Podcasts have long been a popular topic for discussion in the tech echo
chamber, but a new study from Nielsen//NetRatings suggests that real
audiences might be finally starting to listen to the new media form.
According to the study, 6.6 percent of the U.S. adult online
population, or 9.2 million Web users, recently downloaded an audio
Video podcasts are slightly less popular, with 4 percent, or 5.6
million Web users, recently downloading one.
Some have called the emergence a revolution.
And as recently as October, only 2 percent of Internet users had actually listened to them.
But the distance podcasts have to travel before they become truly
mainstream is well mapped out.
According to the study, podcasting is not yet nearly as popular as viewing and paying bills online (51.6 percent) or online job hunting (24.6 percent).
However, Web users between the ages 18
and 24 are nearly twice as likely as the average Web user to download
audio podcasts, according to the study, which is a sign that adoption might continue to grow.