4 Reasons Podcasting Failed in China
Aug 5, 2008
Chinese podcaster Steven Lin writes a great guest post on Kaiser Kuo’s China Digital Watch explaining why podcasting has never taken off in China.
Lin is a senior editor at Sohu.com and one of the founders of the Chinese podcast Antiwave.
A few highlights (full posting here)
1. Blame Apple.
The iPod maker has done nothing for podcast in China.
2. Blame Sina.
The Chinese portal website has terribly distorted the idea.
Podcasters were called “Bo’ke” (播客, meaning someone who’s broadcasting itself) in the early days by the media. In 2006, the second year of podcast in China, even the largest Chinese television network CCTV used this Chinese name “Bo’ke” for podcasters in its news about Antiwave.
Days later, Sina launched a YouTube-clone service and named it Sina Bo’ke (新浪播客)in Chinese. And then, things went wrong. I still remember the day when lots of journalists called me and asked my opinions about the Chinese portal website’s “podcasting” service.
My only response was: “Please, it’s not a Podcasting or Bo’ke service which could be subscribed to and downloaded automatically to your iPod. It’s a YouTube-clone. The idea of Podcasting has been distorted by Sina. I don’t like Sina’s supremacy at all.”
3. Blame the podcasters.
Users don’t have enough attractive programs.
4. One more thing: the Chinese consumers.
I really envy the American Podcasters who live in a country where iPod is a dominant portable media player. Only with iPod and iTunes, consumers could enjoy the smooth experience of “subscribing”: after one click, every latest episode of NBC Nightly News and NPR Fresh Air could be there in your pocket every morning.