Mobile (Phone) Podcasting And MVPs

Like the good Podcaster I synced my Nano up with many more hours of Podcast Content than I could possibly consume on the way up to the MVP Summit. But, hey, maybe I’ll get entangled in some of that famous Seattle traffic. Actually looking forward to my 20+ hours on the plane between now and the return from the Corporate Podcasting Summit to do more of the same.

Never been much of a news via Podcast kinda guy because, well, I often listen to a Podcast sometimes a week or two after download. When I want to know what Paris Hilton is up to, I want to know now. That kinda thing.

Met up with Rob Greenlee from Mobilcast.com last night. I had been to their site a few times in the past but never paid much attention as my phone (Treo 700p) wasn’t on their list.

My problem with phone-based Podcast clients is the simple fact that every phone is so different that it’s really hard to plan a strategy from the whims of companies who believe customer service is all about making it easy for me to buy ringtones. The more “generic” options (I am using the Kinoma client on my 700p) just don’t seem to be worth the effort and the really cool stuff always seems to be on the network that I’m not on.

Mobilcast is a very impressive product (how could Rob not give me a demo?). The news issue I mentioned above is fixed because it brings you the latest episode (and checks hourly) when you ask for it. He showed me an NPR news update just 55 minutes old. Nice.

But the problem is this:

The phone is a crazy little platform. With our kazillion carriers over here (and almost as many handset makers) the chances of getting everyone on the same phone (and same feature set) is only likely in the corporate rollouts.

As discussed on Marketing Online Line #47, the price, lack of Exchange integration and Cingular-only nature of the iPhone is going to prevent mass corporate adoption of this thing. Sure, a percentage of my audience will be consuming on the iPhone, but a (probably larger) audience is also consuming on the Nano – and I’m not doing anything special for them.

Mobilcast is very impressive. Impressive enough to get me to jump to Cingular? No, not at this point. I can sync up casts with my Treo via EVDO and DUN and get what I need on my Nano.

So, what is the next step? Will phones ever be a platform for the Podcast?

Is the iPhone the answer?

I don’t think the iPhone is the answer – but I don’t have anything else I can offer at this point.

I’m curious about your thoughts on this one?

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