Good news for podcasting from Edison & Arbitron survey

Thanks to Podcast Tools for publishing a link to the Edison slide deck on “The Infinite Dial 2009 – Radio’s Digital Platforms AM/FM, Online, Satellite, HD RadioTM and Podcasting”. It’s interesting that they include podcasting as a ‘digital platform’ of radio. That’s a good thing and from my point of view it identifies podcasting as a legitimate new media platform with real content and real audiences. Not just a fringe group making use of a free wheeling technology used to spread conspiracy theories and pirated music.

They also have a good definition of podcasting from this ‘radio platform’ perspective:

“Audio podcasting is the concept of downloading various types of longer-form online audio programs, in the form of digital files you can listen to at any time you choose.

Audio podcasting does NOT refer to the downloading of individual MP3s or songs.

Audio podcasting does refer to the download of program oriented online audio (such as a talk show or a hosted music program), usually as an automatic download that can be listened to at the user’s convenience.”

Of those surveyed in 2006, 27% reported that they listened to podcasts. In 2009, 43% reported that they listened to podcasts. That’s a huge audience growth in just a three year period.The slant of the survey results paints a positive picture of AM/FM radio listening but I wasn’t able to find any numbers in the charts that directly compared audience growth and reach for the same time periods in each of the categories such as AM/FM radio versus podcasting.

Audiences were moving to online radio with the following reason given (no big surprise here):

Consumers say flexibility, control and variety drive their use of online and portable media options”

At the end of the presentation was an interesting reference to online video:

Audio Content Providers Should Not Ignore the Explosion of Online Video

  • Radio station Web sites must embrace online video, and not just online audio
  • Use of online video exceeds online radio
  • Two-thirds of monthly online radio users also watched online video in the past month

There appears to be a trend and we predict a major move to merge media into a multi-platform medium. The long tradition of video, audio, radio, TV, newspapers and magazines being separated is changing. Newspapers will show video online. Radio will show video and transcripts on blogs. TV will release segments or even entire episodes as podcasts. This is a very exciting time to be involved with media. Scary, worrisome but exciting none the less.

Talk with you later . . .

Dean

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