Podcast Popularity on the Rise

WASHINGTON - Podcasting consumption is on the rise, with 19 percent of all Internet users saying they have downloaded a podcast, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The figure is up from 12 percent in August 2006.

Nevertheless, only 3 percent of Internet users report downloading podcasts on a daily basis. Pew points out that 22 percent of men online, compared with 16 percent of women online, report having downloaded a podcast.

In any case, the number of existing programs has nearly doubled, from 26,000 podcasts with 1 million episodes in November 2006, to more than 43,000 podcasts and well more than 2 million episodes today, according to the Podcast Alley directory.

College campuses have also helped promote podcasts as a means of distributing lectures and other content, the report said.