Thursday, November 23, 2006

iPod Huge for the Holidays, Podcasting... Not so Much

On Tuesday, Apple shares hit an all-time high, climbing as far as $88.14. Expectations are high this holiday season for the iPod, where analysts are expecting that 14 million of the units will have been sold by the end of the quarter, even with the launch of the brand new Microsoft Zune last week.

There has also been a research study performed recently by the PEW Internet & American Life Project about the adoption rate of podcasts, originally named after the iPod itself, as it was this technology that gave Podcasts a reason for being. This study states that only12% of internet users polled claimed to have ever downloaded a podcast, and only 1% said that they would download a podcast on a typical day. Compare that to the growth of internet users with an iPod or another MP3 player, which earlier this year rose to 26%. Now, an iPod or MP3 player isn't necessary in order to subscribe, watch or listen to podcasts, but they certainly make it easier to tune into your favourite podcast whenever or wherever you are.

Now, iTunes has come a long way in making podcasts more accessible; building them into a seamless menu option in the interface, sorting the library into so many categories that you are bound to find something that you like, and allowing anyone to submit a podcast of their own and make it available through the iTunes Store. But because this is an industry that isn't really generating a lot of income at the moment, there aren't really a lot of advertising dollars behind it and podcasting .

Overall, very few internet users are hooked on podcasting. It has the potential that blogs are experiencing now with the widespread grassroots attraction, but this time the larger media companies decided to get in a little earlier. Though, I have to say, they have done it tastefully for the most part.

For the larger organizations, this is a practice in brand awareness and community rather than pushing a product. And for them to appeal to today's user, having a good product isn't enough, they really have to appeal to a lifestyle and generate a feeling. Why not appeal to more of the human senses than reading does? Why not use video or audio? It's like TV, made for you, chosen by you, that you can watch wherever, and whenever you want.

Tell me that doesn't sound like a good idea...
Spread the Podcast Love.

Here are a few of the Podcasts that I get a kick out of, feel free to share any that you enjoy or find useful:


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