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Podcasting: One Small Step for Technology, One Giant Leap for Personalized Audio

Podcasting Live from Paris and Australia!
Even Hollywood is partaking in podcasting. Paris Hilton will be podcasting to promote her upcoming movie, House of Wax, though until video podcasting becomes more popular she may not have the opportunity to be as scandalous as usual. Executives hope that the large number of 18-34 year olds with MP3 players will enable them to directly reach their target market. The podcast launches April 29th and enables listeners to "Join Paris and friends as she shops, parties, poses and publicizes in the days leading up to the May 6 opening of House of Wax" according to the site.

In a more family-friendly podcasting push, Warner Bros. (which is also behind House of Wax) will be podcasting from the set of Superman Returns in Australia. Fans of the Superman empire are already reviewing images of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, speculating on the validity of possible spoilers coming from local Australian media outlets, and discussing how the movie may or may not overlap with the WB's Smallville, so the podcast could be an outstanding hit.

Podcasting is often described as TiVo for radio, but Royal Farros, CEO of MessageCast also likens it to Napster in the sense that, "it's a customer revolution." With Napster, the problem was that consumers needed a better way to receive music; "with podcasting it's, 'I want a better way to receive information,’" he says. MessageCast's LiveMessage alerting service has become popular with podcasters who sign up for the free service that then allows them to create a message to send to listeners when a new podcast is available.

As with blogs, it is likely that the number of podcasts will rise exponentially, with quantity outweighing quality, until the initial novelty wears off and listeners become more discriminating. And it certainly remains to be seen whether there is significant money to be made in podcasting, but the interest, the technology, and the expertise behind podcasting ensures that--profitable or not--podcasting will make its mark on portable audio.

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