Pew Says I’m an Unusual Podcast Subscriber

The Pew Internet & American Life Projects latest report on podcasting finds some growth in podcast downloading over the last six months:

Some 12% of internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they can listen to it or view it at a later time. This finding compares to the 7% of internet users who reported podcast downloading in our February-April 2006 survey. However, few internet users are downloading podcasts with great frequency; in both surveys, just 1% report downloading a podcast on a typical day.

It’s surprising to me that it’s only 12 percent that have downloaded a podcast, and only one percent on an average day. Maybe the key point is downloading for later listening vs. listening to audio or watching video on the web. Given the serial nature of podcasting, that you subscribe to feeds which may mean you get a daily segment automatically, I would think most podcasting subscribers would have downloaded a segment on a given day without any special effort.

I subscribe to several podcasts, including these from ABC and NBC, the For Immediate Release podcast from Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, and radio programs from Alistair Begg, John Piper and R.C. Sproul. I guess that puts me way outside the normal range.

I’m obviously an early adopter on this, or else maybe I’m just odd…but I really like to be able to take audio and video for in the car (audio) or on the bus. I also like having my iPod next to my bed, so if I wake up at night I can listen to a program (which often puts me back to sleep quickly.) I think over time we will see continued growth in podcasting, as people try it and understand that it’s like TiVo or another DVR.

I’m also betting this will take a jump when Apple’s iTV comes out.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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