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Podcasts are the new blogs. You probably knew that already. They have special needs that most bloggers don't, however. If you want to convince podcasters to use your web hosting services, then, you should know what those needs are, and be prepared to cater to them. This article will help you start thinking about them.
If you have your fingers on the pulse of the latest technology – and if you’re a web host, you should at least be reading about it – then you couldn’t have avoided hearing about podcasting. The technology is less than four years old, but it has taken the Internet by storm. With a fairly inexpensive mix of hardware and software, podcasting enables anyone to create his or her own audio program. The program can then be uploaded to the Internet, and downloaded by fans to their computers and MP3 players. Indeed, the term “podcasting” came from the fact that most listeners liked to play shows back on their iPods, despite the fact that Apple itself had very little to do with the development of podcasting (any MP3 player can handle podcasts).
Podcasting may have started out as a niche phenomenon, but it has gone mainstream. In late 2004, Google reported only 24 hits on the word “podcasts;” as of November 30, 2005, it reports about 98,500,000 hits on that word. Podcast Alley features a selection of nearly 11,000 podcasts – and it is only one among many sites that carry podcasts. The Podcast Directory features thousands more, divided by topic. And, appropriately enough, iTunes now features podcasts in its own directory.
To give even more of an indication that podcasting has arrived, the very first conference focusing on podcasting was held not long ago in California; it was such a success that the organizers are already planning for the next one. It will be held next year, in the same conference center as the one that hosted this year’s conference. The organizers wisely decided to rent more space for next year, since the conference attracted more than twice as many attendees as they expected.
Why does this matter to web hosters? To put it simply, podcasters need web hosts for their shows. Their requirements are somewhat different from those of the “standard” person who sets up a hobby site, or even a small business or online retailer. However, as you can see from the information I mentioned above, podcasters are a growing force. In short, there is money to be made in this market – if you know how to treat your customers.
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