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Summary:

Now that Apple’s iTunes has added podcasting support, and it is getting noticed on Wall Street, it is about time someone came out with a market research report, however over-exuberant it might seem. The Diffusion Group emailed a press release this morning and were quick to […]

Now that Apple’s iTunes has added podcasting support, and it is getting noticed on Wall Street, it is about time someone came out with a market research report, however over-exuberant it might seem. The Diffusion Group emailed a press release this morning and were quick to point out that the “demand for time-shifted digital audio files or “podcasts” is expected to grow from less than 15% of portable digital music player owners in 2004 to 75% by 2010.

> TDG’s new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, suggests that between 2004 and 2010, the use of podcasting among US consumers will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 101%.

Marc Freedman, the writer of the report seems to be hedging his bets a little.

> “In many ways podcasting is a fad,” said Freedman. “Major media producers from satellite to radio to magazines are announcing new podcast programs daily just to appear hip and appeal to young people. But don’t be deceived by the hype. The fundamental growth, driven by the boom in portable digital music players, is similarly huge and very real.

I think these are seriously over optimistic estimates. Having lived through a bubble and watched folks at Jupiter put out ridiculous projections on a daily basis, I am going to discount the forecast by at least 75%. That’s a good rule of thumb so to speak.

  1. Showdown: Om vs. CNET

    So aside from the fact that podcasts are so much more unsexy, not to mention inaccurate when they’re described as “time-shifted digital audio files”, our good friend Om Malik basically trashes a new report by The Diffusion Group that…

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  2. Am I the only one underwhelmed by podcasting? Audio, unlike text, is quite passive. Radio, unlike TV, is appointment-less. Radio is literally a time killer…the commute, the dentist’s office, the job site? Are people really going to be that interested in wading through all the podcasting crud? It took me a half hour to check out a half dozen podcasts. It takes me a few minutes to check out a few dozen blogs. And why pre-download so many bits that you may not want to listen to? Won’t streaming work here?

    I can see a small consumer market for podcasts: NY Times summary, Morning becomes Eclectic, Stern, etc. But I can see a bit larger commercial market: morning squawk box, daily sales pep talk, education, etc.

    But overall, this is a yawner.

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  3. [...] The Diffusion Group released a report claiming huge market for Podcasting. Quoting from Om Malik’s blog TDG’s new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, [...]

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  4. [...] The Diffusion Group released a report claiming huge market for Podcasting. Quoting from Om Malik’s blog TDG’s new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, [...]

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  5. [...] The Diffusion Group released a report claiming huge market for Podcasting. Quoting from Om Malik’s blog TDG’s new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, [...]

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  6. I think you all are missing the “big picture”. Sure, it tooka little while to sift through the pod casts to find the ones that i wanted. Now they auto-update for me. All I have to do is listen to them. It gives emthe ability to listen to things that I can not in my area. For instance, I like Fantasy Football. There are lots of podcasts out there about Fantasy Football. I bur them to CD and listen to them during my commute to work. Also while ironing, wsahing the dishes, folding clothed etc.

    Having all these podcasts to choose from is very cool. I have found myself listening to the local radio stations very rarely now. When I use to have the radio on, now I am listening to the podcasts of interest to me.

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  7. I don’t commute so I don’t have a bunch of time to kill. I have to make time for a podCast.
    Just unsubscribed from Winer’s Morning Coffee notes. The production quality sucked (he was on the road with the radio playing and talking at the same time). And worst of all, what he had to say in the 30 or so minutes could have been read in a blog in a minute or two. That’s a negative 28 minutes of my life the way I calculate it. Don’t need it. Quite podCasting and get back to your blog, it’s so much easier on the rest of us.

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  8. as someone with an increasingly vested interest in the podcasting market, I am curious as to what the numbers of listeners you all think there are? or what the average indy show will get in terms of listeners.

    Podcasting is going to continue to boom for the next 12 months or so, but then just like blogging, alot of the field is going to be thinned out because of economic and interest reasons (its just not that easy to entertain and amuse your audience for 30 minutes a week when you don’t have a unique topic). But podcasting as a whole will probably remain strong as the solid shows take hold and grow their audiences.

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  9. Podcast Market – Fact or Fiction?

    For a mere $1,495, you can get the latest Diffusion Group podcast report, Podcasting as an Extension of Portable Digital Media – Fact, Fiction, and Opportunity, released yesterday. Before you do, be sure to read Om’s take on the predictions….

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  10. Those of you who don’t appreciate the potential that podcasting has are missing the point. It might not be a big deal for everyone, but it’s huge for many.

    To respond to some of the comments above:

    “Radio is a time-killer…” – Look at it this way: Podcasting isn’t a time-killer; it gives people content they want to listen to so they can multi-task. “Audio, unlike text, is quite passive.” That’s pretty much the point. You can’t read the newspaper or go see a stand-up comedian while you’re driving to work or exercising at the gym – but you can listen to a podcast.

    And that’s why streaming won’t work, as someone suggested above. You can’t bring streaming audio with you on an iPod.

    And maybe Dave Winer’s production quality sucked, but that’s his problem. There are plenty of podcasts that don’t suck. Music, politics, business, comedy, sports…find a good one.

    And there’s so much potential beyond the general consumer market. This is a great public relations tool, a great way to keep beat reporters in the loop on company news and industry trends. It’s a great way to keep a sales force that is spread across the country on the same page. It’s a great way for a store like Best Buy to answer questions about technology without having to pay another kid to stand around in the store.

    Podcasting: Fact or Fiction? Fact.

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