Thursday, February 12, 2009

How the world changed

While we were building WildVoice, the world changed, and podcasting became a less viable opportunity.

Do-it-yourself multimedia publishing sites became common, and a few, like YouTube, came to dominate the market. Ubiquitous webcams, video capable cell phone cameras, and even new devices like The Flip camcorder made do-it-yourself video production practical. Video sharing sites took off in popularity, fueled by viral videos and often illegally posted copyrighted material. Video publishing sites quickly leapfrogged audio sites like WildVoice.com.

Even while the Internet was being conquered by YouTube, dedicated audio podcasting sites were dealt another blow. Podcasting simply became an attribute of blogging platforms. For example, the WordPress blogging platform, with the correct plug-ins, could easily be used to create and host a podcast enabled blog.

Finally, Apple’s iTunes store became the de facto podcast directory on the Internet. Most listeners looking for podcasts went to iTunes to find them. iTunes gave users access to thousands of podcasts, but it also presented a curtain that hid the underlying podcast hosting sites from listeners. This meant that any podcasting site looking to generate revenue through visual web advertising would have fewer eyeballs coming to their site. Users would find and download their podcasts through iTunes and they would rarely click through to find the underlying hosting site and see its advertising.

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