In the past few months, I’ve been taking public transportation a lot – partly because showing up to a business meeting in bicycle gear isn’t a great way to make a good first impression, and partly because the winter was so cold.
Here are two key observations about people who take public transportation:
1. There aren’t a lot of people are reading newspapers. Of the people actually reading newspapers, most of them are reading the free dailies such as Metro.
2. Most people are plugged into iPods, either listening to music or watching videos.
It got me thinking there’s a huge opportunity for newspapers to capitalize on both of these public transportation realities: if newspapers want to encourage more people to become readers – either online or off-line – they should create three to five minutes podcasts or videos each morning that summarize the news of the day.
Before people went to work, they could download the podcast/video, and quickly get a snapshot of what’s happening in the world. In addition to providing people with a valuable and informative service, the podcasts/videos could also be used to encourage people to get more information by going to the Web site or reading a newspaper.
The idea of a podcast and video seems like a no-brainer, and a way to connect with the burgeoning iPod community.