New York City (July 20, 2006)–Nielsen//NetRatings announced 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. However, podcasting is not yet nearly as popular as viewing and paying bills online, 51.6 percent, or online job hunting, 24.6 percent.
Podcasting is a relatively new technology that enables users to quickly and easily download multimedia files, including audio and video, for playback on mobile devices including iPods and other MP3 players, as well as cell phones.
“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.”
According to the report, 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. Video podcasters trended a little older, with 25 to 34-year-olds indexing the highest. Web users above the age of 45 were less likely than average to engage in podcasting of either sort.
Among audio podcasters, Macworld is the No. 1 most-visited content site. Apple and iTunes are the No. 2 and 3 e-commerce sites visited by audio podcasters. The Apple connection is not as clear for video podcasters, who flock to Startrek.com, among content sites. Live365.com and eMusic are the two most popular e-commerce sites for video podcasters.