Podcasting in Australia has had a mixed and interesting history. Australia can boast of having the world’s first podcasting network ThePodcastNetwork (TPN,) but the space in Australia has primarily been dominated by large media outlets, while TPN has faded away to a rump of a few podcasts.
The indie new media scene in podcasting in Australia is not without hope though, with a relative new comer (be it two years old, but fairly off the radar and more recently growing) the Lifestyle PodNetwork, which is building a thriving Australian based podcasting network where TPN left off.
I had the opportunity of meeting the founder James Williams and show host Justin Tabari in Melbourne Saturday night, and although several (well, more than several) pints of beer later I can’t give direct quotes, there were a couple of things that left me impressed.
The Lifestyle PodNetwork isn’t being run on a for profit basis yet. The network does cover its costs, but James explained that at this stage they are more interested in quality podcasts and delivering reliable tech vs the sales opportunities the network may offer (and ignoring the rest.) He didn’t rule out it becoming highly profitable in the future, but believed that they need to focus on quality first, then the rest will follow.
James also believes in giving back and supporting the networks podcasters, and hosts a show with former TPN podcaster Dave “The Rooster” Gray called Podcasters’ Emporium, which “covers all sorts of topics from technical tips, to marketing through to community building and promotion” for podcasters.
I naturally tend to be cynical of people who run a business without a focus on making money, but the passion was clearly there, and it’s clear that James believes that he has a medium term strategy that will deliver something that will last, vs crash and burn.
It’s exciting to see a network like this rise in Australia again. There are many bloggers doing well here, but few people doing a true broadscale network like this. If you’re Australian and are interested in doing a podcast on the Lifestyle PodNetwork (and they’re interested in starting new shows,) contact James here, or you can subscribe to a Lifestyle PodNetwork show on iTunes here (iTunes link.) Who knows, I might well turn up on the network in the new year as well
Also a big thanks to @cait for getting me out Saturday night.