Monday, April 11, 2005

The Podshow must go on

Back in March, I suggested that Virgin Radio's pioneering, if flawed, Podcasts could be a major step forward for the nascent medium.

It looks like investing in that crystal ball was worthwhile with news that is launching offering the listeners the chance to pay (49p upwards) to download a custom show.

While the quality varies, with some dubious careers resurrections (literally in Kenny Everett's case), this is an interesting new model for radio, especially as, unlike Virgin Radio's Podcasts, you will be able to listen to most of the music.

However, the model does raise several questions:

- Can the public be persuaded to pay for a medium that has always been free (bar listening to a few ads)?

- Do the likes of Tony Blackburn and Terry 'The Word' Christian have enough of a cult following among Podcast users to pay for the service?

- Is there a big enough audience out there given recent debate over the actual number of people downloading Podcasts? Perhaps not yet.

- How long before they start appearing on the P2P networks? (That's a whole other question...)

As an advocate of Me, Me, Me media, I welcome such developments and expect this to be one of many models in the search for turning Podcasting potential into profit.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Arise Sir Webcam

Long the preserve of lonely souls and indiscreet soap stars, the humble webcam now comes with royal approval. This follows news that royal enthusiasts will be able to follow this week's second, or third, most important event live on the web.

Before you get too carried away at the thought of a CamillaCam or a Subservient Charles, the 'powerful' cams in question will be placed on the roof of the hotel across the street from the civil ceremony offering, I quote, 'the best seats in the house'. Let's just hope they're pointing in the right direction, after PigeonCam has finished with them.

As ever E-bay is getting in on the act with characteristic good taste by offering a Windsor shopfront up for hire, no doubt to sell all of that wonderful memorabilia.

There's nothing quite like a Royal wedding in the Internet age...

Friday, April 01, 2005

More April Fool you

A skirt around the main news websites reveals a worrying absense of the traditional April Fool's spoof stories. The BBC, Telegraph, Sun and Independent have either not yet bothered or have hidden them in the digital equivalent of column 5, page 17. This has made for an enjoyable guessing game of whether today's main stories are in fact made up by some enterprising hack...

However, the spoofs are slowly emerging, some admittedly better than others, as we have learnt today that:
- Furnitureless Steve Jobs of Apple is to join Ikea
- Towering Saints striker Peter Crouchinhio is in fact still growing and could top 7ft by the end of the year
- There will be a worrying new tax on blogging

And, to top it all, could Toon idol Alan Shearer finally be showing that he does have a sense of humour and is quitting after all (yawn)?