This is astonishing!
According to a new PEW study:
More than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3 players and 29% [HALF of 18-28 year-olds] of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web so that they could listen to audio files at a time of their choosing. That amounts to more than 6 million adults who have tried this new feature that allows internet “broadcasts” to be downloaded onto their portable listening device.
See the full study here.
In the comments below it has been pointed out to me – quite correctly – that, based on the way the question was asked, the conclusion about the penetration of podcast downloading could easily be exaggerated.
I say “quite correctly” because I actually looked at the question, and it is indeed prone to misinterpretation. Here’s what PEW asked:
“Have you ever downloaded a podcast or Internet radio program so you could listen to it on your digital audio player at a later time?”
This absolutely can and no doubt does include tons of content, such as that available through Audible.com or even audiobooks purchased through iTunes, that is NOT a “podcast.” In fact, pretty much ANYTHING besides a song that you download now and listen to later that is kosher according to the way that question is asked.
In their zeal to be equitable, PEW screwed this one up, big-time. I don’t know how many folks have downloaded Podcasts, but it surely isn’t anywhere near this many.
Thanks to my astute readers for urging me to do what I almost always do anyway but did not do here – go to the source. My apologies for spreading propaganda – or simply sloppy research conclusions.