Podcasting in America Attracts Advertisers

    Millions of American users regularly download audio and video podcasts. As the audience grows, advertisers are beginning to take a closer look at podcasts.

    Recent Nielsen // NetRatings statistics ( PDF ) show that podcasting in the US is gaining momentum. Approximately 6.6% of the total number of Internet users (this corresponds to 9.2 million people) say that they downloaded at least one audio podcast in the last 30 days. Video podcasting is also gaining strength: its audience is 4% of users, or about 5.6 million people.

    At first glance, it seems that the popularity of podcasts is not very high: what is six and a half percent? But in fact this is a rather large figure. For comparison, we can cite the number of bloggers on the Internet: they are only 4.8%, that is, one and a half times less than listeners of audio podcasts. But blogs appeared on the Internet much earlier than podcasts.

    Podcasting is a relatively new technology for audio and video broadcasting via the Internet, in which files are recorded for listening on iPods or other MP3 players. It is assumed that podcast files are downloaded from the Internet and written to the player automatically when it quietly lies on a charge, connected to a computer. Every morning a person wakes up, takes his player (or mobile phone with a built-in player) and listens to new programs that have been recorded there - this is called podcasting. In principle, you can download files manually and listen to them, for example, on a computer. But then it will no longer be podcasting.

    Surveys conducted in America showed that young people are the main audience of podcasts. This is not surprising, because, according to statistics, it is young people, mainly males, who always master new technologies. Users ages 18-24 are 1.72 times more likely to listen to podcasts than regular middle-aged users. Interestingly, the statistics for video podcasts are slightly different. Users of 25-34 years old are more active than others downloading and viewing video files from the Internet .

    Apparently, the Apple iPod remains the favorite player of American podcasts. At the very least, browser popularity statistics hint at this quite clearly: Apple Safari browser comes first with a wide margin, and Firefox comes second.

    Quite curious is the statistics of the most popular content sites among fans of audio and video podcasts. For the former, these are Macworld , Wired News, and Slashdot , and for the latter, StarTrek.com , Live365.com, and Fark.com . Among the commercial sites, the most popular are Niketown.com , Apple and iTunes , as well as Live365.com, eMusic and Niketown.com, respectively.

    The vast majority of those who download podcasts are men (75%), the report said.. An average listener downloads from one to three podcasts per week, and 38% of respondents said that because of podcasts they began to listen to the radio much less often.

    Analysts emphasize that podcasts, despite all their unusualness, have already managed to attract a number of major advertisers. For example, paper maker Dixie sponsors a series of podcasts. Other advertisers include Sony Pictures, Shell Oil, Earthlink, Warner Bros., HP, and GoDaddy. But advertisers need to be very careful: about 60% of listeners admitted that they immediately scroll through the ads as soon as they hear its first sounds.

    An interesting fact is that podcasts are beginning to be used for commercial purposes by large companies. For example, the Orbitz travel agency posts podcast guides to places of interest on its website. Some financial firms even publish podcasts with financial analytics for free.

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