Leo Laporte suggestion to change Podcast to Netcast is ridiculous

TwitI have only meet Leo in passing a couple of times but did not get a chance to talk to him at Podcast Expo about his Netcast idea. He was a Keynote Speaker at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo where he put forth the conceptual idea of promoting the word Netcast versus Podcast. My conclusion was that it was way too late in the game to re-name the media. 100% of the listeners / podcasters I have run this by also agree it is too late.

Many know that a week or so earlier Leo decided that the 2 years of viral marketing around the word Podcast needed to be abandoned, partly because of Apple’s actions against Podcast Ready, and his concern that people are confused on the 2005 word of the year “Podcast”

His suggestion was Netcast and although the suggestion is not necessarily bad this move will add more confusion to the marketplace. I understand that Leo thinks the general public is completely confused about the term podcast. But I also think his suggestion only confuses the matter even more. To illustrate this point let’s look at the actual meanings of the two words.

My definition of Podcast is “Portable on Demand Broadcast” with the emphasis on Portable and Broadcast which covers both Video and Audio.

The word Netcast embodies Net aka Internet and Broadcast.

Maybe Leo has a large portion of his audience consuming his podcast on his website versus having them automatically delivered to a portable media player. My show has a huge tech following as does Leo’s and nearly 70% of the people are down loading the show thru a podcatcher like Juice, iTunes or myPodder.

The thing about the word Netcast that bothers me is that it takes away from the  representation of the media we are creating, and the ultimately the way that most people are consuming the media.

What makes Podcastig different is that we were the first to popularize the automatic down loading and synchronization to a media player this resulted in an explosion of people creating new media. The automation made it simple for the common man to experience what I call “The Power of Walk Away Content”

Sure we have a long way to go in educating the public. But let’s be honest, when I break podcasting down into a 45 second elevator pitch people can immediately say wow that’s pretty cool.

I am not here to dismiss Leo’s idea, but I think Leo should work with everyone to help drive public awareness of Podcasts and not the word Netcast. If we as Podcasters engage our audiences to start spreading the word about podcasting and give them a central resource to find info then I think we can really make a difference.

So my challenge is to Leo will you reverse course and help in the education of this new media.


4 thoughts on “Leo Laporte suggestion to change Podcast to Netcast is ridiculous

  1. I am going to have to side with Leo also. No matter which way you spin it, “Pod” will always be related back to Apple. Even if you say its Portable-On-Demand. People relate to what is main-stream and that is the ipod. You cannot “educate” the public when it comes to technology, the only people who will understand are the ones who WANT to understand and take the time to understand. The rest will just follow the mainstream drivel because they want it spoon fed to them. The first conception a person will have are that the files are made for ipods and can only be played on ipods. Pod=ipod period.

    I do not agree with Netcast as the new descriptive phrase though. I think that the term “Net” has a bit of geek cheese associated with it. I am going to go surf the net dude and listen to my netcast.

    Personally I like Porta-cast, Portcast, etc. If the “P” in Pod stands for Portable then lets actually use it in the name. It provides a much more descriptive name than even podcast does. Portcast = portable broadcast.

  2. So if Apple wants to try to claim to the term “podcast”, one alternative is to use a homophonic homonym, namely “PAudCast”. I think this abbreviation for “Portable Audio Webcast” is more obvious and meaningful than the backronym “Portable On-Demand …” for “POD” proposed elsewhere. (Maybe you should make sure Podcast Ready Inc. registers “PaudcastReady.com” for parking on top of “PodcastReady.com” before making this post public:-)

  3. When I first heard about his proposal, I made a similar comment. Netcast just doesn’t sound innovative for the current technology generation. It feels old and outdated. “Podcast,” on the other hand, is a fresh and creative idea, and since it’s still “new” to a majority of users, it is embraced more easily.

    (I also keep thinking Netscape when I think Netcast, and well, welcome to 5 years ago.)

  4. I couldnt agree more. I think what is at issue here is a legacy. Leo is trying to cut the podcast legacy free of the Applie Ipod. In its place he would craft a legacy of his own making and in his own vision.

    Podcasting is great, but I dont own an mp3 or portable player. I listen at work, and in the car during my 80 mile a day commute on my MP3 capable in dash CD player. Yes keeping podcasting tied to the Ipod may keep some in the dark but like you said more education can fix that.

    Its time the broadcasters of the world realize this is the wave of the future. Every day there are dozens of new podcasts that fill a niche market of their own. Productions costs are mostly low and more importantly, people get exactly what they want to hear!!!!! Something the RIAA and MPAA have lost sight of is the customer, they think they can set insane price points and EXPECT you to buy their garbage.

    I am sick of the clearchannels of the world dictating to me what I can hear on the radio, I refuse to pay for XM or its like when I can find people I have things in common with talking about subjects that interest me for free (as in beer). And I can listen when I want to, where I want to.

    In the end the Ipod may have the most importaint part of its name not in the term podcat, its “I”. We are the I generation and its about what I want when I want it and how I want it and at a price I can afford.

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