Podcasting and Explaining Crikey

Leslie Nassar: I spoke to him after the Perth Podcamp. He was instrumental in Radio National’s wonderfully successful podcasting effort. Their average user is 40 plus plus, supposedly well over the technology hill. Yet on a pro-rata basis they get THREE times as much email feedback from a podcast as they do from the same show when it’s broadcast. Why is that?

Leslie cites two reasons. Firstly, people are listening at their computer so the email client is within easy reach. Secondly, they have made a choice to subscribe so they have a higher level of commitment and a higher level of involvement. Hold that thought.

Also discussed during the day was the Crikey success story and I wanted to mention Stilgherrian‘s thoughts on this. He said it works because it’s made easy; all the articles are bundled up in a single email that arrives without you having to do anything. Late enough in the day to have commentary on the morning papers and perhaps a little morning news. Filling a niche vacated by afternoon papers.

You can’t explain the two successes in terms of technology alone or even content alone. Here is the similarity. They are both delivered/collected in a suitable context. We are so used to consuming media ourselves that we forget a media campaign – even a media program – must consider the context in which it is consumed.

  • The podcast, sought out by the listener, listened to at a computer or on a beloved iPod. When the listener is good and ready. Quite a different context to a radio broadcast.
  • The edgy political email that can be efficiently digested over a lunch break. Or silently consumed at a very private computer terminal.
  • As Marshall McLuhan so beautifully put it: people don’t read a morning newspaper, they slip into it like a warm bath.

    But then again, younger consumers don’t read morning newspapers and they have showers, not baths. What is the context for new media?



    1. The podcasted version IS Radio National, and the live one is the adjunct. It has been a fantastic success. I like it that you can skip content you don’t like such as on late night live. I almost look forward to having to catch the bus if I have an ipod full of by design, lnl, philosopher zone etc.
      Another one great for podcast is Roy and HG. It is hard to catch the whole 3 hours without a podcast. They do make a mistake though. They cut the music. The musicians would benefit by the extra exposure. They only have to overlap the annoucing/back announcing over the music to make it very hard to steal the tracks.

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