Godcasting’s Second Coming

May 30th, 2008 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Featured Story, General

Back in 2005, so-called “godcasts” – religious podcasts – were one of the most talked about podcast genres.

Podcaster Craig Patchett in 2004 created the GodCast network, featuring a variety of Christian podcasts and even a Klingon Word podcast. Hundreds of churches followed suit, distributing weekly sermons as podcasts.

While mainstream coverage quickly moved on to other topics, godcasting is still going strong. In fact, recent research suggests that Christians are twice as likely as the average to be listening to podcasts.

The Barna Group, a religious research firm, this week released the results of its research into social networking, online entertainment and podcasts.

Some of the highlights:

  • The study found that 38% of evangelicals and 31% of other born again Christians had listened to a sermon or church teaching via digital recordings available on the Internet (often called a “podcast”), compared with 17% of other adults.
  • An enormous audience of roughly 45 million Americans reports going digital to acquire church sermon and teaching content.
  • One out of every four adults – 23% – said they downloaded a church podcast in the past week.
  • Residents of the South (31%) were twice as likely as those in the Northeast (14%) to access church podcasts.
  • Protestants (32%) were more intrigued by such content than were Catholics (18%) and the same held true for non-mainline attenders (38%) compared to mainline Protestants (16%).
  • African-Americans (50%) were very loyal listeners, especially when contrasted with Asians (14%).
  • Those who are economically downscale (35%) were more likely to listen to church podcasts than were upscale adults (10%).

The Barna Group’s report is just one data source and their podcast definition is fairly loose. Nevertheless, their report suggests that there’s a large, faithful group of podcast listeners that aren’t getting discussed in mainstream coverage of podcasting.

Image: Matt Biddulph

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No Responses to “Godcasting’s Second Coming”

  1. Pastor Dale says:

    That image ripped off my logo. My (now podfaded–we started up the CrossFeed Religious News podcast afterwords) Lutheran Weekly http://lcmspastor.com/technology/lutheran_weekly_podcast show was the first to combine the iPod ad silhouette with a white collar tab in January, 2006.

    Oh, well. I never trademarked it. Imitation, flattery, and it’s podfaded anyway.

  2. James Lewin says:

    Pastor Dale

    There are a zillion parodies of the iPod ad silhouettes, so it’s reasonable to think that this church may have come up with the idea independently.

    Maybe “judge not, lest ye be judged” is in order?

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