O-de-o, oh oh. Odeo To Simplify Podcasting

    May 26, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Available for public testing next month, Evan Williams and Noah Glass will debut Odeo, hoping to cash in on the podcasting phenomenon by making it easier, from creation to publication to making money from them.

O-de-o, oh oh. Odeo To Simplify Podcasting
Odeo To Simplify Podcasting

For the non-techie, podcasts are still primarily reserved for the digirati elite classes, those that know how to work the switches of linking, of software, of feeds, and MP3 mechanics. And then there’s getting people to listen to it. Content and distribution ain’t exactly kid stuff.

Odeo will be a website designed to simplify the process by providing a central “pod,” if you will, where podcasts can be found, subscribed to, or created in a user-friendly, geekless way. Williams is already known for his earlier jet-setting endeavors in the world of the web log. His blogger.com was key in the blog outbreak, eventually to be scooped up by Google.

For a cut of the action, Odeo will find advertisers for the podcasts and allow podcasters to charge a subscription fee.

While the real future of podcasting is unknown, it is taking off exponentially faster than blogging did in its beginnings.

“It took years for blogging to reach the level of awareness that podcasting already has,” says Williams, aware of the 25-fold increase in podcasts since November of 2004.

The obstacle right now for the future of podcasting is that there is no real standard, universally accepted format that will help it go mainstream.

Odeo will help a bit in that department, as it won’t require specific tools to use the site.

Williams is banking on the expansion, and foresees that podcasts will one day out perform web logs.

“Think about how many people in the world don’t sit at their computer all day, which is still the primary audience for blogs (I’m speculating there, but still…). And the fact that a ton of those people do spend hours in the car, or around the house, or in the garden, all places where they could consume audio, I think the potential listening audience is huge, indeed,” Williams said.

Downloadable in only MP3 and AAC formats at first, Williams hopes podcasting will become a simple platform for free speech.

“Our focus is on humanizing a very promising technology. Making it easier for those already doing it (listening or creating). And getting many more people involved by creating a great experience.”