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Leo LaPorte: Podcast with Passion

Portable Media Expo's second keynote speaker focuses on podcasting with passion By John Virata

At the inaugural 2005 Portable Media Expo in Ontario, California, technology guru and podcaster Leo LaPorte's keynote address to a full house of podcasters and portable media junkies, focused on 'Podcasting Your Passion'. LaPorte, who is very comfortable in front a the crowd began his keynote focusing on his days as a radio jock playing packaged tunes at a time when nobody was listening. He got a laugh from the crowd when he mentioned a lapse during his days in the radio booth where he had fallen asleep and the tape player left the airwaves blank. And nobody called to mention it.

LaPorte, who hosts the This Week in Tech podcast, focused on how to create a podcast that will keep people interested, and therefore successful. He compared the early days of radio to that of podcasting of today and blasted the current hierarchy of radio, with two big companies owning the majority of stations around the country. He lamented the lack of originality in radio today, with radio stations playing the same exact music with the same type of DJ and even the same call letters in the big radio markets.

Several hundred people came to hear LaPorte speak

With that said, he intimated that the notion of podcasting and the Internet is turning that whole notion of corporate radio dominance on its head, with podcasting leading the way. The new media listener, he said doesn't want to be force fed content by these conglomerates, rather, "they want to listen to what they want, whenever they want, and wherever they want, with no restrictions, they don't want DRM." LaPorte then cited the popularity of the TiVo and the capability to time shift content to your schedule, rather than the schedule of the TV or radio stations.

LaPorte then broke out statistics gathered by Podtrac that broke down the general makeup of his listeners regarding his podcast: At 36 percent, the 25-34 age group was the largest, 35-44 followed at 26 percent. Nearly 70 (68%) percent subscribed to the RSS feed, while 96 percent have listened to six or more of his podcasts.  Podtrac also determined that overall satisfaction with LaPorte's podcasts was fairly high at 8.95 on a scale of 10, 97 percent were male, 56 percent single, and overwhelmingly 79 percent were located in the United States, with the rest spread out over 44 countries. LaPorte then asked how he could penetrate the Mongolian market with his podcast. His final advice? Podcast with passion and it will become successful.

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
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