Sunday, July 24, 2011

Podcasting - Despite low profile, around 16% of UK adult population download one every week

[bbc] Since becoming a buzzword more than five years ago, the term "podcasting" has largely disappeared from view as attention has increasingly turned to social media. So why has such a popular technology received such a small amount of attention?
Named word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary in 2005, podcast has become a widely understood term, with more than 150,000 podcasts available about almost any subject imaginable.

Podcasting was going to be the next big thing - changing the broadcasting landscape forever. Radio would become inferior to this new medium that could be easily downloaded onto any device and listened to at any time.

And when comedian Ricky Gervais took up podcasting in late 2005 - exceeding 4.5 million downloads within two months of The Ricky Gervais Show's first release, according to the Guinness Book of World Records - podcasting was going from strength to strength.

"Podcasting created a level platform," says Brett Spencer, head of digital at BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music.

"For the first time, people in their bedroom could upload and get their work on iTunes alongside content from the BBC."

And then, nothing.

More than eight million adults in the UK - around 16% of the adult population - have downloaded a podcast, with almost half listening to one at least once a week. This figure is echoed in the US.

As a comparison, this is still a greater percentage of people than use Twitter.

Podcasts: Who still listens to them?

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