We started last year urging broadcasters to stream their audio online, and we kick off the new year with an encouraging research project that reinforces its importance. A MediaSpan study of nearly 35,000 site visitors confirms that streaming is the real deal. Half stream their favorite station at least monthly, and better than one in ten downloads podcasts.
How much has our world changed in the past year? To give you an idea, we put together the questionnaire for our Technology Web Poll in January and February of '05. At that time, we asked about streaming, satellite radio, texting, IMing, videogames, and of course, the (in)famous "cell phone only" question. But we didn't ask about podcasting, simply because it really wasn't on the radar screen in any meaningful way twelve months ago.
Fast-forward (and that's exactly the phenomenon) to the present, and podcasting is not only becoming more common, but now even the big TV networks are doing it/selling it, and Apple has come out with the first of what will be many video iPods.
We continue to hear owners, some programmers, and a number of morning shows question the wisdom of streaming and podcasting. But like so many other innovations, these activities are a runaway train. We'd better jump on while we still can or risk losing more audience and more time to other media. If we believe in our content, utilizing important delivery systems only makes sense. "Embrace technology" has got to become terrestrial radio's mantra.