RTE may cash in on podcast success
Confidential new figures from RTE show that the 2FM comedy series Nob Nation was the most popular podcast in Ireland last year, clocking up 737,000 downloads between April and December.
It was closely followed by Radio One's flagship programme, Morning Ireland on 730,000.
The commercially sensitive information provides the first ever snapshot of podcasting trends in Ireland.
It shows that the practice of retrieving free downloads of popular radio shows onto MP3 players has become a huge phenomenon here.
The figures also suggest that RTE's own website may even be outstripping traffic on Apple's online store iTunes, the creators of podcasting.
The leaked statistics from Montrose show its top 10 podcasts broke the three million mark in just nine months last year.
They include The Gerry Ryan Show, Liveline, Drivetime and Conversations with Eamon Dunphy.
RTE's figures don't include downloads on the iTunes chart, where its biggest podcast Nob Nation, voiced by Monaghan mimic Oliver Callan, habitually resides in the top five.
Apple refuses to disclose download figures publicly.
The closely guarded information suggests that the State broadcaster's publishing arm could be considering a move from podcast, to "pod-cash" given its hugely lucrative potential on the country's busiest website.
It is estimated that RTE's 77 podcast titles were downloaded in excess of five million times in 2007.
1. Nob Nation 736,711
2. Morning Ireland 730,965
3. Colm & Jim Jim 601,203