Forrester podcasting report - just 1% use podcasts
We just released some new data on podcasting, in a brief “Podcasting Hits The Charts” (available only to clients). Here’s the summary:
Podcasts have hit the mainstream consciousness but have not yet seen widespread use. One-quarter of online consumers express interest in podcasts, with most interested in time-shifting existing radio and Internet radio channels. Companies that are interested in using podcasts for their audio should focus not only on downloads but also on streaming audio as a means to get their content and ads to consumers.
Our survey showed that only 1% of online households in North America
Here’s my personal experience/confession. I subscribe to several podcasts, but eventually winnowed them down to just one, NPR’s On The Media. And frankly, it takes a back seat to my audiobooks which I get from Audible.com. Oh, and I happen to be downloading the NPR podcast on two computers synched to two iPods (a 20GB biggie and my Mini), which is why counting podcast downloads is a dubious way to measure usage.
Which leads me to my skepticism about the adoption and breadth of podcasting – measurement is still really hard to do (there's some light at the end of the tunnel from firms like Podtrac and Podbridge, the latter of which has a way to track listens as well as downloads). Forrester projects that just 700,000 households in the US US US
So should companies be putting podcasting on the backburner? Hardly. Content that already exists – such as earning calls, training updates, and executive presentations are all excellent fodder for podcasts. Think of us poor analysts who must listen to streamed quarterly calls while chained to our laptops! My caution is that companies shouldn’t be dashing out to create expensive original content for a small audience – unless they gain value from being seen as innovative.
Aside: Here's a great use of podcasts: language instruction. There's a series of Chinese language podcasts at www.chinesepod.com that I've just downloaded (not subscribed to yet) to try out as I'm hoping to brush up my very poor Mandarin. If I like it, I'll probably subscribe to the podcast so that I can get my regular Chinese lesson.