Nielsen Netratings Says 9.2 Million Have Downloaded a Podcast

Posted on July 12, 2006

Podcasting News reports on a new study from Nielsen//NetRatings that shows over 9 million people have recently downloaded an audio pocast.
Nielsen//NetRatings announced today that 6.6 percent of the U.S. adult online population, or 9.2 million Web users, have recently downloaded an audio podcast. 4.0 percent, or 5.6 million Web users, have recently downloaded a video podcast.

These figures put the podcasting population on a par with those who publish blogs, 4.8 percent, and online daters, 3.9 percent. To put this in perspective, though, Nielsen notes that podcasting is not nearly as popular as paying bills online, 51.6 percent, or online job hunting, 24.6 percent.

"The portability of podcasts makes them especially appealing to young, on-the-go audiences," said Michael Lanz, analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "We can expect to see podcasting become increasingly popular as portable content media players proliferate," he continued.

Young people are more likely than their older counterparts to engage in audio or video podcasting. Web users between the ages 18 and 24 are nearly twice as likely as the average Web user to download audio podcasts, followed by users in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups, who were also more likely than the average Web user to do audio podcasting.
Why is people who have downloaded an audio podcast being compared to people who have published a blog? Shouldn't you compare downloading an audio podcast to reading a blog? Shouldn't you be comparing listening to podcasts to reading blogs if you are trying to compare online media consumption? The article also mentions iTunes so it is possible that music downloads are now being called podcasts which would really swell the audio podcast download numbers.