Podcasting *is* it’s creators and audience. It will enrich all who make it. So in this way podcasting may “Save Radio”. The spirit of radio will be saved not the paradigm.
The fiscal structure of commercial AM/FM radio has more to fear from satellite radio at this time than Podcasting. Recent movements of stars such as Howard Stern are a backlash against the FCCs recent conservatism. When that puritanical attitude of a conservative US presidential administration affects the business model of a successful media personality they get creative.
“The FCC … has stopped me from doing business,” Stern said during his radio announcement. “…Clear Channel, you (expletive), I will bury you.” quote source
It’s as if there is a renewed fear of the Seven Dirty Words you can’t say on American Broadcasts and the executives that lash out at those who would dare utter them. [Such as KCRW-FM for firing Sandra Sing Loh for saying FUCK] These actions will doom AM/FM radio not the Internet. Just look at the success of cable TV (god love ’em) and its “loose morals”. I mean bleeping a cuss word has the same effect as if you actually heard it. Big commercial Rap has been brilliantly creative about this. Just work with your restrictions and it’s like they weren’t even there.
Some people in the Podcasting community have big dollar signs in their eyes. The Internet that gave these hopes of fortune life was constructed by the idealistic academics and the US government not corporate America. It is true that many more people have Internet access thanks to commercial ISP services. I believe this doesn’t prove what the Internet could have become if AOL never happened. The spirit of collaboration and creativity that early Internet idealism embodied will prevail through out the Internet’s history. Certainly in spite of corporate abuse of Internet consumers. [Come on just give Adam Curry all the bandwidth he needs!]
I give thanks to all veteran and contemporary radio producers. They build and foster a world wide medium of unity that has done much for humanity. So the future paradigm of Internet radio delivered by digital packets can do the same times a googol!
Keep in mind that the Internet’s networks are inherently different than analog broadcast. Its ad hoc nature of routing communication and lack of a central point of control will ultimately defy all who try controlling it.** Factoring the massive randomness of humans is rough. Good luck harnessing the mighty force that is Internet Radio!
** For example: Wi-fi LAN networks created ad-hoc could be build by neighbors passing bits amongst themselves. Once the note sharing P2P network is big enough commercial ISPs will be bypassed.