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April 9, 2006
Forrester study: If 25% are interested I would hurry
A very controversy topic this week was the publication of a new Link TextForrester research study about the use (or not use) of Podcasting. But the comments left in the Net suggest that many have a different point of view.
Forrester projects that just 700,000 households in the US in 2006 will use podcasting, and that it will grow to 12.3 million households in the US by 2010. (See Forrester's "The Future Of Digital Audio" report). Just to give you some context, we expect MP3 adoption to be almost 11 million households in the US this year, and grow to 34.5 million households by 2010. So that means in four years, about a third of those MP3 owners will be listening to podcasts on those devices. Podcasting will get easier and the content will get better, but it will all take time.
The study (and the thereof following comments and trackbacks) is interesting in two points: It shows how suddenly a well know company can get visible flack about their study but also I was curious to see the limitation of the study to the US market.
Given, most of the interest for this study might come from North American companies, but it is one of the interesting and fascinating parts about podcasting that is is not just that one market but a world wide phenomena.
I also doubt the number of exposure to podcasting - every sold iPod out there is wired to iTunes and this does expose the content of podcasting to every iPod user.
As the study says:
One-quarter of online consumers express interest in podcasts, with most interested in time-shifting existing radio and Internet radio channels.
25% of (again I assume US market) users have expressed an interest in the time shifted aspect. And are getting used to XX on demand, without the boundaries of what today's media brings with them.
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.
Yesterday it was only Tivo, and that is mostly offline business. Today, 25% express interest, only 18 months after podcasting started and video casting has not really taken off.
If the whole way changes the way my customers deal with me at all, my advise would be to start *very* soon with going where there are going. Because all it takes for those 25% interested persons to go into regular listeners of podcasts is to find a topic of interest to them.
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