Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Podcasts 2.0 - "Just in Time" information

Just as simple as Apple's iPod first started out, podcast downloads have skyrocketed to 1.6 Million daily podcast subscribers today (doubling over the past 6 months!)

With over 120 million MP3 players and 200 Million MP3-compatible phones out there in at the end of 2006, it's no wonder that magazines, newspapers, non-profits, cable networks, small and large businesses alike, are all using podcasts to get the "just-in-time" message across to their customers! Consultants use podcasts to advertise their services, authors broadcast their latest edition over iTunes, and Universities give virtual tours of their campuses.

Podcast Alley, one of the largest podcast websites on the net, has over 25,000 podcasts totalling more than 1,000,000 epidsodes!! This is compared to a mere 1,000 in 2004. According to Steve Rucinksi, author of "Small Business Trends in 2007", 12% of internet users have downloaded a podcast in 2006 versus 7% a year earlier. This equates to an astonishing 17.6 Million people.

Tools used to record and produce podcasts are developing faster everyday. Apple's iPod has a microphone that can be attached to the iPod itself and used to record podcasts with excellent quality. In addition podcast directories continue to get larger and larger. Finally, user engagement with podcast directories is becoming more refined as rating systems and other recommendation systems make it easier for users to find the exact content they want.

Forrester Research is predicts the number of households using podcasts will grow from 700,000 to 12.3 million over the next four years in the United States alone. This growth is indicative of a new way to reach consumers and a real business opportunity for traditional media outlets.

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