Receiving and consuming podcasts is hard. Not for the digerati, but for average Joes everywhere. The distribution mechanism sucks. It's bad enough that it's tough to find a podcast one enjoys, but then there's this whole thing about subscribing to it, which should be a one-click process, but isn't for most. (In fact, when I recently subscribed to Across the Sound, what I really wanted to do was download the current episode and all the back episodes so I could have them handy. I couldn't figure it out easily, unless I wanted to download each file manually and drag and drop it.) In today's instant gratification society, people don't want to have to deal with that kind of complexity. I think it's probably one of the big factors contributing to low penetration of podcasts.
So why am I so bullish on podcasting?
I think the distribution model will change. I've written Spin columns in the past about how I expect digital audio players and satellite radio/satellite bandwidth to converge. Check out the latest Sirius portable. It's not quite the satellite iPod I envisioned, but it's close. It can already store, rewind, pause and save satellite content. How long before it can receive podcasts through satellite bandwidth?
So that's why I'm digging podcasting. The assets we've created today may be distributed in new and interesting ways tomorrow. When that happens, watch out.