FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, August 19, 2005

Who's Listening to Podcasts, Anyway?

Who are the biggest fans of podcasting? It might not be who you think.

A new survey by pollster CLX has found that the biggest consumers of podcasts are not teens and young adults, as one might assume, but those over 45. Of that age group, 21% said they listened to podcasts, as opposed to 13% of those between 15 and 24 years old.

Why is this? Considering that today's mainstream media is largely geared toward young people (especially in entertainment), their elders may well be finding niche programming in the form of podcasts. Older listeners are also more likely to listen to news-related podcasts such as those offered through NPR (which makes sense, given that the majority of talk radio listeners are over 35). Adults may also be listening to podcasts during the work day (taking advantage of their employers' broadband Internet) and in their cars during those long commutes.

The survey also suggests that podcasting is not foremost in the minds of media consumers of any age. Just 15% of the 8,000 people surveyed had listened to a podcast, despite the hype surrounding the medium.

Websites and other media whose audience consists of adults and seniors should take a fresh look at podcasting, whereas youth-oriented media might want to tread carefully. Advertisers and investors who have assumed that podcasting is for kids may want to re-evaluate their strategies as well.

Sources: Vnunet, unmediated