News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

When is a Podcast not a Podcast?


When it is a vidcast. The number one and two podcasts listed in Apple iTunes’ “Today’s Top Podcasts” list are vidcasts, with three more in the top 20. There cannot possibly be as many iPods with video purchased yet as there are older video-free iPods; the new iPod came out a few weeks ago. Therefore, portability must not be the primary feature driving people to vidcasts. Despite claims to the contrary, people really are watching longer-form video on their computer monitors.

Simply put, we love video, regardless of where it comes from and where it is displayed. Do we love video more than we love music? Possibly. Podcasts went from nowhere to everywhere in less than one year. Vidcasts appear to be doing the same in half the time.

Personally, I cannot listen to a podcast if I know there is a video version available (Diggnation is a case in point.) If a favorite podcaster announces a vidcast versions of the show, I will jump immediately. Let me repeat here a prediction I made two months ago about the future of podcasting and vidcasting: Vidcasting will be huge, and it will dwarf podcasting. All the hype about podcasts that made many shake their head? It will all be realized with vidcasts.

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