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
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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.
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.
“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 ~
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.
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