'Tis the season for some birthdays, apparently. It was a year ago today that Steve Jobs pressed the big, red easy button and released iTunes with podcasting support into the wild. The podcasting audience exploded over night. But not everybody seems to be happy about this, according to a bithday present an article by Wired News. TWIT's Leo Laporte is quoted with some critical remarks about Apple's dominance in the space.

What puzzles me a little about the article is the general scepticism towards podcasting as a niche medium. The story quotes Steve Walch to get a sense of how many listeners the average podcaster really has:

"He noted that FeedBurner, one of the largest providers of RSS feeds, recently reported 3.3 million subscriptions for 56,000 feeds, an average of 59 subscribers per feed. Even assuming that some unknown percentage of those feeds may be dead, he said, those figures imply that podcasts with 500 listeners 'are doing really well.'"

Now what's wrong with having 500 listeners? If you serve a small, engaged community, 500 listeners may be the world to you. I also don't understand what these Feedburner numbers are supposed to explain. Feedburner serves any kind of RSS feeds, not just podcasts. So do these numbers refer to podcasting feeds alone?

And even if so: Do they make any sense at all? BizPodcasting doesn't think so:

"That bit of logic is so insanely suspect that I can't believe it made it into print."

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