Last week it was announced that PodShow has secured 15 million in funding. So what I want to know is where are all the Australian investors?
Sure PodShow is a large podcasting network who report themselves to have over 1000 shows. They have been there since the start (as close to) and they have indicated that they plan to move into the U.K. That is big in anyone’s book. They will not talk about what sort of revenue they are generating from their 1000 shows, but I would think that it was not as much as you might think. At the moment there is not a lot of money in independent podcasting. Networks of podcasters certainly makes a difference and a few big names help. But input is disproportionate to output. Not to mention the opportunity cost of your time that it takes to put together a show. That is not counting the hours spent marketing, blogging and monitoring comments and staying in touch with listeners. Maintaining that level of commitment from your hosts on a network is difficult. But I digress.
With all this bloody cash being thrown around I don’t see any Australian investors or big companies seeing the potential of podcasting. I am not saying that they should invest 15 million but a couple of million would not be wasted. Podcasting and on-demand media is the future of entertainment, news, gaining and keeping the attention of listeners, viewers and watchers. I want to know where all the forward thinking and revolutionaries in the broadcasting and communication industry are.
There are some great Australian businesses out there that need your investment and we are yet to see a substantial commitment to new media and the future of broadcasting in the world within Australia. I don’t want to see Australia become a late adopter and be left behind and the inevitable laughing stock of the world. The support of Australian companies means that they stay here and a part of our culture. At present they regret that they are here because business and investors appear to be backward and slow to adopt. This is partly due to the backward Internet connectivity we have in Australia and the strangle-hold grip companies like Telstra have on the minds of the Australian public.
Having said that I admire the likes of Exploit Prevention Labs that have been quick to show confidence in the medium through practical support of podcasts based in Australia. These are baby steps and with companies like PodShow taking 15 million dollar steps and making it fairly clear they are wanting to be more than distributors of podcasts; we had better get going, fast. I fear that we are going to loose the future and have it dictated to us by one or two; but isn’t that how it always is?
Disclaimer: Exploit Prevention Labs are a sponsor of The Global Geek Podcast of which I am a co-host.
Update: A perfect example of the state of affairs from Cameron Reilly