So I was in a cab yesterday when I saw a rooftop advertisement for the podcast of a show that would be something my wife (a non geek) would watch.
It wasn't until a few minutes later that I went WTF??
When did podcasts become mainstream? When was the tipping point that meant specialised Internet audio content which required you to set up a XML feed onto an mp3 player become something that anyone other than a geek would attempt.
And when was it that mainstream media woke up to this and started advertising this form of interaction/"call to action" to the general public.
If they are now targeting my wife...how long before they are targeting my mother which is the true benchmark for middle bell curve adoption (right Mike?)
I think the problem with technology is that we live breath and exist in it until all of a sudden it's just here and we forget how freaking cool it actually is.
Seriously the web has been mainstream for less than 10 years - lol don't believe me go check out what the SMH.com.au site looked like in 1997 here http://web.archive.org/web/19970111111044/http://www.smh.com.au/
When you compare that with how it looks today you begin to realise how ubiquitous a well designed useful website looks to us....yet it's only a relatively new functionality.
Lend me your eyes for a few more paragraphs about what this may mean and why I think through simple extrapolation it demonstrates the collapse of the TV/Cable networks is imminent.....bah not possible - (right?)
Well consider this, if the general public are now being targeted for general non-geek podcasting how much more of an extrapolation can it be that people are "podcasting" television shows direct to a hard drive equipped set-top box fed directly over raw IP Internet.
All you need is some type of xml editorial guide, recommendation or just a very good EPG that allows you to view text/meta data and these "raw videos" or probably more likely a feed that is loosely 'collectively' a channel that has similar shows one after the other sequentially or grouped together under a common brand (or even common sponsor/advertising group).
Your personal video 'butler' will 'spider' appropriate content in a way far better than you could searching aimlessly for yourself.
Check out this aussie startup http://scouta.com/ it's not what I have in mind but it will give you an idea of where the genesis of future EPG's will come from.
Apart from that it's content on demand al la Tivo style pre-cached and downloaded for you before you even new it existed let alone decided to 'record' it.
No wonder Rupert Murdoch arranged to sell a number of his USA affiliates last month...do you think someone at News Corp has shown him an AppleTV box (or god forbid an Akimbo).
As for how to make money from this now.... :) I've got a few ideas if you've got the VC funding.
P.S. So of course I jumped onto the phone while I was editing this to ask my mother in Australia .... Do you know what a podcast is? Only to be told - "of course I do, I download them to my mp3 player and listen to the http://www.abc.net.au/ Radio Australia interviews for when I'm out doing my morning walks".
Lol - good on you mum, you just proved my point.