March 18, 2013
Last week I wrote a post asking if podcasting is still relevant. I've since had a chance to listen to this webinar featuring former NPR reporter and editor and current Slate podcast executive producer Andy Bowers. I'd had a link to the webinar in my inbox for a while but its length - an hour - meant I kept postponing listening. I'm glad I did. Here are a few takeaways from the interview.
- Bowers can't stand the word 'podcast' himself. He thinks it's outdated and reeks of the iPod, which he, along with others, claims is now a gadget of the past. (I still don't have an iPhone and use an iPod Nano quite cheerfully every day, demonstrating a) my dinosaur tendencies and b) my dedication to the medium. He thinks of the Slate podcasts more in terms of audio on demand.
- Bowers thinks audio is lagging far behind other areas when it comes to the way the Internet has (or rather hasn't) disrupted it. He believes there's a new audio world looming in the not-too-distant future, but we're not there yet.
- Podcasting, he says, "is intimate...it's an opt-in club. You've joined that club and you feel invested in it in a particular way."
- "Much of podcasting is about personality and it’s about opinion," he says. "As news people that can be a little uncomfortable." How true.
- Podcasting is about experimenting, Bowers says. Slate has tried a few things and dropped them, and continued with shows it never expected to last.
- The ad rates Slate gets for its podcasts are the highest rates they get for anything on the site. They have more advertisers than they can fit on their shows.