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Nielsen Survey Nonsense
Nielsen recently released a survey that says, in part:

Nielsen//NetRatings announced today that 6.6 percent of the U.S. adult online population, or 9.2 million Web users, have recently downloaded an audio podcast. 4.0 percent, or 5.6 million Web users, have recently downloaded a video podcast. These figures put the podcasting population on a par with those who publish blogs, 4.8 percent, and online daters, 3.9 percent.

Umm…what? We're comparing podcast listeners with blog writers? That's like comparing newspaper readers to karoake singers. No correlation between the two.

I'm embarassed for them.

Via Podcasting News

Update: Looks like Leesa is as impressed as I am with the survey.

Update: Nielsen admits they suck.

11 Comments/Trackbacks

It's Nielsen not Neilsen.

» Trekkies Rule! from BizPodcasting
Straight up - I put that title in to make you read this entry. It worked, didn't it? Maybe it will even be worth your time :)It's interesting to watch the follow on wave from the recent Nielsen survey on... [Read More]

Damn...I got it right in today's post. Fixed - thanks!

All Nielsen seems to be guilty of is gathering and publishing information about internet usage (I haven't found or read the report that is referred to though).

From what I can tell Podcasting News should be the ones bearing the brunt of people's scorn in this case. Seemingly, they were the ones that perverted the information to create a provocative headline and "story" so that others like you and Scoble would link to them.

Brian, did you read my post? I quite clearly quote the part that is giving me (and a whole lot of other people) heart ache with the report and it has nothing to do with Podcasting News' reporting.

Podcasting News simply quoted the report verbatim without adding any commentary whatsoever.

I'm not sure why you would comment without reading the report for yourself. How can you possibly state that Podcasting News "perverted the information" when you haven't read the source document?

Yes - I read your post -- the exact Nielsen report I couldn't seem to find. Do you have a link to the report in question?

So are you questioning their use of the "podcasting population" label applying to users instead of producers and calling their survey nonsense because of that (even though the quote clearly states what they were referring to)?

Or are you quibbling over the use of the phrase "on a par" thinking that implies equality of some kind (other than just the numbers which is my interpretation)?

Or something else in the quote?

Hi Brian,

I'm not trying to be obtuse, really, but what I'm quibbling about is what I wrote in my post:

"We're comparing podcast listeners with blog writers? That's like comparing newspaper readers to karoake singers. "

We're clearly having a disconnect, but I don't know why. Nielsen has compared people who *listen* to podcasts with people who *write* blogs. Had they compared listeners and readers OR podcasters and bloggers then the comparison would be fine.

You can link through to the report from my link to Podcasting News, but here's a direct one to the PDF for you:


More links for you:

Nielsen themselves conceed that their survey is wrong:


A small sampling of other podcasters talking about the folley of comparing people who listen to podcasts to people who write blogs:


I think you are reading more into the quote and report than it was intended to convey-- clearly they were not comparing anything but numbers -- and by including the online dating in the same sentence and online bill paying and online job seeking in the next sentence (which you did not quote) they are clearly stating that.

Do you think they are equating online bill payers or people who use online dating services with bloggers?

I realize there is a certain amount of emotion involved here on the people in the "podcasting industry" and they may have stirred up that emotion inadvertently but I think you should step back and take a look at this with more objectivity.

Hi Brian,

No, I very clearly see a comparison of two unlike activities here. As I stated in my comment above, Nielsen themselves has acknowledged that they made an error. I feel fully justified :)

» Nouvelle �tude Nielsen NetRatings from Oh My Pod! Le blog des actualites du podcast
6,6% des internautes americains sont adeptes de podcasting. Je m'etais dit au d�but que je n'allais pas parler de cette etude Nielsen NetRatings car elle n'apporte rien de neuf vraiment et Nielsen confond meme les... [Read More]

you should ! i mean if you're right why shouldn't you take the credit ?

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