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Forrester: Podcast Listeners Still Few

Despite a growing familiarity with podcasting, only a small percentage of Americans regularly listen to them, according to a ForresterResearch consumer poll, writes AdWeek. Just 1 percent of 5,000 internet users surveyed said they regularly listen to podcasts, and only 2 percent had sampled them, according to the Forrester report (subsc. only). Podcast listeners are more likely to be young, male and tech-savvy. Companies interested in using podcasts should focus not only on downloads but also on streaming audio to get content and ads to consumers, Forrester analyst Charlene Li writes in her blog.

Finding podcasts is still too difficult, Li says, although Apple's adding a podcast directory to iTunes and Yahoo's introduction of a podcast search engine has made it easier. Also, podcast advertising is held back by too few reliable measurement standards, with most based on files downloaded rather than actual listeners.

Despite the low adoption rate, Forrester sees podcasting growing quickly, predicting 12 million households will regularly listen to podcasts by 2010. Forrester's findings are in contrast to those of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which in April estimated 6 million Americans had listened to a podcast, including 29 percent who owned an MP3 player.

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