Ever since podcasting was introduced, the question has been the same: Will anyone listen?
The answer is definitely “Yes.”
eMarketer estimates that the total US podcast audience reached 18.5 million in 2007.
Furthermore, that audience will increase by 251% to 65 million in 2012. And of those listeners, 25 million will be “active” users who tune in at least once a week.
”As the US podcasting industry matures it is unquestionably creating a listening audience,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new report, Podcast Audience: Seeking Riches in Niches, “And along with a larger audience comes increases in advertising spending tied to podcasts.”
Driven by this audience growth, US spending on podcast-related advertising (including sponsorships) will rise to $435 million in 2012, up from $165 million in 2007.
A number of factors are driving the growth of the podcast-user base:
- Greater ease of consumption for podcast content
- Growing awareness of podcasting
- Terrestrial radio’s use and promotion of podcasting
- Increased penetration of portable players
- The evolution of smart phones and proliferation of affordable mobile data plans
”No one will argue that mobile devices and communication are becoming widespread,” says Mr. Verna. “Even so, the majority of podcasts are actually experienced on PCs, not portable devices.”
The situation might change in time, but for now podcasts are mainly a desktop phenomenon as opposed to a mobile or portable one.