Podcasts get ratings

Nielsen released a report today on the economics of podcasting with some juicy stats to add to yesterday’s Pew numbers (here’s a only I to a PDF of the press release):

* 6 percent of U.S. adults — 9 million people — have downloaded podcasts in the last 30 days. The same number call themselves regular podcast listeners.
* More than 75 percent of them are male.
* 38 percent of active podcast listeners told Nielsen that they are listening to radio less often.
* The most successful podcasts, Nielsen says, are get two million downloads a month. (I’m curious to hear the stats for Diggnation and other big ones.)
* 60 percent said they always fast-forward past commercials.
* 72 percent of regular downloaders get one to three podcasts a week; heavy users — 10 percent of them — take eight or more.

Nielsen also said it is going to launch an iPod panel with 400 users. That’s good. But I’ll caution that you can’t measure the mass of niches that way you could measure the masses; a sample won’t get the — pardon me — long tail. Still, in a new medium, data is good because it makes the medium real.

  • Aaron

    I don’t give a toss how many podcasts are downloaded – I want to know how many are listened to.

    Never before has so much bandwidth been wasted by so many.

  • http://www.ralston360.com peter

    Aaron:

    Sure. And do you know how many people watched the Ford TV commercial last night? Or how many read the IBM ad in the New York Times? The Snickers radio commercial? If you want, you can pay Audible to track your Podcast stats. If not, hang in there — others are working on this problem. In the meantime, I’ll take my FeedBurner stats and if I am a really great marketer, I’ll put in a bit of direct marketing via an offer in my Podcast to track interest. Ja?

    I am sorry you think it’s all a waste. Even the web seemed a waste to most people in 1995. I even thought that Jeff Jarvis was off his rocker with his evangelism of Blogging four years ago. Hmmmmm.

    Peter

  • Ed Rusch

    “60 percent said they always fast-forward past commercials.”

    Which, of course, is impossible when you’re listening on an iPod or on a computer with iTunes, as neither allow you to fast-forward through a file. Didn’t that raise a red flag for you as well? That at least 60 percent of the people responding are not doing so with an iPod or iTunes? That does not seem credible.

    Seems to me this survey has some serious problems.

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  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Uh, Ed, I know you like to disagree with everything I say but…. My iPod lets me move forward by any time increment. You might want to visit the Apple store to make sure yours is working.

  • Aaron

    Peter,

    you’ve got me all wrong. on-demand media is great. but podcasts are a wasteful, interim technology. and both bloggers and big-media continually report the amount of podcasts downloaded as if it’s in any way meaningful. when it’s not.

    also – And do you know how many people watched the Ford TV commercial last night? Or how many read the IBM ad in the New York Times? The Snickers radio commercial?

    you really want to judge podcasts by the standards of big media? I’m surprised.

  • PaulG

    One of the problems with the podcast figures is that many people, like me, enthusiastically subscribed to podcasts in a first flush of enthusiasm. And now, every time I open iTunes I automatically download half a dozen podcasts – none or one of which I ever listen to!

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  • Ed Rusch

    “Uh, Ed, I know you like to disagree with everything I say but…. My iPod lets me move forward by any time increment.”

    By time increment, not by the commercial. It’s not like a TiVo where you can fast forward through a 30-second spot. You should know that, Jeff.

    The folks at Apple, by the way, are guffawing over this “study,” as it doesn’t come close to matching their usage numbers. It came up in a conference call this morning.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Ed,
    It’s not as good as a tivo, yes, but it’s at least as good as my old vcr, eh? i spent about 15 years fast-forwarding that way.
    Can you send us a link to that apple conference call?

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  • http://rajatgupta.wordpress.com/ rajAT

    But I’ll caution that you can’t measure the mass of niches that way you could measure the masses; a sample won’t get the — pardon me — long tail.

    AC Neilson is so dead.
    Future is Attention Trust.

  • David

    “Ed Rusch Says:
    July 20th, 2006 at 5:29 pm
    “60 percent said they always fast-forward past commercials.”

    Which, of course, is impossible when you’re listening on an iPod or on a computer with iTunes, as neither allow you to fast-forward through a file.”

    What are talking about? I’ve been fastforwarding through iTunes content for years. just drag the playhead forward a few mm at a time.

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