Audio vs Video at SXSW

I suspect it’s about time I got involved in video.

Something weird is happening here at SXSW. Videoblogging is well-represented here, but podcasts, definitely not. I don’t see any huge podcasters either on panels, or in the audience. 2007 is definitely about video, and if you’re here, you see it clear as day.

Is audio over?

Podcasts will always have their place, but I do think audio is/was quick to be replaced as the exciting medium. We’re already in such a visual culture– it seems inevitable.

Radio is still a huge industry, and podcasts will be too– this, despite all of the options for television, film, and other visual means of communication. If you love audio, there is still a place for you in podcasting. But the opportunity, I think, isn’t as huge as it was.

As a business, I suspect that getting into video would likely be smarter than simply having a podcast. That said, some ideas are better expressed via audio than video. So, making a decision based on the audience you want or have is wiser than basing it on what’s hot right now.

I suspect that, in the future, the MVPs in this space will simply be media producers, not just podcasters or vloggers. Having some hands-on experience in both will likely be very helpful in the coming years– especially for those who, like me, live and breathe web media.



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5 responses to “Audio vs Video at SXSW”

  1. Matt Fogel Avatar
    Matt Fogel

    I agree with you that podcasts aren’t going anywhere. They may not be as novel as they once were, but I think there’s still great value there.

    To me, the power of audio as a medium is that you can listen while doing other things. You can catch up on your podcasts while commuting to work, or while shaving in the morning, or while folding laundry.

    I think this pretty much guarantees a place for podcasting until some better audio delivery platform is created.

  2. anji bee Avatar

    do it, do it, do it! 🙂

    i’d love to chat with you about vidcasting when your life slows down a bit.

  3. Christopher S. Penn Avatar

    Audio and video definitely have their own places and roles – as we talked about at PodCamp Toronto, different people have different learning styles, so there will always be some who are more comfortable with audio downloading into their minds than video. That said, the predominant form of information transmission in the previous century was definitely video – from the first silent movies to the Net.

    An interesting perspective – MIT video guru David Tames often says that to make good video, you need good audio, so all of the learning we’ve all accumulated in audio engineering will serve us in good stead.

  4. Linda Avatar

    The huge advantage of audio over video, for me, is the close spatial connection between the sound and the listener. Put on the earphones, close your eyes, and you could be there, in the very same room, with the voice or the sound source you’re hearing. Of course you’re not, but with visual cues gone, it’s the same as if you were.

    Not that I do that, but what I’m trying to say is that audio represents real life more closely than any two-dimensional screen, no matter how big, ever can.

    The wall is always there with video; it’s not with audio.

    Why there’s been such an eager jump to this viewer isolationism is a whole other discussion entirely. After all, just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be.


  5. Marcus Couch Avatar

    True Dat!

    Actually I’ve been working on a new video project for MONTHS! Knowing where the audience is, I think all of the veteran podcasters will almost all eventually wind up in the video side of things..

    Keep rockin Jules!


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