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The Television Podcasting Takeover

The first one “I can remember seeing”: was on “”: back in June, offering access to additional content from the popular show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” It was the last thing I expected to find online, particularly on a TV network site. Since then, so many others have been cropping up that now when I learn of a new one I barely bat an eye.
What’s the latest medium to tickle offline media’s fancy? Podcasts.

The appeal of a podcast created by and for a TV network is pretty clear. Like blogs, they can offer an inside peek at shows and their cast members — something that many fans crave. Most TV network-generated podcasts (for lack of a better term) feature interviews and exclusive information one can’t get offline or at the show’s Web site. They’re the perfect way to promote a new series, maintain fan loyalty, and entice new viewers.
Networks are also benefiting from the countless podcasts “being produced by fans”: of their shows. What started as a consumer-generated medium may now be going mainstream, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s losing touch with its roots!
The other day a colleague of mine pointed out the fact that podcasts are really little more than glorified, rebranded and repurposed audio files. While I can’t argue with that, their value doesn’t solely lie in their current cache. Podcasts are acting not only as a bridge between consumers and television, but between television and the Web as well. The more the offline world realizes the value of interactive media and Web-based technology, the better it is for all of us.