Has Podcasting reached a plateau?
19% of internet users have downloaded a podcast in the last 6 months – compared with 17% this time last year.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of adults have used the internet in the last 6 months, however only 19% of these internet users have downloaded a podcast during this time period. The proportion of internet users who have downloaded a podcast has grown by just 2 percentage points from 17% in 2006 to 19% in 2007 according to an independent survey by the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB).
BMRB’s annual podcast survey which was conducted in February 2006 and February 2007, shows that the proportion of internet users that say they are likely to download a podcast in the next 6 months is 27% compared with 24% in 2006.
When looking at where internet users have downloaded a podcast from in the last 6 months, the BBC website is the most popular source with 57%, followed by iTunes 41% and Yahoo! 28%.
It seems that the relevance of podcast content and the understanding of what podcasts are and how to download them are key issues. For those internet users who haven’t downloaded a podcast, 72% are “not interested” in podcasts, 38% “don’t really understand what podcasts are” and 18% would “like to be shown how to download a podcast first”.
MP3 player ownership also levelling off
The ownership of MP3s also looks to be nearing saturation point. While 32% of all adults own an MP3 player (rising to 69% among 16-24s), only 3% of current non-owners consider themselves “very” likely to own one in 6 months’ time.
Mobile phone technology not being fully exploited
While nearly everyone has a mobile phone (87% of adults) the range of features they carry, can vary enormously. Among mobile phone owners, 74% have games, 56% have internet connection and 36% have MP3 players.
42% of mobile phone owners use the internet via their mobile phones. However among those who don’t, 65% of mobile phone owners say they will definitely not use the internet via their mobiles in the next 12 months. Of these, nearly half (46%) say there is no content that they need to access from their phone, while 40% feel it is too expensive and 31% state it’s too difficult.
Steve Cooke marketing director BMRB said “The next challenge for podcasts and mobile technology is to move beyond early adopters and into the consumer mainstream. The findings indicate that consumers want improved content of podcasts and material that can be downloaded onto mobile phones - and the technology needs to be easier to use, cheaper and faster.”