Whenever new podcasting related “research” is released, you can be sure of only one thing: there will be mainstream media-like rhetoric against podcasting. A new report was released last week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that suggested just 12% of Internet users have downloaded a podcast. The misconception is to see that number and conclude that podcasting just doesn’t have any value. From MarketingShift (via Podcasting News):
Podcasting probably will never become an “impact media” like online video or satellite radio, and deservedly so.
The multitude of independent podcasters will scratch and claw for the occasional hour when people want to hear about a niche of their interest, but podcasting will have about the same long term business impact as e-books.
They are correct in saying that podcasting will never become an “impact media” but they are wrong in implying that it has to be for it to be successful. I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again – the vast majority of podcasters will not be in it for the money! I call it Average Joe Podcasting.
Podcasting is all about communication. It levels the playing field between average users and much larger (and richer) mainstream media organizations when it comes to distributing audio and video content. That’s why it is useful, and that’s why it is here to stay.