, podcasting competes with the radio;
- few media outlets (excluding the CBC and other public broadcasters) have the resources and content to produce interesting audio offerings (see also: “Washington Post radio gets cut”);
- the revenue model is, with he possible exception of Ricky Gervais, unproven.
Alex Iskold goes into more details, and looks at why podcasting has become the dedicated habit the way many pundits had expected.
Video, however, seems to have hit the sweet spot for both content and revenue.
Most news outlets had already been producing multimedia slideshows, so the visual metaphor is well established, and video content is more widely available (outside of public broadcasting, most radio content is exclusively music-based).
Television stations are now experimenting with producing online content, and, in many senses, are in the same position newspapers were online about a decade ago: playing with the potential of the medium (good thing, too, the “godfather of the net” is predicting the end of traditional TV).
But, more importantly, advertisers are eager to use video to push their message; even if it experimenting with formats other than pre- and post-roll ads.