Progressive Place

Friday, April 22, 2005

3-year market scenario for AudiKnow and Podcasting

Soon, a booming market in digital audio will accelerate development of human-quality text-to-speech.

Information audio will evolve like the computer and software industries, only faster. Podcasting is now… (Draw more from my writings about Podcasting.)

4Q05- Mobile Digital audio become ubiquitous.
Digital audio players are everywhere. Gigabytes of storage and MP3 replace cameras as must-have cell phone options. Satellite radios reach critical mass, advertising growth begins to drive charges down 50% per quarter. Satellite subscribers come down with Curse of the Cable: "Aagghh! 200 channels and I still can't find what I want!"

In response to demand, the navigational interface-- as in "navigating the web," not as in a boat-- will grow as the key differentiator. The iPod will begin to feel clunky and primitive, and Apple will continue to lead in the coming Usability Wars.

1Q06- Information audio is mainly high-leverage content, having either a high value for some, or high appeal to many. A booming, but still nascent market.
Broadcast radio providers, led by the digitally advanced NPR, start to awaken.
Intelligent satellite radios introduced. The industry still won't know how to use their tremendous power.

In response to demand, AudiKnow intelligent satellite channel premieres. Like On-Demand, only better. How's it better? Ask for the white paper on it.

A growing market will drive "computer" speech, or text to speech, (T2S), to mature to near-human-quality (NHQ). Then "NHQ-T2S", or just "NH", will gradually make audio the preferred medium for a lot of things we now get in text, but don't have time to read.

2Q06- Demand spreads gradually into moderate-leverage content, which offers enough revenue to meet rising costs of maturing talent pool.

Info Audio, or IA, being promoted into the mainstream, appears on the cover of Newsweek.
Spreading T2S begins to push higher-cost human voices out of lower-margin applications. But only the voices; not the editors, engineers, producers, marketers, or anyone else.

Broadcast radio realizes all their jealously guarded archives are just dead assets without demand. "Archives," always a dull word, will be relabeled "AUDIO SUPERSTORES", and vomit terabytes of stuff onto the web, making an undifferentiated mess and confusing everybody.

3Q06- Demand for IA makes human-voice content more expensive and harder to get. Overnight, near-human quality T2S, or NH, takes over low-leverage commodity end of IA market.

4Q06-2Q07- Mainstream, mainstream.

Employment Implications of NH
Will this then eliminate jobs? NO. For the foreseeable future, digital audio will require a human voice. Rather than eliminate jobs, computers created more. Along with more demand and more complexity, came greater utilization, higher perceived value, greater dependency, and thus more demand. The jobs changed, became more complex, more interesting, and more lucrative. Operators became programmers, and then systems analysts, and then information engineers.

For a while, distributing information in audio will require human voices to read it, and human editors and engineers to produce it. Recorded audio is labor-intensive, so a lot of new, good-paying jobs will appear for vocal talent, editors, producers, engineers, and writers to re-write and adapt current print material for audio. (Yes, print writing and audio writing are different.)

As with computers and communications, as the "means of production" automates, the "talent" will have to gain advanced technical skills, or end up doing something else.