Figures from Edison Media Research suggest the audience for podcasting is on the rise, and that general awareness of the medium is growing rapidly.

The stats, which were originally presented at the Corporate Podcasting Summit in London, show that awareness of podcasting grew by 70%, while actual use increased by only 18%.

Other stats include:

  • The audience for podcasts is up by 18% from a year ago. In 2006, 11% of those surveyed listened to audio podcasts; in 2007, the number was 13%
  • Podcast awareness has grown in the last year, from 22% to 37%
  • Video podcast use is up by 10%, from 10% to 11%

The podcast audience:

  • 49% are female, 51% male. Age distribution is relatively even also, with more 55+ listeners than in the 18-24 age group
  • Podcast users are twice as likely to have incomes over $100,000 and nearly twice as likely to have incomes between $75,000 and $100,000  
  • Podcast users were 36% more likely than others to have made online purchases, and 4 times as likely to have purchased songs online
  • Podcast users spend 50% more time online

Podcast advertising has been predicted to grow from $80m in 2006 to $400m in 2011. This makes sense when you look at the relatively high incomes of podcast users, and the fact that they are more likely to make online purchases.

The stats come from a poll of 1,855 telephone interviews in January 2007. A study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project last November put the US podcast audience at 12%.

Recent UK figures suggested that 8% of the UK population has downloaded a podcast.