I think I am a pretty typical example of a plugged-in, media-savvy Generation Xer. The ideal target of today's big advertisers. However, we Gen-Xers (and Gen-Yers, for that matter) aren't consuming mass media like our Baby Boomer parents. We are extremely elusive because we spend an inordinate amount of time consuming advertising-free content on our iPods.
I have largely replaced listening to radio with listening to my iPod. And, I am not really using it to listen to music—I am hooked on podcasts. I would estimate my music listening at less than 10% and my podcast listenting at more than 90%.
When I drive, I plug my iPod into my car stereo and listen to podcasts. When I mow the lawn, I listen to podcasts. When I fly for business, I listen to podcasts. When I am sitting in front of the TV, I am either watching recorded shows on my PVR or watching video podcasts on my Apple TV. You get the picture.
The only place that I listen to the radio anymore is at work. And at work, the radio is background noise at best, mostly tuned out as I concentrate on my computer screen. I am out of reach of typical advertising.
This shift has been a fascinating transformation, brought on largely because of the seemingly innocuous rise of the MP3 player and, specifically, the Apple iPod.
So if you want to reach me, reach me with a podcast. Well, not so fast—the iTunes podcast directory has thousands of choices. Most of the popular podcasts are technology based or are very niche appealing to a specific market segment. In my opinion, good podcasts are like good talk radio shows. You learn or are entertained by listening to people discuss things you are interested in.
Therein lies the rub—unfortunately, very few of your members or potential members are interested in learning about your products and services through this format. The very few credit union podcasts trying to appeal to consumers come off as repurposed radio ads or cheesy infomercials.
I am waiting patiently to see if a credit union can really figure out how to master this medium.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for the credit union industry and podcasts. Here are three industry level podcasts that are doing a great job. Click on the links below and take a listen. You don't even need an iPod.
By the way, in addition to my credit union cheerleading, I really like technology. So the podcasts that I listen to are mainly technology focused. Favourites include This Week in Tech, Buzz Out Loud, Diggnation, MacBreak Weekly, CBC Radio 3 Podcast, Command-N, Net@Nite, The ScobleShow, The Tech Guy and silly diversions like Doogtoons, Ask a Ninja and Tiki Bar TV. While I wrote this I listened to two episodes of Buzz Out Loud.
What's on your iPod?
P.S. If you are using this blog post as a drinking game, I used the word podcast 21 times. Please drive responsibly.