Podcast Popularity Booms
Podcasts can be detected and downloaded automatically, usually via RSS, and they’re
something ad companies would rather not think about. But, 29% of adult Americans
have now downloaded podcasts from the Web, “so that they could listen to audio
files at a time of their choosing,” says the Pew
Internet & American Life Project.
By Jon Newton 4/5/05
Podcasting is a revolutionary home-grown technique by which people download
their own broadcasts for easy listening on portable audio players.
“It can also be thought of as the internet equivalent of timeshift-capable
digital video recorders (DVRs) such as TiVo, which let users automatically
record and store television programs for later viewing," says the Wikipedia.
“The system most commonly involves audio files in mp3 format, but other
formats and other types of files, such as video, can also be podcasted.”
Some 11% of American adults say they own an audio player. That amounts to over 22 million people, says Pew, which found.
- Men are more likely to have playback devices than women. Some 13% of men have the players, compared to 9% of women.
- "Minorities" are more likely to own players than whites. Some 16% of African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos own players, compared to 9% of non-Latino whites.
- Almost one in five (19%) of those ages 18-28 have audio players. Fully 14% of those ages 29-40 have them; and 11% of younger Baby Boomers (ages 41-50) have them. That compares to 6% of older Baby Boomers (ages 51-59), 6% of those 60-69 and 1% of those 70 and older.
- Those who use go online are four times as likely as non-Net users to have players, "probably because internet users can get much of the music they enjoy online". Fully 14% of internet users have players, compared to 3% of non-internet users. And the more advanced the internet user, the more likely it is that he has a player. Those with six years or more of internet experience are twice as likely to have them as those who are relative internet newbies (those with less than three years experience).
- Broadband access is strongly associated with ownership of players. Some 21% of those with broadband at home have players, compared to 10% of those who have dialup connections. And those who have broadband access at home and at work, are the most likely of all to have players. A quarter of those with broadband all around them (25%) have one.
- 15% of parents living with children under age 18 in their home have players, compared to 8% of those who don’t have children living at home.
- Some 29% of the 22 million who own players have downloaded podcasts. That represents more than six million people.
- Men and women are equally likely to have downloaded podcasts.
- Nearly half of those who own players between the ages of 18-28 have downloaded podcasts, compared to about 20% of the owners of players over age 29 who have done so.
- Somewhat surprisingly, there is no notable gap between those who have broadband access and dial-up users when it comes to podcasting. Some 33% of the owners of players who have broadband at home have downloaded podcasts and 28% of those who have dial-up at home have done so. This is not a statistically significant difference.
“This survey did not attempt to sort out what kinds of podcasts people consume,” says Pew.
“There are innumerable kinds of podcasts, ranging from audio journals that are very quirky and personal to professional newscasts.
"The rising popularity of podcasting also stems from the relative ease with which individual podcasters can create and distribute files," says Pew, adding:
"The process requires little more than a computer with an internet connection, a microphone, and software to record, edit and compress the audio. However, podcasters who wish to include copyrighted content in their shows may be required to pay licensing fees."
Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net
and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics
of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be
read there. We urge you to explore it.
The Samsung Yepp YH-999 20 GB Portable Media Center is available on Amazon
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