by Mike Masnick

Podcasting? That's For Old Folks

from the uh-oh-shaggy... dept

With the hype around podcasting reaching stratospheric levels, it seems that a new study might put a damper on the space. It found that fewer than expected people are listening to podcasts, and the hotly targeted "youth market" is barely listening to podcasts when compared to their elders. Of course, how you interpret these results can differ on a number of factors. In some ways, people may consider this a good thing. There's no law that says that only 15 to 24-year-olds are the important demographic. Finding a good way to communicate with an older demographic can be quite useful as well. However, it could be worrisome to those dumping tons of money into the podcasting space, as it may mean that the market for podcasting won't grow in the same nature as other things that have been hot among younger people. This, in no way, diminishes podcasting as a tool for people who want to communicate (or listen) in that way. However, it does raise questions about all the hype from the business side. In many ways, it seems like the marketing/business hype around podcasting is an attempt to make up for being slow to catch on to other internet success stories in the world of content creation. Of course, we've seen podcasting stats falsely pumped up in the other direction as well -- so who knows how valid these numbers actually are. As for it being older folks who listen to podcasts? Maybe the next big thing will be the iPod that slows down how fast those crazy young podcasters talk.

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  • identicon
    Wonder Filled, 19 Aug 2005 @ 11:18am

    It's Happening Before our Eyes

    And we don't know what it is.

    I don't think there's any way anyone is going to be able to capitalize on the Next Big Thing in the internet "space" simply because we won't know what it is until it is.

    I think what will take the place of television entertainment as we know it will be podcasting of some sort. I think a lot of funky, beautiful and artistic things are going to come up from the people in this way. But, by their very nature, these things will be impossible to capitalize on in the fashion of say, "Friends" or "X Files".

    People who prefer structured content from large industries (ABC, Warner, etc) will pay for them either via subscription or commercials. But I see the growth of an entirely new structure of transmitted entertainment, one that will not make money from the entertainment itself, but what can be sold as a result of having the audience in the first place - tshirts, live appearances, etc.


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  • identicon
    Beck, 19 Aug 2005 @ 12:09pm

    Attention Span

    It takes patience to sit back and listen, with nothing to see or do, maybe that's not a trait of the 15-24 set.

    Not to fear though, they will eventually enter the 45+ group, so there will always be new customers.

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    • identicon
      Permanent4, 21 Aug 2005 @ 6:46am

      Re: Attention Span

      Actually, part of the appeal of audio is that you don't have to sit back and listen. You can enjoy audio while driving, while working out, while working in your cubicle, while doing household chores, while web surfing, while having a cookout, etc.

      Audio is much more flexible than video in that regard, which is one reason why you only hear rumors of a video iPod right now.

      I think the podcasts themselves just happen to appeal to an older generation, really. There's not a lot of teen-oriented programming in the either the iTunes top 100 or the Podcast Alley top 100, save for music shows, and most kids don't really discover indie music until college at the earliest.

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  • identicon
    Kaden, 19 Aug 2005 @ 5:47pm

    This defies logic

    Help me out here, kids...I'm old. Why on earth is 15-24 the hot demographic?


    Is this some kind of micro-economic profit model or something? At best, it seems like a crap shoot hoping to conjure some kinda genrefad hyperbolae, culminating in Paris Hilton and said product being /photographed in close proximity. In Cannes.

    At worst, it's mass hysteria. Or somwthing else even worse.

    Not much of a long term business model, surfing from crest to increasingly-shorter-lifespan crest of an opinionated and volatile demographic's nanosecond attention span. And I mean that in a good way, the last bit...the target demographic is smart, and communicates a *lot*: opinions form quickly, and are held passionately, in numbers.

    Unfortunately, the demographic (as a whole) either has no income, or an onerous education debt. Not much disposable income.

    So, why try so hard to sell stuff to them?

    I don't understand.


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    • identicon
      Pussy, 20 Aug 2005 @ 2:27pm

      Re: This defies logic

      "Help me out here, kids...I'm old. Why on earth is 15-24 the hot demographic?
      So, why try so hard to sell stuff to them?
      I don't understand."

      It is not that you donít understand, it is that your basic presupposition is blatantly wrong. The people in the 15-24 age group may appear to you to not have any money, but the fact is that they have much more disposable income than any other age group. It is wrong and should make us look at the way we are raising children, but true.

      I know it looks at first blush as absurd - but do the math. A 35 year old guy with a good job making $60,000 a year has a house, two kids, at least two cars, and at least one wife to support. That costs him about $59,700 a year, in mortgage, car payment, gas, taxes, tuition, clothes, credit cards, insurance, and what not - God help him if anyone gets sick. So at the end of the year, the guy is lucky if he has $300 left to buy himself an ipod.

      A 17 year old burger jockey on the other hand, makes, maybe $6,000, plus whatever he manages to sell on ebay, plus whatever he can goose out of his parents - and he has no over head - he probably has to pay for gas for his car, but his parents make the payments - and probably pay the insurance. Out side of that, he needs to come up with scratch for a date, who insists on being a ďliberatedĒ woman and paying half, and at the end of the night she supplies the condoms, because she doesnít trust him to remember to buy them - if planned parenthood didnít provide them for free. He doesnít pay rent, or insurance, or finance charges, or tuition, and he is mostly healthy - and if he gets sick, mom and dad pick up the tab. So he is sitting on $6000 in porno and ipods.

      It isnít about how much you make, it is about how much disposable cash you have laying around. Chances are, that unless you are unusually wealthy, and havenít put yourself in dept hell like most Americans have, that the burger jockey you mock has more money to spend on toys than you do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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