iPods and Podcasting for Learning and Sales Enablement

The Corporate Podcast Push

What do Duke University, IBM, Capital One, Newsweek and Barenaked Ladies all have
in common? Answer: they are all reaching out to staff, students, and customers with
a new and powerful tool – podcasting. You may have heard about podcasting from
your kids or on the news, but podcasting is much more than some phenomenon
started by the rock and roll or techy crowd. Podcasting is a powerful communication
tool being used to reach global and mobile audiences, save people time and, most
importantly, really connect with their audiences in news ways – in today’s
communication/message glut. But let’s take a look at what podcasting is, who is
using and why it is so effective for both business and individuals.

First, we’ll look at the size and scale of the podcasting phenomenon…

— A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that more than 22 million American adults own Ipods or and MP3 player and 29% of them have
downloaded podcasts or listened to podcast that have been “pushed” to them. That
equates to 6 million people listening to podcasts. Market researchers and analysts
continue to buoy up podcasting’s future with latest figures suggesting a US
audience alone of 56 million by 2010.

— Jupiter Research recently predicted that US digital music player sales would
grow to 56 million by 2010, up from 16.2 million in 2004 and by 2010, three-
quarters of all people who own portable digital music players will listen to podcasts,
a growth from less than 15% last year.

What is podcasting?

Whether you describe it as the greatest communication tool since email, or as an
RSS feed for audio, podcasting is a way to “push” audio content to subscribers for
virtually zero cost. Podcasting allows anyone (me, you, IBM, or NBC) to post audio
content that gets pushed to any subscriber’s desktop and then directly to their iPod
or MP3 player. This is global. Anyone, anywhere can “tune in” to your podcast and
learn what you have to offer or say. You don’t need to be NBC with a global
distribution infrastructure. Now people can “subscribe” to a podcast and have new
content “pushed” out to them without them dnd podcast having to surf the web, download MP3s
or burn CD’s.

Ideas/Stories/Voices ? Audio/MP3’s ? Internet ? PC ? MP3
player

All the arrows go in one direction. Once someone has subscribe to your podcast,
your content get “pushed” out to them. There is no turning in to stations with
podcasting. You don’t have to visit a website to find streaming podcasting. Podcasts
show up (pushed) when new content is produced. If you are a subscriber, you get
the podcast right then. All you need is an Ipod or MP3 player of any kind for
listening, thus the word podcasting.

Season 2 is launching now!

The term “Podcasting” is derived from the iPod (Apple Computer’s popular device
for playing compressed audio files) and “broadcasting.” Podcasting allows for audio
files that would have been previously downloaded and played on a personal
computer to be automatically downloaded and listened to on portable music playing
devices (such as the iPod and other MP3 players).

Having originated in the world of blogging, some have even referred to podcasting
as “audio blogging.” For many, podcasting is a logical next step from blogging. As
Business Week Senior Writer Stephen Baker observes, “The heart of the podcasting
movement is in the world of blogs, those millions of personal Web pages that have
become a global sensation. In a GM Macleods blogosphere that has grown largely on the written
word, podcasts add a soundtrack.”

Now that you know what a podcast is, let’s look at where they come from: who is
producing the “pushed audio content.”

Who is producing podcasts?

The answer is wide ranging. Teenagers, techies and rock musicians were early
adopters. Today you see the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Business Week, ESPN and news
programs of all types producing, distribution and marketing podcasts. The number
of podcasts available is growing at a very rapid pace. In late 2004, there were close
to 500 podcasts available. Today there are over 10,000 different podcasts to choose
then check out Loaded Dice Rollers on Twitch, follow them on Facebook, Youtube and while you’re at it check them out on Instagram, too!

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