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28/11/2005

Guardian makes a new media land-grab: Ricky Gervais to start weekly podcast

Did I, or did I not, completely predict that another national newspaper would launch its own podcast shortly after the Telegraph? (I did, you can see the post here: Daily Telegraph starts podcasting)

But as you would expect The Guardian is going for an altogether different approach - fresh content, effectively a radio show of his own, starring Rick Gervais…

Watch what happens next carefully.

This is not just an old media player dipping its toe in the water or coming over all reactive - it's a strong online brand making a land grab move. (And I'm not just saying that because they carried an article that quoted me today...)

 

Picture this: a couple of weeks from now The Guardian will probably have a podcast riding high in the iTunes podcasts charts on both sides of the Atlantic. It's unlikely to be their last podcast, either. There's plenty of content from their own writers they could turn into quality audio content (Monty Don on gardening, Peter French on film, Nigel Slater on food).

Ricky Gervais has a good profile in North America too, which suits the global potential of the format. Mr Gervais is a double-stamp of approval for the new medium of podcasting too - he's a canny media player who refuses to dilute his popularity with faddish or overly commercial work (famously he eschews ad work, for which he could undoubtedly earn a mint, certainly in the UK).

Who will be next with a UK podcast? My prediction [I'm getting a bit addicted to this soothsaying game] is The Times, putting out a series of cooking podcasts from their highly paid columnist and ad star, Gordon Ramsay.

 

(Hat tip: to Will Brown for the nudge to post this...)