More than 6% of US adults, or about nine million web users, have downloaded podcasts in the past 30 days, according to a recent report released by Nielsen Analytics.
The study, in which 1700 participants were surveyed on their podcasting usage, reveals that podcasts have grown increasingly popular since iTunes began listing the downloads in 2005.
The study found that about 6% of respondents described themselves as regular podcast downloaders – more than 75% of whom were male. The findings show that a significant percentage, approximately 38%, of active podcast downloaders say they are listening to radio less often.
According to Nielsen’s enquiry, the most successful podcasts are garnering as many as two million downloads a month, enabling them to attract mainstream advertising. For example, Dixie Paper company now sponsors the Mommycast podcast series.
The incredible popularity of podcasting is the latest demonstration of consumers’ willingness to take control of their media experiences, said Larry Gerbrandt, general manager and senior VP of Nielsen Analytics. While essentially still in nascent form, podcasts offer free audio and video content that is inexpensive to create, easy to access and on a portable platform that has already reached mass distribution.