Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Steve Jobs & Apple Boost Podcasting

In a landmark speech at the Annual Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco on 6 June, Steve Jobs had glowing praise for podcasting technology and the community of content developers pioneering with this new format. Keep in mind that there are now more than 10m iPods in use.

Jobs said: "iTunes goes with the iPod, and we just crossed 430m songs downloaded and played with the iPod and that is reflected in iTunes market share... it's now 82%. We recently announced something new for iTunes and iPod and it's called Podcasting. As you know the podcasting phenomenon is exploding right now."

"What is podcasting - it's been described in a lot of different ways. One way has been a Tivo for radio. You can download radio shows and listen to 'em on your computer and put 'em on your iPod, and listen to them anytime you want. Another way it's been described is Wayne's World for radio - which means that anyone, without much capital investment, can make a podcast, put it on a server, and get a worldwide audience for their radio show. And that's true too."

"We see it as the hottest thing going in radio, hotter than anything else in radio. And as you know, you can not only download shows and listen to them, you can subscribe to them. So that every time there's a new episode, it automatically gets downloaded to your computer, and it automatically gets sync'd to your iPod, the next time you dock. So it's very, very exciting."

"There are over 8,000 podcasts now and this is growing really, really fast. Now it's not just amateurs doing these things. The pros have realized that this is huge, and a list of just some of the companies doing podcasts now includes all the major radio broadcasters, the network broadcasters, major magazines, major newspapers, even major companies like Disney, Proctor & Gamble, Ford and General Motors. It's pretty exciting."

"And so what we're doing is we're gonna make this even easier, because you're not going to have to download other applications, and get all sorts of stuff together to make this happen. We're gonna build it [syndication] right into iTunes and iPod."

As Adam Curry is fond of pointing out, the 430m figure quoted by Jobs is just 2% of all music sales. So you can see the potential here - in just the music space alone, not to mention lectures, seminars, e-learning content, corporate communications, etc.