Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Wired magazine writes about the so-called phenomenon of podfading: When someone stops doing a podcast.

Reasons cited for stopping podcasts:
- Boredom
- No success
- Overwhelming success
- No money

Meanwhile, the US-based National Public Radio this week reached the milestone of 13 million podcasts downloaded just six months after it started podcasting.

At the pace mainstream media is entering the new media space, will today's star bloggers and podcasters be tomorrow's roadkill?

Note: I may cross-post comments on the IHT blog and they may be reproduced in the paper for publication.


Trackbacks don't appear to be working, but you can see my comments here: - in the entry "not fade away"

I think more than ever there is a place for talent ... so long as that talent doesn't give up. I do not think the MSM will come to dominate either podcasting, video shorts or blogging in the same way it dominated radio or TV. It's only getting easier for someone independent to build and distribute content, assuming their content is interesting or entertaining and they are willing to put in the work necessary to attract an audience. If many of today's star bloggers and podcasters will be gone tomorrow, it won't necessarily be because the MSM out-competed them and stole their audience. More likely, it will be that either they gave up or were no longer producing content people cared about or were interested in. Essentially though, the opportunity for talent and independent voices to gain access to an audience without having to go through the MSM or some other established means of distribution has never been better.

Kind of thinking out loud here. If a blogger or podcaster feels that they are not getting a wide enough audience then they can easily get discouraged. I see some interesting bloggers in Japan, but they don't seem to be getting much of an audience. If they can work with a larger site like ours that could give them more traffic then we could all benefit; we would get low-cost, interesting, content, and the bloggers would get a larger audience. We both might even be able to make some money :)

I have only listened to one podcast, my own with 49 Media. I spend most of my life computing, and listening to CDs. But I do like vlogs, even cheesey lo budget video. I like MoBuzz a lot. MTV-clone tech updates and insights.

I think Evan Williams noticed early on that podcasts are way too long, too rambling, too silly.

I think interviews and podcasts are an inefficient way to obtain information. We like to type in a word or phrase, command a search engine to fetch a list of articles, then get the relevant info in another click or two at most.

To listen to anyone speak for more than 5 minutes, it seems monotonous unless it's a non-stop stream of genius practical ideas. Like my blog posts and comments.

The quality of podcasts varies widely. I am happy to listen to a high quality podcast but a lot of the early mover stuff is pretty boring. I think the media will be overtaken by professional content producers, or amatures who become professionals after launching their podcasts. The same way artists on independent labels later get signed by the major labels.

Blogs will always be all over the place.

I am/was a beginner podcaster wtih and what I noticed is that it does take quite a bit of time and expertise and equipment to produce a short piece - write, record then edit etc.

Regular blogging technology has reached a point where it is quick, easy and efficient for even the least tech savvy out there to see their efforts on the www.

Adding the extra dimension of sound engineering requires a big leap in skill set, time and usually requires more than a single person to produce (ie another person to do the editing). Thus, add people's busy schedules into the mix and I understand the fadeout.

Without a doubt, podcasting is fun but it does take a heap more time and energy and organisation than regular blogging... We would like to do it more often but nobody wants to do a mediocre podcast for something that takes so much time and energy to achieve. For blogging, if you think that yesterday's post was boring, it is easy to think of a witty post for the next day.

Podfade doesn't just exist for the podcasters, it's a factor for the listeners too. I can read weeks of blog posts quickly to find out whether someone has something to say that I would find interesting or valuable. If so, they get bookmarked. Podcasts aren't like that. In my own listening, if a podcast isn't interesting the first or second episode, it get's dropped from my subscription list. The bandwidth and time commitment are simply too great to keep listening if you don't have a quick pay-off.

The nice thing about radio programs repurposed as podcasts is that the producers know how to create interesting, compelling programming. They face "listener fade" everyday.

As someone else said, podcasting and videocasting are incredible new distribution models for the hobbyist, but it will become increasingly difficult to find a new audience when you have to compete with the professionals. It's no longer as easy as starting up a podcast and sending Adam Curry an e-mail to announce it. But the payoff is still there for the diligent.


Yeah, like we need yet another empty buzzword...

The hype surrounding the Net as the stage for the everyman to strut their stuff is as old as Wired magazine. What all the golden shovel professional writers always fail to mention is that creating content is work just like any other job. Most of the time it takes to create something is yet another drudge, something else to take time away from family/friends/etc. Being able to consistantly deliver content that people want is hard work.

We talk about how the market separates the wheat from the chaff, but what we dont clearly say is that the average joe/jane has little to say that anyone wants to hear and even if they do its statistically unlikely that joe/jane has the skills to present themselves professionally, consistantly and with longevity. What it comes down to is Johnny Carson comes along pretty much once a lifetime.

I think that's just a hype. I can only speak for myself, but I have no time to listen to podcasts.
I have to listen to a lot of things each day and I'm happy about silence I get some times. So why should I plug in a podcast? Those things I#m interested in I can watch on TV or read online.

Yeah, like we need yet another empty buzzword...

why is it all podcasts now.. mp3?

We are a website design company doing podcasts, waste of time i prefer the good old stick the mp3 or streams. any thoughts?

Thats it Götz! Podcasts are a hype with no real demand. Sometimes its fine but no one will miss them.

I think they will be gone in near future with only a small discipleship.