Yahoo will be shutting down Yahoo Podcasts on October 31st after two years. According to a Yahoo News story from Associated Press, the move is part of the company's cost cutting program to make the company more profitable. Other podcast listing services are also hurting as interest is shifting to online video according to a Tech Crunch article.
Most people, including myself , who jumped on the podcasting bandwagon are finding that keeping a sustained podcast going is a difficult task or they get bored and move on to other things such as video. Another thing is most commercially successful podcasts are done by those with broadcasting experience and better equipment which will attract and keep audiences. Finally, like all hot trends, the market gets saturated and cannot sustain 100 podcasts on a particular topic.
This does not mean podcasting is no longer useful in education. While sustaining a podcast on one topic can be tough, schools can always come up with fresh material as different students use their talents and personality in a podcast. Schools and teachers that use podcasts to showcase their school and its students will always fill a niche that no one else can fill. It still is a good exercise for students to open up or do something new to do for projects. It still opens the door for those outside of school to see what is going on. This audience can be from grandparents living miles away or local community members who want to know what their schools, for which they pay hard-earned tax dollars to support, are doing. Video production may be increasing but nothing beats podcasting for being a cheap, easy, and quick media for education.