Yet more signs for podcasting growth

BBC News: One in 10 adult Americans – equivalent to 22 million people – owns an MP3 player, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. […] MP3 players are still the gadget of choice for younger adults. Almost one in five US citizens aged under 30 have one. […] People are beginning to use them as instruments of social activity – sharing songs and taking part in podcasting – the [Pew] survey found.

Another clear sign to support current evidence that podcasting is taking off.

Here’s yet another sign:

Reuters: This year will witness the transformation of mobile handsets into genuine entertainment devices, France Telcom’s wireless unit Orange predicted on Monday. "Entertainment is the big thing in 2005," Orange Chief Executive Sanjiv Ahuja told Reuters in an interview on the fringes of 3GSM, the world’s biggest communications trade fair in Cannes. He said entertainment features on mobile phones such as high-quality music, video clips and live television would drive demand for third generation (3G) mobile services.

Making it even easier and more convenient to listen to audio – whether that’s music or conversations: they’re all digital audio files – wherever, whenever and however you want, and whether it’s for business or for pleasure.

There’s also this:

Reuters: The world’s largest mobile phone maker, Nokia, and software giant Microsoft struck a deal on Monday to make it easier for consumers to buy digital music online and play it back on their handsets. In a comprehensive agreement, involving a separate deal with digital media company Loudeye, Nokia agreed to put Microsoft’s music player software into its handsets. […] Consumers keep a lot of digital music in personal computers and will be able to simply transfer those tracks to their phone. […] The Finnish firm sold 10 million phones in 2004 with an integrated music player, and a spokesman told Reuters Nokia would launch a phone in 2005 that would support Windows Audio.

Hardware (the means…) and software (…unto the end) convergence. The more devices, the more content. And the more content, the more devices. And sooner rather than later, transferring your digital audio content to your mobile phone will be as easy as it is now to sync stuff to your iPod. Probably easier.

Still need convincing? One more sign:

Reuters: Swedish-Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson will launch digital Walkman phones in March to better tap into the mobile music market, seen as a top growth area for 2005, [Chief Executive Miles Flint] said on Monday. […] Some of Sony Ericsson’s models already feature a digital music player, but the new handsets will have more music playing features and will get access to Sony’s digital download service on the Internet, called Connect. The new Walkman phones, which will be available early in the second half of 2005, will have large memory, good quality headphones and the ability to easily import tracks from a personal computer and other devices.

This is a great time to be in the communication business!

2 thoughts on “Yet more signs for podcasting growth

  1. by focusing on the somewhat fossil-hunting activity of sharing static music files, i think the ppl developing the handheld convergence are missing a major trick.
    in a few days time, the nintendo DS will be unleashed onto the social network of cashed-up 18-35s. i work near a shop that’s been demoing these handheld game devices, and i’ve never seen the levels of enthusiasm for a new product as i have for these little puppies. ppl are literally stopping in their tracks and walking in to the shop for the chance to experience the DS first hand. levels of interest commensurate with a free lunchtime lingerie parade/chocolate tasting.
    and what does it do, this DS? it offers users the ability to form spontaneous LANs and play games/interact over those wireless networks.
    video gaming is the cultural technology of the 21st century as cinema was of the 20th. the n-gage, a half-hearted attempt at meeting the needs of this cultural aspect of the convergence, didn’t go far enough, and wasn’t successful enough to capture the attention of the convergence gurus. which is a pity.
    i predict that in five years’ time, mobile gaming will be as, if not more, significant in ppl’s sociocultural landscapes than TV is now. they will discuss the gamescapes that they inhabit in the same way that they currently discuss ‘desperate housewives’, or other viral TV shows.
    i believe that the ability to interact with others in a socially meaningful way will be a more compelling hook for emerging handheld technology than the opportunity to steal, swap, and listen to the pet shop boys greatest hits on your phone.
    and the sooner we stop calling these things in our pockets ‘phones’, the better.

  2. Thoughtful commentary, wegglywoo, thanks. An interesting take, re mobile gaming, one that I’ve read others speaking about too.
    Mobile gaming, phones, music, podcasting… it’s all extremely meaninful in the context of what you say: “i believe that the ability to interact with others in a socially meaningful way will be a more compelling hook for emerging handheld technology than the opportunity to steal, swap, and listen to the pet shop boys greatest hits on your phone.”
    What I want is one device that can do all such things!

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