Podcasters are still slaves

We may talk like revolutionaries, but we still worship our old masters at the end of the day. Prove this to yourself– next time you meet a podcaster, tell them your show is on the radio, and watch their stance on your work change dramatically.

Being syndicated on Sirius changed my life, but not in the way you’d expect. Adam mentioned my show every Friday, which raised my profile immensely. Every new media fanboy I told the Sirius thing to suddenly thought I was huge. In all that time, I met two people with Sirius receivers.

Once you examine the whole picture, you can’t help but notice the cracks. Satellite radio is hemorrhaging money, audience, and credibility, yet we still put them on pedestals. The ROI of podcasting may not be proven, but the competition’s is, and iTunes is now the 3rd largest retailer in the US, with nowhere to go but up.

It’s about time we stopped looking up to people in radio, and started treating them like the dinosaurs they are. Our position may not look strong today, but as the pile of content producers gets bigger, it pushes us to the top. All we have to do is keep our balance once we get there.






9 responses to “Podcasters are still slaves”

  1. Scott Sigler Avatar

    I’m missing the “slaves” bit. How are podcasters slaves? Slaves to the “old masters,” but who are they. Can you elaborate?


  2. C.C. Avatar

    I’m with Sigler? I don’t see the slave metaphor and how it fits

  3. Chris Future Avatar

    Dude. How do you get mentioned by Adam every Friday? Seriously though, I completely agree with you on the looking up to radio part – too bad the brunt of our audience still find it too hard to subscribe and listen to podcasts like they should – offline. Most people still listen at their desks

  4. Noebie Avatar

    disconnect between reality and perception – but there it is

    i look forward to a day when it’s good content that matters, rather than whether or not the method of distribution is sexy

  5. Christopher S. Penn Avatar

    We free ourselves when we take charge of the little, tiny fishbowl we’re in and get out of it. To do so requires distribution – which is all radio really is. The problem is, the broadcast model is broken. No one has to choose among CBS, ABC, or NBC on Friday night; at least, no one has to choose just one of those three.

    Who has mastered distribution? That above all else is key. Content worth distributing, and an outlet to put it in.

  6. JMCampbell Avatar

    Podcasters are still slaves. Slaves to smallmindedness. Podcasting isn’t in a race with radio. It’s not even a race with Satellite radio. It’s just different.
    Podcasting is just a delivery method. It’s UPS, not ABC. The content creator is ABC. And that means right now we have a million channels to choose from. But just because podcasts exist, doesn’t mean radio is going away. It doesn’t mean tv is going away. And anybody can be a content creator. The only thing podcasting does is give them an outlet.
    Instead of showing their video at a college theatre house or paying for an hour on the radio. They can just throw it out there, and anyone that wants can pick it up. And instead of tuning in to your radio show, they just download.
    Podcasting is revolutionary because of opportunity, that we’ve barely touched the faintest edge of. When will podcasters really start moving away from just being a downloadable radio show?
    Until things to really start to change, I may as well be mailing CDs to listeners. It’s just the delivery that’s different.
    So, stop looking up to radio, stop looking down on radio. Radio is just radio, tv is just tv. It’s the content that matters.

  7. DHP Avatar

    We use so-called ‘traditional media’ to legitimize what we do because that’s the point of reference / context for the general public. Additionally, we as podcasters have notions of traditional media legitimizing what we do. This, of course, will change as ‘new media’ is adopted over the next 20 years or so. But, for the time being, we attempt to validate what we do in a context that makes sense to ourselves (I grew up with radio and tapes) and to other people.

    Slaves? Only if we allow it. I’m on a ‘Major’ (PS) because of what they can (or SAY they can – I’ll give it another 12- 18 months) do for me. I would NEVER give them all rights to my property, nor give them my primary RSS feed. I’ve also worked in radio as a Jock and salesperson, I’ve worked for two major record labels, and written for magazines. Does this make me a slave? ONLY if I allow it to happen.

    Thusly, podcasters must use the tools – and rhetoric – available to them. If they want to be ‘free’ they must make that choice.

  8. Peter O'Connell Avatar


    The broadcasting model is not broken…by its very name and its daily business it delivers what it has always promised. Further in times of local, regional or national emergency or tragedy, the broadcasting model is brilliant.

    But it is no longer as relevant in our modern communication model. Cable was broadcasting’s first yellow flag. The internet, TiVo, DVR are the nails in broadcasting’s coffin that likely won’t ever be completely sealed but will be wont for air.

    People are about narrow casting…we are, more than ever before, a me, me, me society. “Let me tell you MY opinion, let me give you my take, what do you think of what I said.” Podcasting and blogging fit this current society well. And we will take all this narrow casting even narrower still because our world never knows how or when to hit the brakes on anything.

    We have now and will continue to get less interpersonal, we will forego more face to face communication wherever we can (save for the meet ups among various social networking groups that still give me hope that we can still be a society of true transmitters AND receivers).

    Time and communication channels must and should evolve…it’s a good thing, but we must aggressively manage these channels not passively consume them. We are a lazy society and we like to do only those things that feel good. Management feels a lot like work…so we’ll see if we are all up to the challenge. I pray we don’t stop “listening”.

    Thanks for listening to MY opinion 😉

    – Peter

  9. Andrew Avatar

    Hey repliers! Chris Anderson called. He wants your summarized versions of his book back.

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