We podcasters have been saying this since the beginning, but it always sounds better coming from a writer at Wired Magazine. A good read for those of you who love podcasting, a better read for those of you who didn't think podcasting would ever take hold.
Satellite radio is a pretty good technology that's attracting a respectable audience primarily through excellent programming. But let's be clear -- satellite doesn't hold a candle to podcasting, and not even Howard Stern can change that.
Sirius signed Stern for $500 million, a deal that's helped make it the largest satellite radio company, with some 3.5 million subscribers. (If the brokers who drove me around Brooklyn apartment shopping last week are any indication, a high percentage of Stern fans bought satellite radio receivers in anticipation of his show's Jan. 9 debut.)
It's hard to argue with a half billion incentives. But -- aside from cash -- it's hard to see what satellite could do for Stern that podcasting couldn't do better. If his primary motivation for ditching traditional radio wasn't money but escape from the FCC's censors, as I believe it was, the internet would have been a better choice, hands down.
Podcasting's reach now dwarfs traditional terrestrial radio, which in turn towers over satellite. Next to podcasting, even Infinity, the national network that formerly carried Stern's show, looks like my old college radio station (before it added a podcast, that is)...