One of the large issues mentioned when any podcasters get together is the relative difficulty involved in listening to podcasts. While I agree that there are some issues here that stop the average user from subscribing to podcasts, with the advent of the Apple TV I think we are starting to see movement in this area.
Stopping by the Apple Store the other day, I played around with the Apple TV for 30 minutes or so. One of the first things that caught my eye, thought, was the fact that podcasts were listed right up there with Movie, TV Shows and everything else. I think this sort of parity with other entertainment sources is exactly what podcasting needs. We already see this somewhat in the various podcast directories where indie shows are listed side by side with those from NPR, CNN, NBC, etc.
The Apple TV is pointing the way to the future where people won’t know or necessarily care where their entertainment is coming from, only that they found something they enjoy. They might be getting one show from a broadcast network, another from a cable channel, another via their TiVO and others via podcasting. The fact is, in devices like the Apple TV (and others, Phillips has announced that they are planning a similar device) make it easy to consume entertainment, regardless of its source. I think this is great and look forward to more listeners and viewers of my own podcasts as this “podcast parity” trend continues.