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What the iPhone Means for Podcasting As a Medium

As the clock ticks toward 6 PM people around the country are lining up at their local Apple and AT&T stores to pick up the hotly anticipated iPhone.  It’s a pretty amazing phenomenon that people in this day and age would line-up for a product that they haven’t even seen in person, or touched.  That aside, personally, I think that there are two story lines to this launch that are important for today’s media landscape: the changed social experience and the increased opportunities for Podcasting.

First, of course the American social experience has changed; while it is mind boggling how throngs of people are lining up across the country, perhaps what is more interesting is how these experiences are being shared through both the blogsphere (various reports via The Un-official Apple Weblog) and social networking tools like Twitter (Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion shares his experiences waiting in line via Twitter).  This is quite the interesting shift in how we share experiences.  No longer is there a need to wait until tomorrow to read the paper about an event – instead today regardless of where we are with traditional barriers gone we are each a roving reporter to the world.  Now, we can virtually experience and share almost any event; either via text updates in the blogosphere, pictures via sites like Flickr, or share videos on YouTube

With that in mind, perhaps more importantly with today’s launch of the iPhone, I think we are about to see the next seismic shift in our communications paradigm, which will help the evolving Podcasting platform.  Tivo helped transition us from the VCR, tools like RSS have allowed us to create dynamic web pages that update news customized to our interests, and the original iPod enabled us to carry with us our audio and video entertainment. Naturally, we’ve had cell phones and portable media players for the better part of the last decade, and some other recent “smartphones” have previously offered similar capabilities, but it will be the level of ease that will lead to the iPhone to dramatically change the playing field unlike any of its competitors.  However, with the launch of the iPhone we will enter into the next evolution of our modern media landscape where we will easily be able to capture and share content, have access to traditional audio and video media, as well as provide a direct distribution vehicle that will put audio and video Podcasts squarely in the palms of our hands.

From a marketing and communications perspective, similar to my recent post on The Significance of the iPod this is a momentous paradigm shift.  It will not only continue to change how Americans consume their media,  like its cousin the iPod, but it will also create opportunities for unique niche content that speaks directly to specific audiences, and ultimately force communications professionals to rethink how they share their stories.

More on the Web:
MSN – Apple iPhone A Game Changer For Wireless Industry
Adotas – The iPhone & Advertising

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