Podcasting Popularity Continues To Increase

    April 4, 2005

Of the 22 million Americans who own MP3 players, including Apple’s iPod, about 29 percent have downloaded the audio files that make up a podcast.

These numbers come courtesy of Pew Internet & American Life Project, who conducted a telephone survey of 2201 people between February 21 and March 21, 2005. The survey revealed around 6 million of the 22 million (29%) who own MP3 players have indeed downloaded and listened to podcasts.

For the uninitiated, a Wikipedia defines the medium as:

A podcast can be thought of an audio magazine subscription; in that a subscriber receives regular programs without having to remember to go get them, and can listen or watch them at leisure. It can also be thought of as the internet equivalent of timeshift-capable digital video recorders (DVRs) such as TiVo, which let users automatically record and store television programs for later viewing.

The system most commonly involves audio files in MP3 format, but other formats and other types of files, such as video, can also be podcasted.

The word “podcast” is a combination of “iPod” and “broadcast”. However, listening to podcasts is not restricted to Apple’s mobile music player. In fact, because podcasts are normally in MP3 format, any number of mobile gadgets should be able to support them.

As the popularity of podcasting continues to climb, will advertisers start to view them as viable advertising mediums? Steve Rubel certainly thinks so, and he provides evidence to back this belief up.

Read Pew Internet’s PDF concerning their survey.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.