00:56 AM

Podcasting Turns Pro - Adam Curry joins Sirius

By Richard MacManus for SiliconValleyWatcher

Popcorn.bmpSirius Satellite Radio Inc. is launching a podcasting show on May 13, hosted by smooth-talking ex-MTV VJ Adam Curry. The four-hour weekday show will feature a selection of amateur podcasts handpicked by Curry.

Sirius subscribers, who pay $12.95 a month for the service, can listen to the show on channel 148, "Talk Central." The announcement by Sirius was made a few days after rival Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting unit announced it will convert a struggling talk radio station in San Francisco to an all-podcast format.

Some commentators, like Om Malik, claim Curry's deal is more broadcasting than podcasting. And while the new Sirius show will feature advertising, it's unclear whether any of the amateur podcasters chosen to feature in the show will be paid. More than likely they won't, which may raise some copyright and licensing issues.

The podcasting phenomonem has gained in popularity over the past year, led by bloggers like Curry and Dave Winer. Curry is the author of iPodderX, the first so-called "podcatcher" (podcast-capable RSS reader), which enabled the mainstreaming of downloadable audio. As with RSS, the history of podcasting and who invented it is debated. However Lucas Gonze wrote recently that "Adam [Curry] really was in the thick of things" and that "he was a key member of the very small group in there hacking, audioblogging, and getting the whole situation off the ground."

So is podcasting a promising new business for velvet-voiced bloggers? Will podcasting kill the radio star? Or will podcasters simply be the farm team for "real" broadcasters? Is Adam Curry the Casey Kasem of podcasting? All these questions and more will be answered in the upcoming months. Stay tuned!