Thursday, July 27, 2006

SCOOP: 2006 Canadian Podcast Listeners Survey - results are in!

I was just sent a copy of the 2006 Canadian Podcast Listeners Survey. I believe I may have a legitimate scoop here on my hands (although I understand Mark Evans will be writing something shortly on this).

The survey was conducted in May and June 2006, authored by Sequentia Communications and Caprica Interactive Marketing. I participated in the survey when I saw it on One Degree.

Here are some highlights from the responders (n= >1000) :
- Gender spilt of podcast listener is almost even
- Just under 60% are between 25 - 44 years of age
- 72% have annual incomes of over $60,000 (48% were >$80,000)
- 77% of respondents are familiar with podcasts
- 197 different podcasts were listed as regular listens (#1. This Week in Tech #2. Ricky Gervais #3. Quirks and Quarks - CBC #5. Lost )
- 69% of respondents prefer "Original content that can't be found elsewhere" (although the results in this section did not add up to 100%, so I am not sure how this was tabulated)
- 46% want new episodes of their favorite podcast once a week
- 21% prefer length of 6-10 minutes, while 32% are indicating somewhere between 11 - 30 minutes is just fine.
- Only 2% prefer podcasts over 1 hour in length (sorry FIR, ATS and DSC)
- Video podcasts have not yet taken off

And now the marketing and advertising findings:
- 60% of respondents have come across ads in podcasts
- Podcasters are very influential: 54% of listeners surveyed indicated a likelihood to buy a product or service recommended by the host.
- 25% do not like ads in podcasts at all

Overall conclusions:
Podcasting is becoming mainstream. Those listening have above average incomes and seem to not mind advertising. Original content is a big factor and the shorter length of podcast the better. (This may be linked to the commute factor. I have no clue on this, all I know is that my subway commute is so much better listening to podcasts that are short enough to start and finish between Eglinton and King on the Yonge line on the TTC). Video podcasts are not currently widespread and will likely rise in popularity as video enabled players come down in price and desirable content increases.

Final observation: My assumption is that, from a quantitative analysis perspective, the authors realize these findings cannot be applied the Canadian population at large. The audience was not a representative sample of the population nor was it selected at random. Obviously, it skews to online savvy individuals who wanted to participate in a podcast questionnaire.

No matter though, it is just great to have this information. Kudos to the folks at Sequentia and Caprica for conducting the survey and shedding some much needed light on this new medium. Also, I am interested to find out who won the BOSE SoundDock Digital Music system for taking the survey (hope it was me!)

Huge shout out to Leesa Barnes of Podonomics. I met her this week and, not only is she very smart and passionate within the Podcast space, she supplied me with the findings for this post. I thank her immensely for providing me with a legitimate scoop here on The Client Side.

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At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Ed Lee said...

i really like your analysis - and it's a great scoop!

sure, the sample isn't representative but it's a good snap shot of what a representative sample could look like in a few years.

in the meantime, all we as marketers can do is to market to the edge and hope that the mass market get's drawn along after it.


At 10:30 PM, Blogger Michael Seaton said...

Thanks Ed,

The reason I mentioned that is because, although all respondents were indeed Candaian, many of the findings were written up to sound like "70% of Canadians etc...."

In all of my summary points I referred to findings from "respondents".

I do agree with you that this may be representative of all Canadians in a few years (at least I hope so.)


At 3:56 PM, Blogger my name is kate said...

Great scoop, Michael. But, hey, where's *my* copy? I took the survey! Grump, grump, grump :-(

I wonder if the video podcasts will actually take off. Just thinking about the usage scenario ... I can see how short commutes on the subway (standing room only) or in the car are not really conducive to video podcasts. So even if the technology and the content make it easier and more enticing to get video podcasts, the situation might not allow it.

Jeff Cole from Annenberg's Center for the Digital Future, in his talk at MSN's Digital Ad Summit discussing the "third screen" (cell phones) and it's projected use, said that essentially the screen is a "nice to have" but not a requirement. As long as the audio is clear (and the content good) we'll put up with a small screen, or I wonder in this case, no screen at all.

Great analysis!

Cheers .. Kate

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Ed Lee said...

i think once video podcasts get integrated into PSP's and the like, (there is a story somewhere) then they'll start to take off but I agree that at the moment they're very much a "watch at home or at work" phenom.



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