Catching On: Podcasts

NEW YORK As many as 6 million U.S. adults have listened to a podcast, according to a new survey, giving hope that the fledgling technology could catch on with a broader market.

Podcasts are downloadable radio programs, often distributed through Really Simple Syndication feeds that can be transferred to digital music players like iPods. Podcasts act as the audio equivalent of blogs, allowing users an easy way to broadcast and share content. According to survey of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, about 6 million said they downloaded a podcast.

In Pew’s poll, 11 percent of respondents said they owned an MP3 player, putting the total U.S. ownership at 22 million. Of those with MP3 players, 29 percent reported listening to a podcast. Pew said the survey has a 7.5 percent margin of error.

The poll found podcast listeners more likely to be young: nearly half of those between 18 and 28 said they downloaded podcasts, compared to about 20 percent of those over 29.