This marks the beginning of the end…

May 2, 2005

Music, Technology

…of traditional mass-market media. – Russell Beattie, concerning the Adam Curry / Sirius Radio deal.

On today’s DSC (and in today’s NYT), Adam Curry announced the four-hour Podshow on Sirius radio. On May 13, Adam will begin hosting a four-hour daily show with the best of podcast content from around the world. For those with Sirius receivers, the content will be played on channel 148 (“Talk Central”). For those w/o Sirius, you won’t get the content. Or, maybe you will get pieces of it through the Daily Source Code.

But I find it odd that Adam is going from a generally available medium (as long as you have broadband connectivity) to a generally closed medium (i.e., proprietary, subscription-only satellite radio). Adam’s efforts will certainly boost the visibility of podcasting, but this cross-promotion will only play to a small audience (i.e., Sirius subscribers). While I applaud the elevation of podcasting in other mediums, I wonder if this will be a sufficient step to place podcasting into the greater consumer conciousness. And the price may even be too high to bear.

And my thoughts are echoed by many others. Steve Kirks (product manager for Radio Userland) has some pretty pithy comments about the deal on Russell’s blog. He noted, “I see the Sirius gig as something more sad than glad, I guess.” Indeed, he thinks that this move will split the podcasting community into two camps: the professional “haves” and the needy “have nots.” And Steve may be right. But I’ll let time and history determine whether Adam or Steve is correct.

Dave Slusher (Evil Genius Chronicles) had some very strong words for the Infinity radio channel deal. In this deal, a failed radio station is collecting podcasters to “fill the pipeline” with content. Dave warns the podcasting community that we may be giving away something that others will gladly take from us and then successfully monetize for themselves.

And what is Dave Winer saying? Dave is taking the high road and applauding Adam on his success. Congratulations to Dave for publicly demonstrating bonhommie. He could have taken the low road and trashed Adam for selling out. Dave didn’t. Let’s follow Dave’s example.

And here are my $0.02. I love the marketplace of ideas. I can’t wait to see how this venture will play out. This _will_ elevate podcasting. And it won’t change the fact that even more people can develop and distribute content – however good or bad that content might be. I have to agree with Russell Beattie. He said, “…Adam really showed us all what was possible and moved everything forward I think a lot faster than normal. If anyone else had done Podcasting first, it wouldn’t have taken off nearly as fast, if at all.” I wonder what Russell thinks of the Paris Hilton podcast! 😉

Good luck, Adam!



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