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You Can’t Handle The Truth About Podcasting

First, please watch this embedded clip from YouTube to put you in the proper mindset.

You can't handle the truth!

Son, we work on an Internet that has limits. And these limits can't be changed with men with vc funding – no matter how much you've got.

Who's gonna stream to millions at once? You? You, Hulu?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You praise streaming and you curse the Podcast. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not admitting what I know: that streaming, while sexy, simply can't scale.

And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, is the future of media online…

You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want portable time-shifted media. You need portable time-shifted media – without the restrictions that simply won't scale.

We use words like streaming, drm, walls … we curse these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under tens of millions of dollars in funding without ever facing the truth, and then questions the manner in which I provide it!

I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you tell me how your plan on streaming to millions of users at the same time. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think our future is!

As much as I just enjoyed watching 30 Rock on Hulu a few minutes ago, …

Streaming won't scale.

DRM won't scale.

Devices that dial home with my watching habits won't scale.

Oprah tried, and fell flat on her face, and then released everything she had via Podcast.

Did her impact change? Did she make any less money? Did they sell less copies of that “New Earth” book?

Do we have something to learn from Oprah?

Yes, we can track everything – but at some point it all falls apart. I point to the USSR and East Germany as recent examples.

Yes, we can stream video right now but it is simply nothing compared to a few million people watching American Idol on a Wednesday night. If you want the numbers television provides on our glorious Interweb then, dear friends, you're going to have to find something that scales – something that “works.”

Podcasting can scale.

Without the need to call back home, without the need to worry about where every 1 and 0 is located, without the need to own it all, this can work. Podcasting can scale.

Streaming can't.

DRM can't.

You can't handle the truth about Podcasting.


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Paul, Whatever Happened To That Whole Podium Project Thing You Were So Crazy About A Few Months Back?

Great question.

Still crazy about it (and (stop – disclosure time) still on their board of advisers (and still in a booth next to them at Podcast And New Media Expo)).

Anyway, now that we've made the lawyers happy (and who doesn't want happy lawyers?), we just released the boxes for use by our initial beta team (North American at least). International boxes will be shipping soon.

As always, you can keep up to date with some of the stuff (we do have some secrets with our beta testers – but that is password protected) over at the Podium Project Blog. We've got a simple video that shows the simple setup process over there as well – but I might as well embed it here too. Not bad for a one handed shoot.

Would love your thoughts, even if you aren't in the beta program (yet, at least).

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Be The First In The Podium Project Beta Test (For Free)

We are about to launch the first 50 Podium Boxes in our Podium Project beta test. It will be a chance to test the “end user” experience of delivering high value content this way.

I know the tech works, it is now time to figure out how the end user responds to content being delivered via a little black box – as well as explore the hiccups along the way. It will be a fascinating ride – and I promise to keep everyone up to date along the way.

Two ways to get on the beta program – one of them won't cost you a dime:

49 beta testers will pay a deposit fee to get a box and a pmp and test the service for about 45 days. If they like what they have, they can keep the box and get some additional content and service. We will be delivering more than $1,000 worth of content during that time frame – so it will be well worth the price 😉 For more information send a blank email to

1 beta tester will get their box for free by posting a blog post entitled “Why I Want In The Black Box Beta” and providing a link back to this post. They'll even get their box before the 49 listed above do. This is a fun way to build a little buzz and hand out a wildcard beta test as well. Should be fun. Might even give away 2.

Let the games begin.

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