Podcasts Killed the Radio Star
As many of our listeners already know, podcasting originated with an idea to add enclosures to an RSS feed. After much lobbying from former MTV personality Adam Curry, Dave Winer, creator of the RSS format, famously updated RSS version 0.92 in 2001 with the addition of an
<enclosure> tag, and while it took a few years to catch on with widespread adoption thanks largely to the Apple iPod, the rest, as they say, is history.
Ars Technica published a retrospective on podcasting in 2014, and it’s well worth a look now.
“He had to beat me over the head to get me to listen to the idea,” Winer told Ars in a recent interview. “The whole idea of video on the Internet didn’t interest me due to the latency problem. At the time I thought video and audio whatever, the pipes were small. The whole idea of waiting for the thing to download would not be worth the wait. I had written off the idea at first—it took me a few times to listen. If those barriers are there for me [as a software developer], you can only imagine how they were for everybody else.”-Ars Technica
Early into podcasting’s history, our own Doc Searls noted in September 2004, that the word “podcast” only returned 24 results on Google, and noted again in November of 2005, that the number of search results had grown to over a hundred million. That initial popularity explosion established podcasting as a format, but the response from some tech and media giants has been slower. A prime example of this (pun intended) is Amazon. Amazon dove head first into the video streaming wars years ago, but only added podcasts to Amazon music this year.
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