Edison Research has released the latest Infinite Dial report, its annual survey of online media use. The company has been tracking online audio consumption since at least the year 2000. The report provides highlights trends in how people consume audio content generally and sheds light on what it means for podcasting specifically.
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Online Audio Trends
Audio media consumption has never been more portable. Smart phone ownership penetration has reached 76%, with an estimated audience of 207 million Americans.
The Rise Of On-Demand Streaming Media Subscriptions
The success of Netflix and to a lesser extend, Amazon Prime and Hulu is popularizing the idea of on-demand multimedia content, a format that perfectly suits podcasts.
Expanding Audio Consumption Opportunities
Technology is expanding the opportunities people have to consume multimedia content, commuting time being one of them:
And people are listening to podcasts on their smart phone more often than they have in the past.
Radio Ownership Dropping
The rise in audio consumption on mobile devices corresponds to a drop in the number of old school radios in the home.
Podcast Consumption Growing
Overall, podcast listening is up to 36% this year, from 11% in 2006.
Monthly podcast listening is at 21% this year, compared to 9% in 2008.
And weekly podcast listening is up modestly at 13%, from 7% three years ago.
While market penetration for podcasts are not overwhelming, several trends point toward it becoming a mainstream medium. Also consider that Google’s decision to accept podcasts in the Google Play store will expand the audience for podcasts.
Another potential channel for podcast delivery is Amazon Prime, which already has the infrastructure to do so and has a natural podcast player in the popular Amazon Echo.
Time To Consider Podcasting?
If you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, the time is probably now to actually do it. The trends look pretty clear that podcasting’s future is bright.
Getting started now gives you time to make some mistakes, learn, and get some experience while building an audience before the medium reaches critical mass and mainstream appeal.
Having recorded more than 250 episodes between four podcasts, I can tell you it takes some time to get your feet beneath you as a podcaster, to master some of the technical aspects of the medium, and to find listeners.
2016 Infinite Dial Report [VIDEO]
Here’s a webinar for the 2016 Infinite Dial report, presented by Tom Webster and John Rosso from Edison Research and Triton Digital.
2016 Infinite Dial Report [PRESENTATION]
And here’s the full 2016 Infinite Dial report:
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