Podcasting allows audience to pick time, place to listen

Podcasting is the newest broadcast medium to hit the Internet.

It?s a way of airing audio files via the Internet, and users who download the files can listen to them using an iPod, thus the name, or any other MP3 player.

A disadvantage is that the listener can?t hear the programs live, and large audiences can?t be reached as quickly as through radio broadcast stations. And because royalties can be owed to recording artists, most podcasting offers only talk shows and presentations.
Several Boulder Valley enterprises are becoming podcasters.

Casey Verbek, president of Boulder-based Partners in Music, a marketing company that services online markets, is gearing up to use podcasting to promote artists and events.

For example, podcasting can record musicians talking about their work, and listeners can download the information to listen at their leisure. The downloads would be available on the artist?s Web site as well as on general iPod Web sites.

?The New York Times just said that 6 million podcasts were downloaded in one week?s time,? Verbeck said. ?It?s growing ? people are eager to build ways to broaden their reach.?

Frank Eriksen, a former KBCO disc jockey in Boulder, has begun podcasting a weekly 30-minute online program via the Internet called Pod City Radio at www.podcityradio.us. Eriksen puts shows together in his home studio and uploads them to his Web site. While the downloads are free, Eriksen is seeking advertisers. He said the first podcasts will be talk radio, but eventually will expand to include music.

Doyle Albee, an account executive with Boulder-based public relations firm Metzger Associates, says podcasting has its advantages. Albee sees podcasting as an up and coming marketing and advertising tool. ?It?s an opportunity for businesses to impart information, like books on tape,? he said.

A bottled water company could sponsor a podcast, for example, and provide information on hydration or tips for running races. Listeners could get the information ? and advertising ? while jogging.

?My iPod plugs into my car stereo, and I can listen to interviews I want to hear when I?m driving,? Albee said. ?When I?m working and in front of my computer I don?t think to do that.?
The convenience of listening when we want to appeals to the on-demand world we live in, he added.

An advantage of the computerized process of downloading is that it records the number of people who download a podcast program. The count carries a strong appeal to advertisers.
?The challenge is that it?s leading-edge technology, and so it?s not known about by many people yet,? Albee noted

There are two possible podcasting money-making models, according to Albee ? the pay to download model and the ad-supported model. ?It will be a mistake to charge for content,? he said.
Metzger Associates is looking at making podcasting appealing to companies because of its marketing capabilities.

?There?s a lot of interest,? he said.? It won?t replace TV tomorrow, but it will be an important way to get information to consumers.?