Digg ran an interesting long-read original piece recently that asked an intriguing question: Why doesn’t audio go viral on the web? Author Stan Alcorn offers lots of possible explanations. My favorite may be that porn doesn’t work in audio-only and so that’s why the medium hasn’t caught fire like online video has. The most reasonable might be this:
“The greatest reason is structural,” says Jesse Thorn, who hosts a public radio show called “Bullseye” and runs a podcast network called Maximum Fun. “Audio usage takes place while you’re doing something else.” You can listen while you drive or do the dishes, an insuperable competitive advantage over text or video, which transforms into a disadvantage when it comes to sharing the listening experience with anyone out of earshot. “When you’re driving a car, you’re not going to share anything,” says Thorn.
For me, audio online simply isn’t a thing on my radar at all. I know podcasts are out there, but I simply don’t listen to them. I don’t listen to radio at all. I’m not in a car on a regular basis, and my train time is strictly for reading (since it’s the only time I get to read for pleasure), so the places where audio gets listened to most, perhaps, are already spoken for.
And I wonder if that isn’t true for lots of people. Hence this week’s Question:
Do you listen to audio (apart from music) online? If not, why not? If so, what kind of audio, and how and where do you listen? As a corollary, why do you think audio doesn’t go viral?
image from vladstudio at deviantArt
(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)