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Is Podcasting "Mainstream"?

· Time to read: ~3 min

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**(By Troy Price) **Like Dan Rather said…

Back on August 9, 2001, President George W. Bush made a ground-breaking announcement about stem cell research. For 11 minutes he presented an executive order on how he limited federal funding to only pre-existing lines of stem cells. I watched the announcement and then Dan Rather came on the screen and said, “This is a complicated issue. You should read a newspaper in the morning to understand this more fully.”

While I appreciated his advice, his statement ruffled a few feathers. He had told people to search a different media source for more information! He felt he had to explain himself. He said he did not want to hype up the news for the three minutes they had before CBS switched over to Everybody Loves Ramond – already in progress. He said he trusted journalism and knew that by morning someone would be able to summarize the story in an understandable way. Dan Rather knew that having multiple people at multiple media sources focusing on a topic benefits everyone.

Over recent months, we have heard many, many reports that podcasting has moved into the mainstream. They may reference that a specific business purchase is proof of this. They may reference how podcasting being mentioned on this TV show or that radio network validates their thesis. I, too, believe that podcasting is mainstream, but suggest that this purchase or that reference is not the real measure of mainstreaming.

I think the recent explosion of media sources that are focusing on podcasting is the proof that podcasting is mainstream. Let me be clear, as long as there have been podcasts there have been podcasts about how to podcast. That’s not new. These new resources (Podcast Business Journal is one) are making their business about podcasting and they are not a podcast. They are focusing on podcasting and they are not trying to sell their own products and using their mediums to promote their unique thing. I am subscribed to at least three independent sources that aggregate podcasting news that send me an email every weekday. These sources were not around a year ago. This is the big shift we have been looking for – proof we are mainstream.

This says there is enough activity in the podcasting space to fill people’s email boxes every day.

This says that there are enough advertisers to spend money to support coverage of podcasting.

This says there are enough quality writers and journalists interested in the podcasting space to create enough content for people to receive daily.

This also says there is enough interest in podcasting to have enough readers to make podcast journalism solvent.

This makes me think that we have arrived, we are mainstream. And I am sure there are even better things to come. Because I believe, as Dan Rather does, that having multiple people focused on a topic benefits everyone.

_Troy Price is the co-founder of _Front Porch Studios_ in Berea, Kentucky. He’s been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Reach Troy by email at

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