The big news in the podcasting world today is that Adam Curry and Ron Bloom have secured $8.85 million in venture investment for Podshow, and Odeo has received an unnanounced amount as well. But the most significant observation may be who it is that is making these investments. In particular, both John Doerr and Ray Lane will take seats on the Podshow board of directors.
As individuals, VCs can only sit on a limited number of boards. It’s a time-consuming activity, trying to nurse along a suite of startups. The fact that Doerr and Lane have not only decided to invest but to commit their time, means they believe there’s something very big here. What is that thing? I think they see that tiny Podshow has the potential to disrupt the entertainment industry in the same way as Amazon and eBay have disrupted commerce. Take this very seriously! With the guidance of KPCB, Sequoia and others, they’ve got to be planning to replace the NBCs, ABCs, Viacoms and major record labels of the world. Trust me. John Doerr isn’t going to waste his time on the board of some nascent startup unless they’re aiming their sights on something this big. John and Ray must believe it’s possible, and the rest of us would be foolish to think it’s not.
As for Odeo, I think Ev and Noah will have no trouble doing for podcasting what they did for blogging. They won’t displace the NBCs of the world, but they will build a business with real value that will be a healthy acquisition target. It’s almost a no-brainer for them, although I know they and the Odeo team are working their butts off to make it happen.
Podcasting is now on the radar.