Is Podcasting the Next Newsletter?

For the last couple of years, podcasting has been steadily gaining in popularity. And the buzz is exceeding even that. As this medium emerges, what role can it play in business? We've already learned about synchronous and asynchronous communication media. As we also know that it's relatively easy to move around within one style. Podcasting is, of course, an asynchronous medium. Audio goes out with no level of direct interaction between communicators. As such, it could theoretically replace other forms of asynchronous communication. So, the question is whether it will replace an existing communication form or create its own. The biggest difference between a traditional (even email) newsletter and a podcast is the medium: reading or listening. Reading can be non-linear and even cursory. You can skim any written material and easily refer backwards and forwards within the text. Listening, however, is inherently discursive. You can't easily skim it. You can't easily refer to other parts of the recording. It must be listened to from start to finish (though you can pause it). On other hand, listening takes less attention than reading. It can easily be accomplished in a car or while doing something else (relatively simple). In this way, a podcast is more accessible. So, it's certainly possible to use a podcast like a newsletter. Be certain to consider all these factors.