We’re now well into the second season of Serial, possibly the most popular podcast of all time, and we’re reminded that the first season was the first iTunes podcast to crack the 5 million streams/downloads mark. This is a huge milestone, and represents the ongoing growth of podcasts as a medium
Whether or not this trend will continue remains to be seen, the proliferation of smartphones and the gradual shift to mobiles as primary devices has lifted podcasting – essentially on-demand radio – to the medium that is accessible and usable anywhere.
You can’t watch on-demand TV while driving, working, or walking, but you can listen to podcasts. At least, you can’t do any of those things well (or safely). But Serial isn’t the cause, it’s just the newest peak in a trend that’s been ongoing since the early 90s. Awareness of podcasting has climbed past the 50% mark in America, but more Americans are downloading and regular enjoying podcasts as well.
These charts from the Pew Media Research Centre give some valuable insight into the current state of podcasting, and they’re generous enough to allow anyone to embed their research.
20 years ago, radio was losing the battle with CDs and television. The internet brought us podcasting, the rebirth of radio, and the medium will only continue to grow. Audio lives!
“Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions.”
Learn more from the Pew Research Centre on their website.