Okay so one topic I wanted to address was the issue of the corporatization (sp) of podcasting; Can podcasting maintain its “techno-democratic orientation” with the influx of corporate participation? This is derived from the FIbreculture article. Much discourse on podcasting emphasizes its open access/liberating nature–a break from government/corporation-dominated practices of broadcasting. However, many of the most popular and trend-making podcasts out there rely heavily on advertisements and reflect more of the satellite radio model (ex. If podcasting is defined by its open, corporate-free nature then where do these emerging trends of professionalized podcasting fit within that definition?

Considering the (unintentional) ties ‘podcasting’ has to Apple’s iPod, is it suffice to say that the corporate and democratic elements of podcasting can coexist without infringing one another? As one of the largest mainstream technology manfucaturers, Apple’s brand familiarity no doubt enabled podcasting to  reach a more mainstream audience but has it hindered the ability for podcasting to remain a source for open access production/consumption. I guess what I’m trying to say here is a bit of a response to the prior question in that podcasting seems to have maintained its democratic orientation in that its formed two spheres; a private and public. The private is the host of those corporate-affiliated podcasts and the public are all other podcasters.

“The straw figure of broadcasting that podcasting is “cast” against, what we might call the “we-have-the-equipment-you-don’t” model of broadcasting was the result of an extensive PR campaign and years of work by mainstream broadcasters. This is important because if we come to understand podcasting as a kind of broadcasting – and not as something opposed to broadcasting – we are afforded a very different political vision of the communication landscape.

Broadcasting has historically had a broader definition that corporate or state attempts to professionalise the term might suggest. But today, for most people, broadcasting signals mainstream media practice: it is a one-to-many operation, enshrined in a government-controlled or for-profit system, where access to the production side is relatively limited, but access to the audience side is relatively cheap and open.” -Baker et al, The Politics of Podcasting,

I like the approach of thinking about podcasting a type of broadcasting rather than its opposition. Indeed its democratic nature seems at odds with the capitalistic nature of broadcasting, however, if broadcasting is measured by its corporate/governmental affiliations, its oligarchical leadership style and its superior technology, podcasting is best understood as being on a spectrum of audio communication where it has the potential to reach the heights of broadcasting or, when assessing the common, individual podcaster, often occupies the opposite end of the spectrum.

Take “Serial” for example, increasingly its future operations are reliant on corporate sponsorship ( Like many other popular podcasts, as Serial’s audience and influence grows, so do its financial needs. As corporate affiliation grows, then standards and practices are the next natural evolution of podcasting…see how could easily be enveloped into the definition of broadcasting?


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