… 1990s audio books on cassette tapes.
I remember when I was little, I hated reading books. At the public library, I always yearned to go to the children’s cassette tape area to rent stories that I could play in my little pink Hello Kitty tape player back at home. Sometimes, if I was lucky, my parents would slide a tape into the car tape player and watch as it quickly lulled me to sleep.
While audio books are still available today via apps and music services, the decline of their usage is not shocking. Publisher’s Weekly notes that audiobooks have fallen 28.3% in digital sales this past year.
Unlike audio books, podcasts are gaining new listeners everyday. A podcast is simply a digital file of a story or broadcast that you can listen to on-the-go. While podcasts remind me of audiobooks, the two are completely different in retrospect. As mentioned on Entrepreneur’s Journey, “Podcasting is the start of a new media content revolution that is empowering individuals with the ability to globally distribute their ideas and create a following of like minded fans. It is impacting traditional industries such as journalism, education and entertainment allowing anyone to freely create and distribute news and media.”
A study done by Edison Research states that many users can access podcasts online, in apps, smart phones or tablets. The findings of their study suggests that people who listen to podcasts are more likely to take digital media with them in the car. Parviz Parvizi, co-founder of Clammr, made a guess at how future consumers will be using podcasts. “The car is an obvious target.”
Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, GM, etc. have introduced cars with bluetooth technology and digital capabilities to connect with phones. That being said, consumers can easily sync their phone to the car and listen to a podcast, instead of the radio, while on a long drive.
Will podcasts be taking over radio? The podcast industry is still trying to figure it out. According to Edison Research, podcasts listeners have only increased 3% from last year bringing podcasts consumers to 33%. As we see this trend has grown in the past few years, but not by much.
“The End of the Dark Ages of Podcasting” by The New Republic mentions that 58 percent of people who listened to at least one podcast per week were streaming web-based audio in their cars. This states that the demand is clearly growing for podcasts on the go.
Audio story cassette tapes are a thing of the past, the new cassette is a digital file that consumers can access with the push of a button. If companies keep innovating and new technology becomes available, history will be able to repeat itself. We hope to see a spike in consumption of both audio books and podcasts.