How Big is Podcasting Market?

Now that Apple’s iTunes has added podcasting support, and it is getting noticed on Wall Street, it is about time someone came out with a market research report, however over-exuberant it might seem. The Diffusion Group emailed a press release this morning and were quick to point out that the “demand for time-shifted digital audio files or “podcasts” is expected to grow from less than 15% of portable digital music player owners in 2004 to 75% by 2010.

> TDG’s new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, suggests that between 2004 and 2010, the use of podcasting among US consumers will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 101%.

Marc Freedman, the writer of the report seems to be hedging his bets a little.

> “In many ways podcasting is a fad,” said Freedman. “Major media producers from satellite to radio to magazines are announcing new podcast programs daily just to appear hip and appeal to young people. But don’t be deceived by the hype. The fundamental growth, driven by the boom in portable digital music players, is similarly huge and very real.

I think these are seriously over optimistic estimates. Having lived through a bubble and watched folks at Jupiter put out ridiculous projections on a daily basis, I am going to discount the forecast by at least 75%. That’s a good rule of thumb so to speak.