Tag Archives: itunes

CBC Radio Logo edited to show

Podcasting the future of Radio?

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) is increasingly putting all shows in podcast format, and even putting hourly news in podcast format for download. When Apple released their podcast friendly iTunes they looked to CBC to help promote their product.

“iTunes said you guys are one of view few music podcasts out their can we promote. For the first month they promoted the hell out of it and it gave us a really good start … Apple has been really good at it (podcasting) and they have been a huge factor in our success. In raising awareness that we are doing (podcasting) and we have been a fairly good market colleage for them.”
~ Steve Pratt, January 24, 2008 – Director CBC radio digital programing and CBC Radio 3 ~

CBC Radio 3 has made the most of it's online profile
CBC Radio 3 has made the most of it’s online profile

They started in earnest two years ago and now, according to iTunes Podcast Directory, hold many of the top podcasts in Canada. CBC radio is only federally mandated to provide advertising time to candidates in either a provincial or federal election. They have no other mandate to sell advertising to on any of their radio programing.
However, just a year after they starting podcasting most of their radio shows, all podcasts are now sponsored before the start of the program. Steve Pratt – head of CBC Radio three and CBC Radio digital programing explains why the advertising is needed.

“Our License is only for terrestrial radio, so AM and FM broadcasting. And that is written into our mandate that we have to be commercial free for that. But that is where all our funding is directed as well, so all the government funding is directed towards terrestrial radio.”
~ Steve Pratt, January 24, 2008 – Director CBC radio digital programing and CBC Radio 3 ~

To fund the podcasting that was coming from CBC Pratt had to dip into the special programming fund and while that was ok when it was experimental and new as podcasting as it was going to be called became more mainstream, CBC had to find a way to fund the extra resources needed to make it’s shows available in a digital format.
The bandwidth was another issue for CBC but beyond that producers where puting a lot of resources to make the shows podcast friendly.
And while this might be easier for a local radio station to do CBC has 35 different locations across the country that both produce national and regional programing. It is a major shift of technology moving from a proprietary file format that is somewhat archaic to a MP3 friendly and more robust digital format.

“What we are implements and rolling out across the country is a program that is more MP3 friendly which requires less man ours and then using a content management system to deliver all the show to the various servers where our shows are hosted. For a broadcasters as large as the CBC it is a large rollout to producers across the country.”

“We rather look at ourselves as content creators rather then radio programers. We will find some really interesting extensions from the radio show that find themselves on a web or on a phone, it provides a really rich show experience which allows you to pick the way you want to get into it.”
~ Steve Pratt, January 24, 2008 – Director CBC radio digital programing and CBC Radio 3 ~

CBC Radio show about Technology
Spark is a CBC Radio show about technology

From expats who live around the world to Canadians who have moved across the country and still want news from their home town CBC is providing it’s listeners more way to connect and in return the national broadcaster is more relevant and has a higher listening audience.
Which really isn’t to far from the CBC’s original mandate when CBC radio went live back in November 2, 1936.

“It is pretty great. The feedback we have gotten about podcasting that is. It is really is remarkable what we hear from audiences is that as a broadcaster we need to be there. Because that is what Canadians want from us, And that our mandate is to provide programing to Canadians about Canadians for Canadians.”
~ Steve Pratt, January 24, 2008 – Director CBC radio digital programing and CBC Radio 3 ~

Podcasting is a new media where anyone can produce content and anyone can watch that content on a variety of devices, whether the business models of Podshow Inc. are a viable long term the next five years will be a very interesting time.

Apple Podcasting Logo

Podcasting goes Mainstream

iTunes 4.9 now with podcasting
iTunes 4.9 now with podcasting

It really wasn’t until June 28, 2005, when Apple incorporated podcasting into their now hugely popular iTunes platform that mainstream use could begin. Numbers range widely on just how many iTunes users there were at that time, but roughly their were between 25 million and 100 million users of the popular player.

Hits on Podcast
Sept. 28, 04
Oct 1, 04
Oct 18, 04
Sept, 28, 05
March, 28, 08 114,000,000

Immediately after the release of iTunes 4.9, some podcasters saw a triple and quadruple subscription to their podcast. Finally users could automatically download podcast and sync them directly with their portable device.

Apple is certainly not the inventor the podcast nor do they produce much content in the way of podcasting. But what they do and do very well is a place where the normal joe can in one click pick podcast and be able to consume when you want how you want. All the back end is provided by the podcaster and apple is only providing the directory to find it.

A lesser used podcast icon
A lesser used podcast icon

iTunes is also not the only directory for podcasts but it is certainly one of the biggest and it is a huge selling point for Apple to have this free directory available on their store.

But many podcasters suffered from their own success after Apple delivered podcasting to the mainstream, the bandwidth needed to keep up with demand became an increasing problem for some podcasters.

Claims by many service providers that they had unlimited bandwidth were met with anger and frustration by the like of Tikibartv.com a humors podcast about friends and cocktails. It was at one point the number one podcast in the United States, but keeping that number one spot was met with a lot of frustration as Kevin Gamble writes about in the tiki forum.

Kevin Gamble plays Johnny Johnny on Tikibar TV
Kevin Gamble plays Johnny Johnny on Tikibar TV

“I gotta be honest, when we started hunting for bandwidth, all sorts of places looked good (and we tried a few cheap ones in desperation) and by the time we got to Libsyn, I was a little jaded – lots of sites say “UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH!” but then they have this fine print that usually says “note: unlimited bandwidth does not include files of any kind”. Or something. So when we found Libsyn, I was like “suuuure, unlimited. We’ll see how long THAT lasts”. Well, we’re still here, and Libsyn hasn’t pulled the plug yet. So that’s why I’m plugging THEM. Because they’re nice and they keep us streaming! So if you want to start that all important cat-podcast… or… catcast… check out Libsyn No, we’re not sponsored. They’re just really nice guys and if they go offline we’ll be real sad.”
~ Kevin Gamble, November 20, 2005 Plays “Johnny Johnny” Head Bartender at the Tikibar tv ~

Podshow Logo circa 2008
Podshow Logo circa 2008

The industry responded by the creation of podcasting networks, Adam Curry, now named the godfather of the podcast, started one in October 2004 called Podshow Inc. (rebranded to the name Mevio in 2008) In August 2005 Podshow Inc. was given 8.85 millions dollars in venture capital and with in 12 months Podshow Inc. had raised 15 million in venture capital. These numbers aren’t small potatoes anymore, but what Podshow Inc. and many others have done is allowed husband and wife podcast teams like Geekbrief.tv to operate out of their own home and provided with server and bandwidth issues along with selling advertising to the show and providing support for sponsors.

Geekbrief.tv is based in Dallas, Texas and is operated by Luria Petrucci (aka Cali Lewis)and her Husband Neal Campbell (they divorced in 2010)  out of their apartment. They use normal AT&T Broadband from home and work off MacPro’s in the home studio and the MacBook Pro on the road.

Luria Petrucci aka Cali Lewis
Luria Petrucci aka Cali Lewis

Cali Lewis is not her real name but both her and Neil thought they would have a problem with people remember and knowing Luria Petrucci. It is hard to know where Luria stops and Cali begins, but the podcast is created around a theme of the Cali Lewis presenting Geek Brief tips through the Geek Intelligence Agency, which is more or less the viewership of the show.

But that is really where the fantasy stops and the news broadcast begins; to be a show which bring happy shinny technology news to it 200,000 to 300,00 views four times a week for approximately 3 years which has developed into solid and creditable following around the world. The couples next project is to take their podcasting show on the road covering all 50 states (Don’t worry they are flying to Hawaii) in something called the big trip.

Part three will cover the cost of podcasting