Study Finds Podcast Use Slowly Rising

Posted on November 22, 2006

The AP reports that podcast use is rising. Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 12% of Internet users have downloaded a podcast -- a climb of 7% over a study from earlier this year.
A growing number of Americans are listening to podcasts, but very few do so every day.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project said Wednesday that 12 percent of Internet users have downloaded a podcast, an increase from 7 percent earlier in the year.

However, only about 1 percent said they download a podcast on a typical day -- unchanged from the survey earlier this year. The rest do so less frequently, perhaps only once.

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While podcast downloading is still an emerging activity primarily enjoyed by early adopters, the range of content now available speaks to both mainstream and niche audiences," said Mary Madden, senior research specialist at Pew. "We are at a crossroads of a major transition in the way media content is delivered and consumed."
The Pew Study also found that men are more likely to download a podcast -- 15% to 8%. They also used data from Podcast Alley that shows there are many more podcasts available today than there were just two years ago.
The array of individuals and mainstream media institutions that now provide podcasts has also expanded dramatically. For example, in November of 2004, Podcast Alley, a podcast directory website, listed fewer than 1,000 podcasts for download. Today Podcast Alley catalogs more than 26,000 different podcasts, totaling more than 1 million episodes. In addition to homegrown podcasts that cover topics ranging from music and fashion to religion and politics, mainstream media institutions such as NPR, the BBC and Comedy Central now regularly provide podcasted material as an alternative way to distribute their content.
The PDF for the study can be found here.