BBC downbeat on video podcasts

Worth noting a couple of posts from the BBC’s Mark Barlex in the last few days on their Editors Blog. Mark is ‘on demand editor of BBC TV News’, and has announced that the various ‘vodcast’ trials of recent months are being stopped at the end of July ‘as planned’. He continues:

Those services will disappear while the BBC assesses the project. Some may come back later in the year while others may not. We need to be sure that products offer real value for the audience before we launch them back onto the market.

Maybe I’m too cynical, but the language used here seems to suggest that the podcasts haven’t been big successes. (I don’t recall any corresponding period of reflection for the audio podcast trial.) I’m not entirely surprised, to be honest. We have better ‘on demand TV’ channels for this sort of thing than download to PC or iPod. And I never downloaded any of them, not even once, not even out of curiosity.

One definite casualty is StoryFIX, the experimental five-minute blast of news stories from the preceding week. I never actually downloaded it myself, but caught it numerous times on News 24. Sometimes it was inspired, and genuinely entertaining / informative. (Probably not too educational, though.) More recently, it’s been a bit of a mess – a bit like splicing together all the noisiest moments from the week’s news bulletins. Or maybe I’m too old.

Actually, the age thing is really concerning me. I was genuinely shaken by my discovery that the same record had been No1 for 10 weeks, making it one of the most important singles in pop history – and I’d never even heard it. And when I did finally hear it, I thought it was shoddy rubbish.

2 thoughts on “BBC downbeat on video podcasts”

  1. It has to be said, Podcasts are pretty niche when it comes to audiences, so you can understand why anybody would want to review the amount of time and effort that goes into them.
    Especially as podcasts as essentially a form of radio broadcasting, and internet technology has already leap-frogged into TV broadcasting via general IPTV, video services, and similar.
    If we’re going to talk pop music, perhaps we should remind ourselves of one-hit wonder Buggles – “Video killed the radio star”. So with video media on the net for podcasting, IMO.

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