Who's going to make money off podcasting?

by Jacek Artymiak

I'm thinking of starting my own podcast. I have a book to finish first, but when I'm done I'd like to set up my own little podcast corner studio and have a go at it, see what happens. Yesterday, feeling a little dizzy after all the medication I've been taking recently, I gave up on editing my writing and went online to check out what I might need to start. My shopping list includes the following:

  • a microphone -- that's easy, I'm going for an inexpensive Shure stick I found online for a reasonable price.

  • a microphone stand -- my local music gear dealer will make a few zlotys on that one.

  • a mixer -- I'm going to try the inexpensive Behringer gear with two microphone inputs. Can't find them in the local stores, so I'll order one online.

  • cables -- damn, more cables... my wife won't be happy when she sees more cable around the apartment.

  • headphones -- I already have a pair of light studio headphones.

I will also need some sound effects, background music, and loops. I can get by with free stuff found on the Internet, but I really like the commercial sound effects libraries.

And I'll need a host with plenty of disk space and no monthly transfer limit. For a reasonable amount of money.

So, summing up, the people who will make money on podcasting will be: manufacturers of MP3 players, microphones, mixers, cables, headphones, and all other audio gear, audio software (not sure about that one, Audition is free), ISPs, hosting providers, sound effects and music libraries, and possibly sound engineers and studios who may want to make extra money helping podcasters achieve broadcast quality. Oh, yes, publishers are no doubt working on podcasting books as I type.

But what about the podcasters themselves? One idea would be to sell past shows for download money or publish them on CDs. But that is so old and tried. And it doesn't work that well. Maybe a better idea would be to sell subscriptions to th new shows and give the old ones away? Or combine both approaches and provide a small window of free download opportunity? Who knows. Oh, yeah, the most popular shows will be able to sell ad space, but that's still a long way ahead. Podcasting is still a geek toy, it may be a couple of years before ordinary people discover the joys of audio without pre-programmed music created by people who talk about the things other people actually want to listen about. But it will happen. Cool!


2005-01-30 13:18:53
make m0ney fast
I think that the real winners in the podcasting space will be music broadcasters or makers. You will start to get music services using this as a distribution mechanism, especially if WMP and/or iTunes start to include client-functionality built in. For the moment the music podcasters are all free (either radio show format, or individual musicians putting their tracks online), but possibly one model is a subscription service, for a set fee the service makes available a set number of tracks every month, or something similar.

A few big cheeses of the voice podcasting world will be famous enough to either charge or make money off advertising but realistically I think that music podcasting is where the real action will be once the technology model takes off.