Why Podcasting Can’t Compete Against Apple
If I were Evan Williams or Adam Curry I never would have invested in the systems they invested in, even before Apple came in to the market. I put my stake in the ground when both these systems launched. No future here.
It was kind of obvious — podcasts aren’t like photos, you can’t make a social network form about them because people get ideas about podcasts when they’re nowhere near a computer, unlike photos or blog posts. Apple didn’t make this mistake. Their goal was to help the MP3s make the trip from the podcaster’s server to the user’s iPod, and that they do fairly well, so god bless them, they helped us get this thing going. Thank you Apple.
I also think podcasters have overestimated the amount that listeners want to interact with them outside of listening to a show. I don’t listen to any podshow podcasts, but I listen to at least two or three podcasts a day and haven’t been to a single show’s homepage in weeks.
Now, Adam will point out that there is a difference between media downloads and website visits, and while I agree with that, there will always be that core 5% (1%?) of listeners that will want interact with the producer. So as downloads grow, site visits should increase as well. If your visits are down, I would take that as evidence that your downloads aren’t growing either.