August 10, 2005

Podcasting Bubble!

Via TechDirt:

The latest is Adam Curry's Podshow, taking nearly $9 million from Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia (more details). No matter how you feel about podcasts -- from horribly overhyped to the next great communications medium -- it's hard to see how any company in the space needs that much cash today. John Doerr has said he's interested in podcasting in the past -- so it's not entirely surprising that he'd be involved in such an investment. However, it's difficult to figure out what a company like Podshow could possibly do productively with $9 million at this stage of its development.

NOW I understand why Dave W-ner was so [redacted] over the falling-out with Adam Curry over the podcasting business.

And $9 million will buy a lot of hype.

Think for a moment. VC's want a big payout for their invested money, they don't do it for emergent punditocracy and self-expression. Which means somewhere some sucker downstream investor has to be found who is going to pay even more at the exit.

Get set to hear how you should be PODCASTING, it's so great, because it's the highest form of expression of your voice, and now you have a voice (buy buy buy ...)

And remember the VC's behind the curtain. Only a heretical killjoy would imply they might not have you, yes you, for best interests in mind.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on August 10, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Hey Seth,

Read you every day!

So what are you saying? That this is more like a "Nike commercial" kind of investment? That they're paying him to be the Michael Jordan of Podcasting and hype it as opposed to an actually doing anything forward with the technology?

$9 million is a lot of money. Why would they need so much? I'm flabbergasted.

Posted by: liza sabater at August 11, 2005 10:52 AM


Why did net billions of dollars (!!!) from Yahoo? Upon reflection, that site wasn't doing anything that revolutionary, more like repackaging existing streaming content and putting their frameset around it.

But good money if you can get it, I sure wouldn't turn it down.

PS: If you do something "forward" with podcasting, you end up with the traditional electronic media. Whee!


Posted by: Ethan at August 11, 2005 11:23 AM

A reader! Two readers!

Liz - I'm saying they want to get the investment payoff somehow, thus they need a greater fool, err, buyer, somewhere. So they'll have to puff up the topic overall, in order to generate the requisite frenzied hype, err, investor interest (i.e. create an impression that the company is valuable).

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at August 11, 2005 12:52 PM

Three readers, although you already know about me I'm sure.

It occurs to me that this sum doesn't seem quite as large when one takes into account the larger amounts of bandwidth incurred by mass-distributing audio files. Bloggers can ramble on till the cows come home and go back and have it amount to no more than a few kilobytes here and there. That's one of the things that's always bugged me about podcasting - all that wasted bandwidth. We're already seeing some problems with simple RSS delivery, I'd hate to see what Podcasting catching on would do to bandwidth costs.

Luckily we'll have Mr. Curry picking up the tab.

I'm almost hopeful that rather than Michael Jordan, he becomes the MC Hammer of podcasting, so that we can all get back to Podcasting about how we love to Podcast and how Podcasting has changed the world.

Posted by: Dave at August 11, 2005 02:40 PM