Reader Poll: Podcast Popularity vs Live Streaming Audio

Posted on March 16th 2009


I've had some back and forth with collegues recently about the popularity of podcasting, live audio streaming and also how podcasting fits within the social media category of communication channels.

eMarketer says podcasts are rising in popularity: “As a percentage of Internet users, podcast downloaders will grow from 9% in 2008 to 17% in 2013″.  The Pew Internet & American Life Project also indicates an uptick in podcast popularity, stating that 19% of all internet users have downloaded a podcast in 2008, up from 12% in 2006.

It seems to me that live streaming audio is likely more on the rise but I did not find any research at eMarketer or at Pew about the distinction between podcasts and streaming audio on the web. Hopefully you can help me out by taking this poll. 

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Thank you for participating.  If you're aware of any research or studies done on the popularity and use of podcasts vs live streaming audio, please share in the comments. Share your opinion or more information about how you might use podcasts or live streaming audio.

As for the topic of podcasts and social media, the question that's come up is, “Are podcasts really social media?”.  I had a pretty good response on Twitter when posing this question both for and against.  Some say that podcasting is unidirectional, there's no direct interaction with the audio content. However, others stated that podcast hosting platforms or aggregators allow comments just like a blog post. That qualifies as interaction in my book. 

Speaking of podcasts and social media, be sure to check out the award winning Dishy Mix by the amazing Susan Bratton, winner of Online Marketing Blog's “Best Podcast on Social Media”.

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Lee Odden

Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and public relations agency that provides search, social media and online PR consulting training to Fortune 500 companies. Odden also publishes Online Marketing Blog, which is recognized as one of the top marketing blogs by Advertising Age and ranks in the Technorati top 50 blogs (by fans) out of 133 million. Odden is an active Internet marketing advocate promoting best practices, strategies and tactics through speaking at DMA, PRSA, Blog World and Search Engine Strategies conferences. Odden has been cited for digital marketing and PR expertise by The Economist, Fortune and eWeek, contributes articles to MediaPost, iMedia Connection and Target Marketing and has a chapter featured in the book,
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