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Pew backtracks on podcasting survey numbers

Peter Rojas
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The other day we were pretty skeptical about that survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project which found that something like 29% of people who owned MP3 players had downloaded a podcast. The methodology seemed iffy from the get go (they only interviewed 208 people, which lead to a whopping 7.5% margin of error), but that didn't stop them from issuing an attention-grabbing press release about how 6 million Americans were listening to podcasts, a number which has been thrown around endlessly over the past couple of days. Well, now Pew's research director is engaging in a little backtracking, saying that even they don't believe that 6 million Americans are listening to podcasts, and has admitted that the question they asked (if people had "ever downloaded a podcast or radio Internet program") was a little overly broad since it could easily encompass all sorts of things besides podcasts. And since most people still don't know the difference between streaming and downloading, we bet that anyone who has ever even listened to Internet radio said yes to this question, too. Not that podcasting as a phenomenon isn't growing rapidly or anything, but there's no reason to overinflate its importance, you know?

[Via TechDirt]

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