Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Podcast Debate – Quick Update

I know some of you may be wondering what happened to the podcasting debate started earlier this week by Peter T. Davis and followed-up by Scoble. I added my 2 cents to it and Peter came up with another post yesterday, where he reiterated his question.

Is the audience big enough to get the attention of advertisers? I don’t know. Is it a fad? It sure looks like one to me.To get back to the point, what you’re missing, it’s not enough to tell people that we can do it. We can do a lot of things. Why should we do it? And, I don’t mean why should someone produce a podcast, I can think of a thousand reasons. But, the real question is why should I (or anyone else) listen? You need to convince people how it’s going to benefit them.

Rather than re-state my response which you’ve already heard, I thought it may be a good idea to highlight another blogger’s take on it. Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication + Technology, has responded succinctly to Peter’s questions, echoing some of my thoughts on the topic. Below is a snippet and here’s the entire comment.

First, it’s not a question of whether people will listen to podcasts. The medium is less than two years old and has in excess of 10 million listeners. As new tools make it easier to subscribe, more people will listen.

He then goes on to conclude that:

Part of the appeal is niche content that you can’t get through mainstream radio. My podcast deals with public relations and corporate communications, a topic you’ll never find a radio station embracing as a recurring show. But we (my co-host and I) have enough listeners to make it worth our while to continue doing the show (we’ll record our 150th on Thursday

I’d have to agree with Shel Holtz on the fact that Podcasting is another example of the long tail wagging and proving that Chris Anderson is right — again. As for podcasting, the question that keeps ringing in my mind is: Do we marketers, need to “convince people how podcasting is going to benefit them”?

I believe, if Marketing is defined as “an organizational function for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers“, then it is our responsibility to evangelize the benefits of podcasting to our customers.

What do you think?

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