Since getting an MP3 player for Christmas, my religious listening of CBC shows has fallen off significantly. I've forsaken my portable radio for the iPod, and because it doesn't have a built-in radio, my radio listening has plummeted. I've gone from 10-12 hours of listening to CBC Radio One to maybe catching two hours a week. The rest of the time, I'm choosing podcasts that cover topics I'm interested in. I'll certainly add some of these CBC podcasts to my regular listening, and I'd add more if there was an option.
In the comments section of Tod Maffin's post about the new podcast service, several readers criticize the changes as too little and not timely enough. Instead of the compilations of programming being offered, they're looking for podcasts as an alternate delivery mode for the full radio shows broadcast and webcast by CBC.
Maffin, while stressing he's not an official spokesperson, points out that there just isn't enough money to go whole hog on podcasting. He directs people to provide feedback directly to CBC with their ideas.
Unlike BBC, which receives a hefty broadcasting fee from every U.K. resident, and NPR, which supplements a small federal subsidy with paid sponsorships, CBC Radio gets a relatively small operating grant from the federal government, and is prohibited from running paid ads.
How CBC could offset the cost of a more robust podcast service is a topic that's very much open to discussion. Maybe product placements, with a John Deere lawnmower roaring away in the background of a program, and a Husqvarna chain saw buzzing away, too?
Update: I should mention that I think today's announcement is a huge improvement. Regardless of how much further room there is for additional podcasting, CBC has made a long overdue move toward making their content more portable and less tied to a given broadcast schedule. As someone who often can't listen to daytime programs while at work, I really appreciate the ability to "tune in" on my schedule, to the shows I'm interested in.