Pew Internet & American Life Project released it's study on podcast downloading today, 12% of internet users have downloaded a podcast, but only 1% do so on a typical day (check out the study results here). I am part of that 1%. Lately, I spend more time listening to my favorite podcasts than I do the radio. Nearly everyone I know uses the internet; all but a few friends or family members have an active e-mail address and some, like me, have personal web pages. But podcasts? Nope. Besides my twin brother Mike, I don't know anyone who even knows what a podcast is. I have a feeling that the number is actually lower than 1%.
So, who's downloading podcasts? I have a theory. First, let's assume there are two types of podcasts. There are those that are produced professionally (or excerpted from radio shows) and then there are the rest: the mutlitude of 'casts that are done in living rooms and basements in Anytown, USA. This population, the Mom and Pops of podcasting, are the very ones most likely to regularly subscribe to and download podcasts. That's the great thing about podcasting: anyone can do it, and so many actually are. So who's downloading podcasts? Podcasters, and me.
I openly admit that I am a self-professed podcast junkie. I like podcasts because anyone with a computer and a microphone can publish a show. I enjoy podcasts because they are a welcome break from mainstream, overly politically correct, radio. I enjoy podcasts because, given that the audiences are so small, regular people can actually participate with the shows. It's the intimacy of the format that is the cause of it's growing popularity, and the reason that it's mostly podcasters that are downloading podcasts.
Some of my favorite podcasts:
Diggnation Chicken Fried Radio Manager Tools NPR: Sunday Puzzle NPR: Motley Fool Profiles Mostly Trivial For What It's Worth Productive Talk on 43 Folders The Typical Mac User Podcast MacCast Mac Attack Mac Tips Daily iTunes New Music Tuesday One Minute Tip Business Week Cover Stories Technorama Mac OS Ken