In light of the success and bastardization of podcasting with the iTunes 4.9, it is time to put the brakes on a frightening trend… the “big business” attempt to take over podcasting.

When you look in the iTunes store under podcasting, you are instantly hit with a huge number of so-called podcasts created by mainstream media. Nightline, CNN, ESPN, and the thousands of KCRW feeds are just the tip of the iceberg that is corporate media’s foray into podcasting. These are not podcasts – they are simple a repackaging of existing content into pod format in an attempt to get ahead of this wave.

While iTunes 4.9 has meant millions of new listeners to podcasts, it has, at the same time, given the average listener a distorted view of what podcasting really is – a citizen driven medium. The “real” podcasts are being relegated to the “indie” section of iTunes when they are mentioned at all. The barrier to entry into the iTunes music store is high for smaller casts because of coding requirements and Apple’s excuse of a small staff editing the directory by hand.

So what can we do? What MUST we do? We must “Keep Pods Real!!” The first thing you can do is to unsubscribe to any podcast created by major media. Then, you need to let your audience know that if big business is allowed to tighten their grip around podcasting’s neck, we will be relegated to the edges of awareness just long enough for the creation of legislation prohibiting us from participating at all.

I will be creating a series of public service audio spots to distribute among the “real” podcasters. Expect them to be available by the end of the week. Include them in your casts, rant about it on your blogs, and together we can “Keep Pods Real!!”

Chris Doelle