the transition to digital journalism
Audio and Podcasts
Paralleling the increase in YouTube videos has been the spectacular grown of digital audio podcasts playable on devices like the iPod. Apple put the iPod on the market in 2001, and by 2010 more than 225 million iPods had been sold.
While music is the most popular media played on the iPod and similar devices, some news organizations also have had success with audio podcasts. National Public Radio reported the number of podcasts downloaded from its website reached 12 million per month in 2008.
To see what kinds of podcasts are most popular with listeners, check out the PodcastAlley website and its monthly Top 10 listings for podcasts.
Many newspapers also started producing audio podcasts, usually with far less success than radio news organizations like NPR.
Thus the Boston Globe discontinued its podcasts - “Big time commitment, little gain,” said Globe Editor Marty Baron.
The New York Times said it would be cutting back on its podcasts in 2012.
On the other hand, Slate reports big success with its podcasts, but in number of listeners and advertisers. Slate attributes the success to emphasizing opinion and personality in the podcasts and focusing them more on niche topics.
Audio podcasts also are important as a way to provide content for people on mobile devices.
But audio on a website can be more effective as a storytelling device when combined with photos in a photo slideshow.
Readings and Resources
- How the iPod Took the World by Storm - Mashable, 5/10/2010
- Podcasts: Who still listens to them? - BBC, 7/23/2011
- New York Times Drops Many Podcasts - JimRomenesko.com, 12/27/2011
- Slate doubles down on podcasts, courting niche audiences and happy advertisers - Nieman Journalism Lab, 6/4/2012