According to the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary, “podcast” is the Word of the Year for 2005.   Check out the article in MacWorld.    Podcast beat out such runners-up as “bird flu” and “IED” (improvised explosive device).    The dictionary defines podcasting as "“a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player".  

The Microsoft Webcast team is looking to get into the podcast world shortly.  We'll start with offering audio-only versions of some of our TechNet webcasts (something some of you have been asking us to do for some time).  I'll be working to find a way to get your feedback on the experience, and how much demand there is for audio-only versions of the webcasts.  You can start the discussion now by posting a reply here and let me know what you think of the idea!

In other Podcast news:

1) Study: Podcasters to reach 62 Mil.   a colleague sent me this report saying that over 60 million people will be using podcasts by 2010. 

NEW YORK The audience growth for podcasts will accelerate rapidly through the remainder of the decade, exceeding 60 million by 2010, according to a new study from radio researcher Bridge Ratings.

According to Bridge Ratings' "Future of Podcasting" report, at least 62.8 million users will have downloaded a podcast by 2010, with the potential audience approaching 75 million.

Part of the logic behind that hefty audience estimate is the exponential growth seen for podcasting this year. The study, which surveyed 4,400 radio listeners in 10 national markets, saw the number of podcast listeners jump from just 820,000 in 2004 to 4.8 million listeners in 2005.

Of those who have sampled podcasts, the study found that 20 percent are heavy consumers, listening to podcasts on a weekly basis and downloading an average of six podcasts per week.

--Mike Shields

 

2) iTunes, podcasting/video Podcasts.   Podcasting has become one of the top genres for iTunes.  And they're adding video podcasting.   This is hot. 

 

3) New podcast search engines "Podcast Choas be Gone".  This Wired.com article talks about two new search engines offering to do for podcasting what Technorati does for blogs by letting users search podcasts by keyword to single out audio that suits their interests.

It's a brave new world.

Dean Andrews
TechNet Webcasts