Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

Narrowcasting (and why I love it)

January 2nd, 2006 Posted in Podcasts / Podcasting

Over the holidays I was lazily watching TV and surfing the web on my laptop, talk about being the ultimate couch potato. Anyway, I realized I hadn’t popped over to the iTunes podcast portal in a long time so I fired up iTunes and took a look-see. One of the first things I noticed was the push of video podcasts, which of course makes sense because Apple wants to encourage video iPod adoption.

Under the new and notable they had a whole section dedicated to Skateboarding, Skiing and Snowboarding vidcasts. Hmmm, now my interest is peaked. I am an avid snowboarder, as you can probably tell from my photo, and I can spend all day watching ski and snowboarding videos. I started checking out some of the casts and wound up downloading and watching episode two of Snowfix.

Snowfix is Negative Gravity’s show that is hosted by Charlie and Tim out Val d’Isere in the French Alps. It’s a well produced show that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. I was curious about their background and after looking at Negative Gravity’s website I saw that custom video is the focus behind NG.

Finding content like this brought back my initial excitement when I was first turned on to podcasts by my friend Jack Herrington. What made it so exciting then was that we were able to find new music and content that was totally inaccessible previously. I was able to listen to unsigned local acts out of the UK, music that would never had made it to San Francisco if it wasn’t for podcasting.

This idea of focused media has been labeled Narrowcasting because it is intended for a more limited audience. There is not a need to boil down content to the most common denominator because you need the largest listener base possible to please the advertisers or sponsors. Here is a medium were your intended audience may only be a handful of die hard fans (or paying subscribers like Satellite Radio).

It was very pleasant to stumble on to a Narrowcast subject that I am really interested in. I wasn’t expecting it and I feel the surprise of finding it was just as much fun as seeing the quality behind the show. Anyway, keep up the good work Chris and Tim and it looks like you guys are getting the snow dump that you were looking for…

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