Posted on July 25th, 2005 1 comment
Presstime also has a great profile of Ginger Moorhouse, the publisher of the family-owned Californian, and her management team.
A lot of people ask me how I was able to get a newspaper behind Bakotopia. While most publishers are aware of the long-term danger Craigslist poses, they’re too afraid to do something themselves out of fear of cannibalizing their own Classifieds. My first answer is always that I couldn’t do anything new if the Californian’s management team wasn’t so forward-thinking. They look at everything from the 50,000-foot level, and that starts with Ginger.
I think my boss Mary Lou Fulton put it best. From the same article, she says: “Ginger is a believer in the long view. As a result, she manages the company differently than someone who is worried about what they’re going to say to the stockholders in 90 days.”
Posted on July 9th, 2005 No comments
Today, just one week after releasing a new version of iTunes that supports Pocasting, Apple announced that it has 1 million subscriptions for Podcasts through iTunes. This is a watershed moment for radio and auditory entertainment in general.
I rememeber not too long ago when Apple made a similar announcement about 1 million downloads of 99-cent songs from iTunes, which became the industry standard. Now they’re making the same announcement for Podcasts. I expect this to go down in history like the day when AOL announced 1 million paying members to its online service.
Radio will never be the same, and I believe this is the day that radio as it is known today starts to disappear.
I played around with the new iTunes podcasting last week. True to Apple’s formula, it was simple, straightforward and fun! They have set up Podcasting as a logical and convenient choice for mainstream users (and not just geeks like me). I predict their Podcast subscription approach will become a standard, and we’ll see as many knockoffs as we do with iTunes and music download services today.
The Podcasts in their initial directory (including my current favorite, The Bitterest Pill) are marked as “free”. It’s easy to see how Apple will be able to make some Podcasts available for subscription — which is not to diminish the sure staying power of free, independent Podcasts, but is still momentous! Just as the open source software movement exists along with companied like Redhat that make money from open source services, helping Podcasters make a living will only increase the lifespan of free independent Podcasts.
Revenue models are generally a good thing (don’t you like having a paycheck?), but in this day and age they don’t necessarily mean the end of free media. As long as storage space and bandwidth continue go down in price, the marketplace will favor the right to publish for free. Now, marketing and more eyeballs for content is another matter altogether. I suspect that’s Apple’s true revenue model for Podcasts. They want to be the Podcasting Supermarket and charge for shelf placement.
In somewhat related news, just a few days ago my alma mater The Denver Post also announced it has RSS feeds available for its Podcasts and all of its stories, bringing a publish and subscribe model to much of its content — including audio delivery. More on that when I have a chance to try it out.
This is a big year for digital audio!