(By John Dennis) One of the many elements of podcasting that I truly enjoy is the emerging technology that we all get to be on the front line for. Whether we are early adopters ourselves or simply reap the benefit of being in host/producer seats as it relates to beta testing, providing feedback, and leveraging the newest tools for our trade, it’s both an educational and an enjoyable journey.
In my travels and my podcasting endeavors, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a number of people who’ve been at it since the early days of our medium. Their stories usually include, “I can remember when,” as they describe the formative years.
Similarly, I often find myself thinking of the generation that is today’s youth and how they will have never known a time when there weren’t cell phones. Fortunately for us that keeps them as close to podcast listening as can be, short of us taking their phone and pressing Play on an app for them.
Himalaya is one such app, the company having demonstrated the synchronicity between emerging technology and podcasting with their player. The free app has had an eye-popping 400 million downloads, as it makes listening and subscribing to podcasts a more enjoyable and customizable experience than most all of the apps available.
I have kept my eye on the auto industry and the way that they too have readily acknowledged the arrival of podcasting, with top manufacturers equipping new models for on-demand audio. Having that same foresight, Himalaya is collaborating with more than ten automobile manufacturers including BMW, Mini Cooper, Ford, Cadillac, and Buick to deliver a revolutionizing in-car entertainment solution. (They also have a close partnership with Apple and JBL, among others.)
All that is great, but it’s the attention to both sides of the user experience that really gets my attention and respect. Developing an app is one thing – albeit impressive – but paying attention to what both the content creators’ and the listeners’ experience is, well, that’s above and beyond. Himalaya making it possible for podcast lovers to engage with and support creators is one of the reasons they have quickly become an entity that the podcasting world is standing up to take notice of — and will soon be a household name, with their continued focus to support the creators.
They have also demonstrated their commitment to true interactivity with the very creators who are putting content on platforms like theirs by signing on as the presenting sponsor for this year’s 5th Podfest Multimedia Expo in Orlando (March 7-9).
I’m not someone who writes industry forecasts but, in an industry where we have seen fly-by-nighters come and go – many of which only focused on writing code or attempted to make a quick buck – it’s clear that Himalaya has put down its flag and its roots will grow deep for years to come. I, for one, am thankful to be in a position to forge powerful relationships with companies like Himalaya, thousands of creators, and many other folks in the podcasting community, as podcasting continues its meteoric rise.
John Dennis is the co-owner of Podfest Multimedia Expo. He is also co-host of Podcasters’ Week, a yearly summer trip taken with podcaster volunteers to Guatemala to help children and their families living in extreme poverty through building stoves, laying concrete floors, and providing after-school crafts, games, and education.
He can be reached at [email protected]