Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 20, 2005
We’ve all heard podcasts by amateurs. The voice crackles. There are awkward pauses, ums and ahs. It’s long been known that these broadcasts, which can be listened to on a PC or an iPod, are produced by amateurs.
Or are they? BBC now offers its own podcasts. CBS.com is actively looking for someone to interview CBS stars for a podcast. Many other, unaffiliated podcasts promise to become professional quality, too.
One of my favorite geek news sites, TheInquirer.net, has hired a company called Podcast Voices to do its broadcasts. Basically, Podcast Voices’ professional readers will read the podcast and make it sound no less professional than BBC’s podcast. Independent, amateur podcasters are starting to contract for such services, too.
Indeed, Podcast Voices is not the only start-up trying to build a sound business on improving the quality of amateur broadcasts. A slew of start-ups and individuals, some of them listed on voice-over online marketplace Voice123.com, are offering voice, podcast editing and other services.
Clearly, they are responding to popular demand.
What I am wondering about is, Why are amateur podcasters willing to pay someone to read their podcasts? According to this article, a professional will charge $183 an hour to read your podcast.
I suspect that podcasting has a vanity factor similar to that of vanity publishing. Tons of people dream of writing a book, and they are willing to pay to have it published. The same might hold true with podcasts: Lots of people who've always dreamed of being on the radio have finally gotten their chance to produce radio programs that sound good.
If this argument holds water, podcast services could turn into a big business.