Podcasts: Value or just plain bad radio?

Investor Relations Blog :: Why Podcasts suck for information consumption :: April :: 2006

There is still a lot of debate out there whether podcasting is just another one of those media frenzies such as the internet was back in the early 90’s. Remember? When everyone had to have a website. It didn’t matter what for, or what it was to achieve, the fact that you built the site, the thought was people would come visit it.

Some companies are losing site of the fact that podcasting is just another form of information consumption. Think about it. When you are in need of information, what is the best way for you to harness it? Comprehend it? Reference it? Quickly scan it for relevance? And where are you when you are gathering the information? At work among your co-workers? At home?

All of this points to the type of content you are after. It is the determining factor of the level of interest and motivation people will want to listen or download your audio. Entertainment is by far the most popular content for podcasts. But think about how much you channel surf. How rapidly do you jump around trying to find something you can “tollerate” on your radio? Or your collection of MP3s.

Now let’s also talk about the fact that broadcast is in fact a skill. A skill in which you need training. Otherwise we would all be DJ’s, program managers and anchor men/women. But the fact is you have folks that are very talented and knowledgable about their subject matter who struggle with broadcast medium. Do you have a radio voice? Does your engaging personality carry over the audio? Ask any radio executive or program manager in charge of listnership and they’ll tell you. (Here’s a reference, remember Ben Stein’s character as the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?)

For recruitment the same holds true. What does a job seeker really want to hear? They are searching and searching for relevance and want it quickly; is there a job available that I want? Where do I fit and what’s in it for me? If the seeker is going to listen to anything it would fall under the category of supportive/employer brand propositioning that would need some entertainment value to it.

I’m not saying that podcasting is doomed by no means. The medium is young and still finding it’s way. It is just that after all the dust settles, content is king, and in a time constrained world of “I need it now and give me relevance”, the remote control is as far as your mouse.

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TMP Worldwide
Written by TMP Worldwide

1 Comment

  1. Andrew Marritt

    If we take the simplistic definition that podcasts are downloadable audio (or video) offered via a subscription then there are two different uses for the content:

    * Downloadable media offered at the relevant places on a company’s website (relevant to those viewing the page)* As a stream with a broader but still focused target subscriber.

    I see no reason why podcasts should be treated any differently than other forms of recruitment content – the key is defining your target audience and delivering content that is relevant to them.

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