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 podcasts....so 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?