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Thinking About Stats

The recent Nielsen stat report and the resulting flashback from the podcasting community has had me thinking about stats lately. Speculations about poor research aside, how is it that Nielsen shows that 18-24 year olds are the largest podcast audience and Todd Cochrane says that 35-44 year olds form the biggest segment?

To answer that, I have to speculate a bit further. The Nielsen study has broken out audio and video podcasts which is marginally helpful, but not very because "audio" includes music and talk podcasts but makes no attempt to categorize on topic. Todd's stats (again some assumption here) are very likely from the Tech Podcast Network which is all talk and all tech.

Update: Todd's stats were from Geek News Central only. I think that still works, though. GNC is all tech, all talk.

So really I think what might be closer to the truth is that the younger group might form the largest listener segment of music podcasts and the old group might be the 500lb elephant of the talk podcast segment.

Even if I'm totally out to lunch, it might be a good "lessons learned" going forward for those who product podcast stats to hit on some genres a little more tight than 'audio' and 'video'.

2 Comments/Trackbacks

I've read your couple of posts regarding a Nielsen/Netratings survey recently published that discussed podcasting.

If you want a statistical approach from some folks that actually might understand the concept of audio programs, you could check out the report recently released by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research. It can be found at http://www.arbitron.com/downloads/im2006pres.pdf

Of particular interest is the graph on page 28 that shows roughly 27 million Americans have listened to a podcast.

Not bad for a medium that's really only a year old as a mass medium (post-iTunes), I'd say!

Thanks Steve. I'll take a look.

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