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Does podcasting increase your on-air audience?

At least one survey says so.

one-fifth of respondents saying they now listen to more live radio and nearly one-third [say] they listen to new radio shows after sampling them via podcasts. Only 8% of those surveyed said they listened to less radio because of the availability of podcasts. Of the 4.3 million who have downloaded podcasts, around 1.87 million people listen to at least one podcast each week. Two-thirds of podcast listeners subscribe to their favourite shows through iTunes, with nearly half tuning in during the evening. Of these, 80% listen through their computers and 61% copy the podcasts to their MP3 players.

I’m always skeptical of what people say they do – since that only occasionally correlates to what they really do.

Still, this study suggests that if podcasting’s effect is to depress on-air listening, then audiences (in the UK, at least) are not aware of it.

This conclusion makes sense, of course. Since the most important limiting factors to the success of anything on radio are A) Its quality and B) Its distribution. In other words, stuff has to be good and in the places I prefer to go – and now more than ever, online is one of those key places.

So your job is not just to have content worth podcasting, but to podcast it when you have it.

And then to maximize the distribution of that content across all non-radio channels.

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