Niall Kennedy, the “N” in the ONPodSessions says podcasts are like drive time radio, except user programmed. Download your favorite podcasts to your iPod on a broadband connection; connect it to your car stereo and in his words, you are good to go! An hour-and-a-half hour long commute from San Francisco to San Jose is enough to catch up on your favorite stuff. Of course others listen to podcasts at work. But do people listen to podcasts on their mobile phones?
Not sure, but Melodeo and Alltel, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based wireless carrier think that people will not only listen to podcasts on their mobile phones, but will also pay a monthly subscription fee of $3.99 a month to do so. The two companies just announced a service called, Axcess Mobilecast, a for-pay service that allows subscribers to search and listen to podcasts on their mobile phones.
How many subscribers actually sign-up for this service remains to be seen. If it is successful then there will be another glowing release. If not, well, that should be back to square one for Melodeo which started out as a peer-to-peer wireless music software/ service provider, but then last summer changed tactics to focus on the then hot and trendy business – aka podcasts. Interestingly, a quick visit to their site and you discover that the tagline is “Melodeo Podcast and Mobilcast Listening Social Networking Community” …. very buzzword compliant!
Podcasts’ popularity (or lack there off) is based on the availability of great content for free. Alltel, is one of the larger wireless carriers with about 11 million members serves mostly rural areas and serves a widespread territory. If people commute to work in their cars, it would be a tad difficult (not to mention unsafe) to listen to podcasts on their mobile phones. Of course, they could do so at home, or at work, but then they could do that on their computers for free. But then you never know… people answer emails in the bathroom stalls at the airports.