Thursday, July 20, 2006

Podcast Audience Gets Older and Wider

Some shifts are detected in the podcast audience.

The findings of the latest Nielsen//NetRatings release on podcasting will come as little surprise to those familiar with the area.

Nielsen//NetRatings reports that 6.6% of the US adult online population — 9.2 million users — have recently downloaded an audio podcast; and 4% — 5.6 million users — recently downloaded a video podcast.

For perspective, the figures put the podcasting audience on a par with US Internet users who publish blogs (4.8%), and online daters, (3.9% of the adult online population).

"The portability of podcasts makes them especially appealing to young, on-the-go audiences," said Michael Lanz, analyst ay Nielsen//NetRatings. "We expect to see podcasting become increasingly popular as portable content media players proliferate."

Not surprisingly, downloading podcasts is an activity more popular with young people than old.
Internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 are almost twice as likely as the average user to download audio podcasts, followed by users in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups. Video podcast downloading, however, trended slightly older, with 25-34 year olds indexing the highest.

Web users above the age of 45 were less likely than average to downlaod podcasts of either sort.
Another report on podcasting, from KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann, which focused on business and IT professionals, reported 72% of respondents saying they had downloaded or listened to podcasts on technology topics on more than one occasion, and 23% saying they do so frequently.

In addition, 32% of the respondents said their podcast usage had "Increased" or "Significantly Increased" in the last six months, and 65% reported that they listen to podcasts for both personal and business reasons.

"This is one of the first surveys focused specifically on the B2B audience and it clearly shows that podcasts, blogs and other new media types are viable mediums for reaching B2B technology buyers," Matt Lohman of KnowledgeStorm.

The respondents were actually enthusiastic about podcasting — and wanted more. Nearly 60% said business and tech information in white papers or analyst reports would be more interesting as podcasts, and 55% said they would be more likely to use the information if it were delivered in podcasts, rather than as reading material.

"Podcasts are no longer being used only for pure entertainment value," said Stacy Malone of Universal McCann. "They are turning into an indispensable, business-critical information tool."

Apparently podcasting is no longer just for kids.



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