Will podcasts replace radio? Fast Company’s current issue profiles Adam Carolla in “How Adam Carolla Became a Podcast Superstar.”
Interestingly, the article claims that Carolla is making money through his podcasts yet ends the article by quoting Carolla as saying:
“I would have a hard time calling myself a pioneer, sitting around talking while Donny records it and puts it on the Internet,” he tells me on the ride back to his house. But the outsidery angst that his fans adore is part of the equation. It’s tough to be first. “Think of all those guys who played for the NFL in the ’40s and ’50s,” he says, looming perilously close to a rant. “They made $7,000 a year and had to work at car dealerships in the off-season,” he says, pulling into his driveway. “Maybe we’ll spend a bunch of money and time, and 20 years later… .” He pauses, does the math. “Ashton Kutcher will get rich off what we thought of. I don’t know.”
So is Carolla making money? Will podcasts replace radio? The shuffle music format seen on some stations like MikeFM in Boston, Lansing and other markets. in which they play everything, seems like it could be easily replaced by hooking your iPod to your car’s radio. If you do that, then podcasts could attract listeners who otherwise might listen to radio.
I’m still a believer in (and a listener of) radio. But I’m not sure if my children will be. I think podcasts, like other online content, will have to charge subscriptions because advertising revenue alone won’t support podcasts. But I do think radio stations will have to consider charging for online content they provide.
In the meantime, check on the sidebar to the Carolla article, “A Look at the Ever-Expanding Podcast Universe.” It provides a good overview.