Podcasting – the Web's latest fad – has the potential to revolutionize the content of traditional radio as well as reshape our listening habits, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

Technology futurist and producer at Canada's CBC radio Tod Maffin said: "Podcasting is a radical way of looking at radio."

Podcasts are expected to become as diverse and niche-oriented as online blogs. For example, people will be able to subscribe to downloads that provide news from the stock market or updates on developments in a particular industry. Podcasts can be stored in iTunes and played on iPods or any MP3 players at the listeners convenience.

Podcast software iPodder co-developer Adam Curry said: "I venture there's about 33 million MP3 players out there, and after Christmas when everyone has their new cell phone, there's another 600 million cell phones that have MP3 capability – and they have a network connection."

Curry believes that these developments will challenge the dominance of terrestrial radio, writes The Christian Science Monitor.

Maffin agrees that podcasting will shake up radio – but in a good way. "The download medium provides stations with a new outlet for their shows. If the content is good enough, stations may even be able to charge consumers for downloading individual shows, just as some listeners now pay a premium for satellite radio."

According to the report the future of podcasting is niche radio.
Author of Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America Jesse Walker said: "On terrestrial or satellite radio, one can tune into a dozen formats or maybe even five dozen formats. But with podcasting, everybody is a format of one.

"Podcasting is just making it easier for this new set of niche listeners and this new set of producers to find each other."