Podcasts - The Radio of the Future?

I don't know why but every so often, some one will try to promote their product by saying it's going to replace something. That the old is an obsolete tech and will go the way of the dinosaurs.
Podcasts are like that. In many ways they've grown out of radio broadcasting. And every once in a while someone will get on their high horse and claim that radio will be killed by podcasting.
Ain't gonna happen!
Claims like that really only show the lack of understanding of what a podcast is and where it fits. It ignores the audience. And it ignores the subject or topic of the broadcast. Now keep in mind I'm talking about podcasting here. Not just making recordings of earlier broadcasts available over the internet.
Modern radio is an entertainment media. Its focus -- no matter the format -- is on keeping the audience entertained. That's why it tends towards snappy, high energy DJ's and announcers. That's why it focuses on controversial talk radio. It is intended to keep people engaged on an emotional level. Not on an intellectual level.

Podcasts on the other hand have become an educational media. In fact, with only a few early hiccups they always have been. People who are customers for podcasts are looking to fill their time with something useful. That's why they go to the trouble of downloading the podcast. Satellite radio, regular radio even web-radio is much easier to listen to. It takes less effort. Why go to the effort of downloading entertainment when "live" is much easier.
That's also why music is the preferred format for radio. Whether it's rock, pop, folk, classical or country. Or mixed. Most of the modern radio is music. Yes, there is talk radio. Yes, there is sports broadcasting. Yes, there is news. But the vast majority of the airwaves -- literal, satellite or virtual -- is taken up with music.
But the preferred format -- almost literally the exclusive format -- for podcasts is education. It may be lecture, seminar, interview, or audio magazine. But the content is almost always educational.
Podcasting and radio serve two different markets. One focused on entertainment and music. Mindless amusement if you prefer. The other is focused on improving the mind and filling otherwise wasted time with something useful. Confusing the two will result in a podcast that just doesn't satisfy its market. A podcast that will ultimately fail.

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