Some fresh and interesting insights into blog readership and habits from a Blogads survey. I don't know much about the survey, how it was sponsored, or how valid it should be considered. They said they had contact with 36,000 blog readers.
What jumped out at me, however, was the implications for podcasting from the reported survey results. Based on this finding ...
On one point many seem to agree: podcasts. Though often perceived as early-adopters of new media forms, most blog readers don't listen to them. In fact, 62 percent of music blog readers, 75 percent of political blog readers, 77 percent of mom blog readers and 80 percent of gossip blog readers said they never listen to podcasts.
... we can assume that blog readers may be more likely than the average Joe to partake in podcasts. Fine, so the blogosphere culls out those who value participatory information; podcasting may be used by an even smaller set of the general public. And based on the surveyor's conclusion that the blogosphere is mainly comprised (by volume) of those interested in music, politics, Mom issues, and gossip, we can take an average of the findings on podcasting by blog readers and sense that 73.5 percent of these bloggers don't listen to podcasts.
And based on a recent analyst report, the mainstream ambivalence toward podcasting is even higher. Fine.
But more importantly to me is that, based on this averaging, some 26% of those regular readers of blogs also listen to podcasts. And this just a few years into podcasting's mainstream debut functionally. Now, we can argue then that podcasting therefore is not mass media. Fine.
I argue that podcasting is a powerful, selective, and self-qualifying information modality. You get to those with a thirst to know more about what means the most to them. They literally want to hear more. What a great way to cut through the chaff. Does any other media on an automated and self-reinforcing basis offer such a benefit at low cost? You want to reach the most engaged audience with a full 30 minutes of knowledge-rich discussion on sophisticated, hard-to-understand topics? Ya, you do.
Podcasting increasingly is an accessible, valuable, and inexpensive way to reach the more inquisitive of those with a need or hunger to know more about what interests them most. I kind of like the idea of reaching only 25% of a potential audience. As long as it's the right 25%. And because podcasting requires by default an engaged mix of active and passive participation, I'm betting that the 25% of bloggers who listen to podcasts, based on this survey, are the most inquisitive.
I can't prove it, but I also bet that by being the most inquisitive, that they also tend to be the most influencial. Why? Because they know more.