Podcasts Surpass Radio Stations Worldwide; Podcast Demand Growing Faster Than Supply
April 18, 2006
The number of podcasts managed by FeedBurner, a news feed service provider, now exceeds the total number of radio stations in the entire world, according to Rick Klau, FeedBurner's VP of Business Development.
Podcasting is also one of the fastest growing technologies of all time. The number of podcasts feeds managed by FeedBurner is growing 15% per month.
The number of subscribers, though, is growing even faster, at a rate of 20% per month.
According to Klau, "Podcasting is outpacing the speed of adoption of the last 'most successful consumer product launch in history'."
More Podcasts Than Radio Stations in the World
FeedBurner has been seeing 15% growth per month in the number of podcasts that are published:
"FeedBurner recently surpassed a major milestone of 44,000 podcast feeds under management, which, according to the CIA World Factbook, exceeds the total number of radio stations worldwide," notes Klau.
The Podcast Audience is Growing Faster Than the Podosphere
Recent reports of podcasting's death appear to have been premature.
FeedBurner's numbers show podcast circulation growing at bubble-blowing 20% per month. "Today, there are more than 1.6 million aggregate subscribers to FeedBurner-managed podcasts," adds Klau, "and this number has more than doubled in the past six months."
Podcast Adoption Rate Makes it a Successful Technology
Podcasting's adoption rate makes it a success, according to Klau. "Back in 2000, the DVD format, just 3 years old at the time, was declared the most successful product launch in consumer electronics history, outselling the VCR five to one. Using these statistics as a benchmark, in less than two years, the number of podcasts available online is tenfold that of DVD titles in nearly half the time."
It's Not All About iTunes
Some podcasters have started to focus their promotion efforts on iTunes, because of the popularity of Apple's iPods. FeedBurner's numbers, though, suggest that podcasters that focus exclusively on iTunes may be missing out on as much as half of their potential audience.
"Since we recently started tracking podcast downloads within feeds, we've also seen the ratio of downloads to subscribers average 2:1, suggesting a significant secondary market for podcast listenership beyond just the feed's subscribers," according to Klau. This confirms what many podcasters have noted, that they often have many more downloads than they do subscribers.
FeedBurner's numbers reveal "a number of podcast directories generating a sizable amount of traffic" for podcasts," notes Klau. This suggests that getting listed in top podcast directory sites can be a major source of listeners for podcasters.
And, while iTunes is the most popular podcast client, 43% of the subscribers to FeedBurner-managed podcasts use other podcast clients.
Klau's comment's on the expanding podcast universe are posted at Burning Questions, FeedBurner's official weblog.