BlogTalkRadio is a popular podcasting site with about 4.5 million listeners a month. And it’s no stranger to large-scale live podcasts, as some pull in more than 20,000 listeners while they’re going on. But on Wednesday, the service is likely to see their popularity taken to the next level as none other than the President of the United States will be on a program live for the site.
President Obama will be making an appearance on a special program called “40 Minutes For Health Reform” which will stream live exclusively on BlogTalkRadio. Specifically, the President’s part will be the last 10 minutes of the show after he listens in on the first 30 minutes during which there will be a roundtable discussion about the topic with the leaders of the non-profit group, Faithful America.
Faithful America are the ones that came up with the idea of doing a program on BlogTalkRadio, as they were looking for a platform to have moderated dialogue in a social media environment. The White House was open to the idea as they look to garner support for their health agenda. It’s a subject which has gathered quite a bit of controversy in the past few days, as there is talk that the administration may have to back away from some of its original plan.
For many of its shows, BlogTalkRadio utilizes social media outreach via the normal channels: Twitter, Facebook, etc. But this program should spread faster than the others given that the President will be on it talking about something which is now somewhat controversial. Still, the administration hasn’t shied away from using these new forms of communication to get messages out even though things aren’t quite as controlled as they might be with the standard outlets.
“I’ve been impressed by how President Obama has adopted innovative social-media technology during his campaign and into his administration,” says Alan Levy, CEO of BlogTalkRadio. “We’re honored that he has selected BlogTalkRadio as his newest requisite platform for communicating directly with the American people.”
Update: Here’s President Obama’s portion of the show that aired today. We’re told there were over 140K live listeners, and have had more than 62K downloads in first hour after show. Huge numbers for the service.