Forrester's 1% Podcast Number
IRISH PODCASTERS are talking about Forrester Research that shows "only 1% of online households in North America regularly download and listen to podcasts. And when you include all of the people who are just interested or have used podcasts, they strongly favor listening to existing content like Internet radio or broadcast radio, not necessarily new content." The same survey documented that "for newspapers thinking about podcasting, putting print stories into audio format just ranked ahead of original content from bloggers." In her blog item about the Forrester research, Charlene Li thinks the conclusions point to the relatively unknown nature of the original content available on podcasts and that most people know what they like already and they simply want to download it and time shift it through a podcast.
Dave Winer has his own trend line for podcasting:
Personally, I know that more than 1% of the 1000 daily visitors here are listening to podcasts because more than 15 a day come from hyperlinks from our podcasting shownotes. It's also fair to characterise readers of this blog as more tech-savvy than the members of an average American household, so perhaps Forrester is right about the dilution between the download of podcasts and the listening to them. Unlike Forrester, the Diffusion Group thinks the podcast user base is 4.5m people--but Diffusion tracks download estimates, not actual consumption. I expect podcasting to be a commonly used infostream by 2010, the same way it took blogging five or six years from its RSS foundations to its emergence as part of the infostream in Ireland today.