Google’s Goal is to Double Worldwide Podcast Listening (Where Were They in 2004?)

In the early days of podcasting, listeners (or “podders” as they were called then) would gather ’round the Google machine to listen to static. (Note: There’s no such thing as static.)

Here’s an interesting step along the journey of podcasting. (The 12 regular readers will recall I used to devote lots of words to this topic.) Quote from Variety.com:

Google says it’s making it much easier to find — and listen to — podcasts. The internet giant is now surfacing podcast episodes in search results based on an analysis of the topics in a given show, and will let users play back the podcast right from the results page….Now, when you search for a podcast about a topic on Google (such as “instant pot recipe podcasts”) (Google will) show you playable episodes in search results alongside web pages, news, images and videos.

While I’m not yet seeing podcast episodes integrated into any search results page (even “instant pot recipe podcasts”), I do see this if I click a second time.

 

 

 

Zack Reneau-Wedeen, founder and head of product, Google Podcasts, told Variety that Google’s “goal is to double worldwide podcast listening, to not just make it easy to listen to podcasts on Android but make podcasts a first-class citizen on Google. (…) There’s stuff people want but can’t find it — and that aligns perfectly with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information.”

This makes me recall September 28, 2004 when Doc Searls posted on his blog that the word “podcasts” generated 24 results on Google.

It also makes me recall how Google decided to kill their newsreader in 2013.

Why? I can’t recall. Maybe one day I’ll re-read this blog and see if I can find out.

Here are a few more factoids from the Variety article:

  • The Apple Podcasts app accounted for about 63% of all podcast listening as of February 2019, according to App Annie data. The Google Podcasts app for Android, launched in June 2018, accounted for 0.9%.
  • Apple is enhancing its podcast-search features by transcribing the words and phrases used in episodes — although those will initially be available only to Mac users.
  • Google said it will allow publishers to specify a preferred playback destination, such as a third-party website or app. That will provide for discovery of podcasts that may be exclusively available via purchase or subscription on third-party podcast providers.

 

 

Two Audio Stories That Should be Required Listening

A story told without video or a slide deck can be as powerful as a story supported by video. But it takes a rare talent to pull it off.

While riding my bike home last night and driving into work this morning, I listened (on a safe little speaker) to two podcasts (episodes?) that

(1) Reminded me what a powerful thinker and speaker Barbara Jordan was before her death

(2) Introduced me to Will Hurd, the only black GOP member of Congress who used to be a CIA agent and whose district runs hundreds of miles along the southwestern border.

(3) Show that a stories told without video or a slide deck can be as powerful as stories supported by video. But it takes a rare talent to pull it off.

Disclaimer: I think what Hurd says in this Daily interview makes great sense. However, I have no idea where he stands on other issues or, frankly, anything. On the issue of “the wall,” he’s a voice of reason.

Here are links to the two posts.

Where Have You Gone, Barbara Jordan? Our Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You  (This American Life)

A Republican Congressman from Texas Who Opposes the Wall (The Daily)

Photo: GettyImages

Happy “5th” Anniversary, Podcasting (well, not actually)

election2008.jpg

First off: Today is not actually the fifth anniversary of podcasting. Dave Winer had demo’d file enclosures distributed via RSS over three years earlier. In other words, RSS-enabled audio and video distribution was almost four years old, five years ago today.

However, today is the 5th anniversary of Doc Searls writing a seminal post in which he explained what podcasting was to those folks like me who look to Doc to help us understand stuff we don’t quite get. (Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of me repeating what I learned from Doc.)

Despite being almost four years after Dave Winer demonstrated how podcasting could work, how early was September 28, 2004 in the era of podcasting? Well, here’s a pretty good indication from what Doc wrote five years ago today:

“But now most of my radio listening is to what Adam Curry and others are starting to call podcasts. That last link currently brings up 24 results on Google. A year from now, it will pull up hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions.

For the record, the Google link to the word “podcasts” now has 61+ million results.

However, rather than look back over the past five years, I’m celebrating this anniversary by linking to a post that Doc wrote over the weekend. It’s something that you may not think about for another four years. And it might take nine years for what he’s writing about to really sink in. But by then, you’ll be able to do a Google search and get 65-million results on a word that may not even be used today to describe what this quote is about.

At this point in history, Twitter soaks up nearly all the oxygen the microblogging room. Thus there is no widely adopted open infrastructure for microblogging. (Identi.ca and the OpenMicroBlogger folks have worked hard on that, but adoption so far is relatively small.) But, given time, something will take. I’d place a bet Dave’s RSS Cloud. It’s live, or real-time. It’s open infrastructure. And, as Dave put it here, it has no fail whale.

Read the whole thing. And then ponder over the coincidence of the time-frame on which it was posted. I doubt even Doc had any idea of the anniversary.

If I think back hard enough, I can start making connections between RSS Cloud and podcasting and Twitter and Dave and Doc. But this is about the future.

When it comes to microblogging — or short-message relay services — or real-time syndication — or whatever it’s one-day called, the future will be here before you know it.