Podcasting Still Waiting in the Wings

As gadgets with digital audio capabilities proliferate, podcast downloading continues to increase, according to August 2008 research conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project. In 2006, Pew reported that popular podcast directory Podcast Alley catalogued more than 26,000 podcasts with more than 1 million episodes. The number has since nearly doubled to 43,000 podcasts and more than 2 million episodes.

However, the research found that the communications platform still has a ways to go to become a fixture in the everyday lives of Internet users. Among the research findings:

•    19% of surveyed Internet users have downloaded a podcast, up from 12% in August 2006 and 7% in a February-April 2006 survey;
•    Of those who do download podcasts, only 17% do so on a typical day; and,
•    22% of online men have downloaded a podcast as compared to 16% of online women; that said, men and women are equally likely (3%) to download podcasts on a typical day.

As podcasting downloads increase, so does the number of people who own MP3 devices. According to a December 2007 Pew Internet Project survey:

•    34% of American adults and 43% of Internet users reported owning an MP3 player, up from 20% of the total population and 26% of Internet users in April 2006; and,
•    Young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to own these gadgets, with 61% of that demographic having reported owning an MP3 device.

Source: Pew Internet & ALP

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