Marketwatch Article about Podcast Listener Numbers

This article on MarketWatch quotes a yet to be released national survey which shows that the number of people who responded that they had ever listened to a podcast was only up slightly in the last year. This is in spite of the fact that there is a lot of mainstream press about podcasting and videoblogging and the like.

There is speculation in the article that the technical hurdles required to listen to podcasts are still too high. I don't buy into that. iTunes has supported very easy podcast subscription and listening for quite some time now. And iPods, the kind of the portable mp3 player market, also have good support for playing podcasts.

The real issue is content. As with all media, and especially emerging media, content is king. Just as shows like The Sopranos drive up HBO subscriptions, so too will "must listen" podcasts drive listener adoption. I'm still bullish on podcasting for the long run, and I'd say that survey results of 11-12% of Americans having listened to a podcast are actually high numbers not low numbers given how new the space is.