Nielson equates DOWNLOADING a Podcast and PUBLISHING a Blog: Apple vs oranges?

by Marianne Richmond on July 12, 2006

 Nielson/Net Ratings report that the number of Americans downloading podcasts is equal to those publishing blogs.Ok, fair enough. But is this comparison relevant?ÂÂ

"About 6.6% have recently downloaded an audio podcast, while 4% have downloaded a video podcast. Nielsen estimates that about 4.8% of Americans publish blogs," is what was reported by Adotas today under the headline, Podcasting Popularity Matches Blogs.

Steve Rubel reported the podcasting numbers without mentioning the blogs but linked to Podcasting News that had a headline that said which headlines: Podcasting More Popular Than Blogs. Aren’t they are talking about downloading podcasts? Frank Barnako reports it slightly differently, "The the research firm {Nielson} says, compared to the number of people who publish blogs, there are almost 40% more people listening to podcasts."ÂÂ

At Media Slaves, we produce a podcast that can be downloaded by listeners. All four of the Media Slaves write blogs: Debi Jones at Mobile Jones, Zadi Diaz at Karmagrrrl, which is a Video Blog; and Nicole Simon at Cruel To Be Kind. Nicole is a podcasting expert and has a podcasting site at Bloxpert. Separately, we all have IPods and download music and podcasts. (I recently acquired my son’s old IPod…turnabout is fairplay.)

So what does downloading a podcast have to do with publishing a blog? It seems to me that producing a podcast is equal to publishing a blog but that downloading a podcast is similar to reading a blog.

.Although not directly analogous to the issues Toby Bloomberg found with Jupiter, it is similar.

There are important terms used in the Nielson report, for instance download, podcast, podcasting, blogs, that need to be agreed upon in order to make the research results relevant. Nielson states, "Podcasting is a relatively new technology that enables users to quickly and easily download multimedia files." The report then goes on to describe downloading behavior.

Forrester released a study on podcasting in April 2006 that said that only 1% of the population regularly download and listen to podcasts. Perhaps the devil is in the details. 1% and 6% are vastly different.

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