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« Distributed Journalism: A New Effort to Launch | Main | Joel Hyatt's (and Al Gore's) Version of Citizen Journalism »

April 03, 2005



That number seems impossible.

This is their quote:
"More than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3 players and 29% of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web so that they could listen to audio files at a time of their choosing. That amounts to more than 6 million adults who have tried this new feature that allows internet “broadcasts” to be downloaded onto their portable listening device."

I find that an improbable number. I bet 90% of MP3 users can't define what a Podcast is. Many owners are not intensive computer users, and how much material is there to Podcast that's of interest? Note that the quote goes on to say "adults". I bet lots of MP3 player owners are not even adults.


I think the audience for Podcasts is probably the same as the audience for talk radio. Personally, I don't like people talking at me, so have no interests in Podcasting or talk radio. And every person I've met who likes talk radio seems to have an IQ less than 100.

But even if a Podcast is all music, I still don't want to download a huge file to listen to the same thing over and over again. Too boring. But then there are a lot of bored and boringing people in this world who may be valid targets...

Vidar Hokstad


Looking at the survey report, the question asked was:

"Have you ever downloaded a podcast or internet radio program so you could listen to it on your digital audio player at a later time?"

I guess the question is how people interpret it. I would assume that more people would have an understanding of "internet radio program" than podcast.

However knowing that many radio stations will make certain programs available for download from archives, I would be inclined to think that is what the majority of the answers refers to.

What I find interesting is that only 1% answered that question "don't know". I'd be amazed if only 1% got confused by what exactly was meant by that question. In fact I'd find it amazing if only 1% think they may have done it sometime, but aren't sure, even.

Bud Gibson

I'm amazed at how many regular people I know who have heard of podcasting. It's a natural for public broadcasters.

Downloading an MP3 file from the web is not that big a deal (what are all the RIAA suits about), so the idea that a lot of people have downloaded radio program MP3s is not real surprising. The real question is whether they are going through podcatcher software. The survey question leaves that open.

Anspar Jonte

I'm a web manager for a large organization and until now (until I looked it up) I was hazy on the definition of podcasting. (I got it half-right.) iPods are not "the craze" in my corner of the world, although there are plenty of other MP3 players. Why people would get excited about subscribing to audio feeds is beyond me, unless there is a narrow utilitarian use, or the person is geeking out on the novelty of it. The same goes for RSS feeds retrieved via web browsers -- it's far simpler, faster, satisfying and useful to revisit a web site in person (unless you're on dial-up or using Internet Explorer).

Raghav Gupta

Totally agree on the 6 million number sounding high to me. More on this here:

Anspar Jonte

Remove the trailing . period off that ragsgupta URL and it will work.

K.G. Schneider

I'm wondering if the survey respondents misunderstood the term "podcasting." Perhaps they interpreted the question to mean "have you ever put an Internet file on your MP3 device," in which case that sounds about right. What surprises me are the iPod users who never buy music, and I have one in my household. The iPod as CD player/archival storage!


If the survey says 'radio feed' or 'radio program' onto their iPod/MP3 player, I wonder what will the new number be?

I had been downloading podcasts with the iPodder program on Windows for testing. So far I am not impressed with either the contents nor with the quality of the feed.

Personal radio blogs with 32kbps encoded is like (also on my blog site)is more personal and effective although technically it will not be considered as podcasting.

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