20 years of podcasting: Where to from here?


It’s now 20 years since the first podcast was made.

American media personality Christopher Lydon is credited as being the world’s first podcaster, and to mark the milestone, radio futurologist and Podnews editor James Cridland spoke to Lydon about where things stand today.

In the interview with Podcast Business Journal, Lydon observes that podcasting is now bigger and more commercial.

“It’s not monopolised – you cannot monopolise the human voice. And it’s still growing.”

“Media is a very fluid world, but I think if the Martian landed and said ‘Take me to your real voices’ to get the pulse of this nation, I’d say ‘Try the podcasts.’”

As to where he thinks radio is headed, Lydon says that’s a very good – albeit dark – question:

“I think podcasting is a terrible burden on radio, public broadcasting and otherwise.”

He notes a station in one US state which has now dropped ‘radio’ from its title.

“It’s now Vermont Public. WGBH dropped the W as if to say we’re not a broadcast station anymore, we’re some sort of other service.”

“I think they’re selling the peculiar brilliance of radio short.”

“I think radio has stopped believing in the higher calling of radio itself, and I think it’s a damn shame.”

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