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Reality Check for Podcasting

? YouTube Raises $8 Million from Sequoia Capital |


| Federated Media's Metablog Play...Very Interesting... ?

April 05, 2006

Reality Check for Podcasting

Heather Green

Charlene Li outlines some research Forrester did on the market for podcasting that's a reality check. Though around a quarter of the 5,000 people recently surveyed by Forrester expressed interest in podcasts, only 1% actually listen to them regularly.

Li chalks this up to it still being too hard to understand and use podcasts. Forrester expects podcasting to get easier and to be popular, but that will take time. Around 700,000 households will listen to podcasts this year, though by 2010 that will rise to around 12.3 million households, Forrester estimates.

Another interesting insight for those wondering about original versus repurposed content...most people wanted to hear existing radio shows, TV news programs, and recorded books. Only 8% wanted to hear podcasts from bloggers. I bet part of this is that, like using podcasts, finding them is also hard. The easiest directory for finding podcasts is iTunes, and iTunes doesn't do a good job of promoting indie people will naturally tend to the names they know, like NPR, CBS, ABC, etc.

How will this affect people interested in podcasting? Companies can just put out the content they have, it's a lot easier than they thought, it looks like. But what about other folks who are podcasting for themselves? I would bet they continue, right?

02:39 PM


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Tracked on April 12, 2006 12:13 PM

A great method for spreading a virus. Most people don't trust downloads for good reasons.

Posted by: Jim Dermitt at April 5, 2006 03:02 PM

Only 1%? That's not bad for a technology that is less than two years old and growing rapidly. Podcasts are here to stay.

The plus about iTunes taking up podcasting was that it brought awareness of podcasts into the mainstream, the downside is that iTunes isn't a very good directory and, as you say, favours what people already know - the big commercial producers.

A shame really, as podcasting started as a grass-root endevaour, and there are still plenty of good alternative podcasts out there, people just don't know where to look.

And Mr Dermitt - please get your facts straight before talking about something you obviously know very little about - podcasts are MP3 files - they cannot carry viruses.

Posted by: Sean FitzGerald at April 6, 2006 02:42 AM

Personally, I feel that podcast directories and search engines do a much better job at searching for podcasts than iTunes.

Posted by: Jasmine at April 6, 2006 09:23 AM

Podcast Ready is addressing the issues of understanding and obtaining podcasts.

We have a software technology that transforms most ordinary MP3 players into independent podcast subscription managers and receivers. We've been marketing it to various player manufacturers and the first "podcast ready" devices will be in Target stores by the end of April, to be closely followed by Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Amazon, and a others.

The web services that interact with the devices provide (among other things) a browser button that allows users to subscribe to podcasts from any web page or directory with a single click. All of this is accomplished without installing any software on the user's computer so they can get their podcast from most any Internet-enable PC. It truly is an easy, ready-to-use solutions right out of the box.

The site is in beta right now, and undergoing major face lift at the moment, but the main functionality is there and solid. In addition to the basic management and subscription functions, the site also allows the users to choose individual episodes to receive (rather than subscribing to the entire feed) and share individual episodes with friends in the system.

Our goal is to help bring podcasts to the mainstream public and make it as easy as possible for people to find and enjoy the content they want.

The site and the software are in open beta and we welcome any comments and feedback.

Russell S. Holliman

Posted by: Russell S. Holliman at April 6, 2006 11:12 PM

I think the shift towards media on-demand is inevitable. Once Microsoft incorporates a podcasting application into it's media player, it will help spread podcasting.

I think it is also a matter of content: The technology is so new that there isn't enough great content out there. As better and better content emerges it will drive the technology, not he other way round.

Posted by: Ken Carroll at April 7, 2006 05:58 AM

I personally think the way to listen to podcast should be just the way of listening to radio. I am not having a PC powered-on 24/7, just in case there is a better way to support the download easier, I could be spend more time regularly with podcast.

Posted by: yong fu at April 17, 2006 06:15 PM

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