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Upscale Profile of iTunes Podcast Audience

comScore released the results of a study profiling the Apple iTunes podcasting audience. The study, sponsored by mobile advertising enabler Ad Infuse, focused on those users who downloaded podcasts via iTunes in October 2006.

An analysis of the iTunes podcasting audience revealed that males represented a significantly larger share (63 percent) of the audience than did females (37 percent). In addition, 18-24 year olds represented a substantial share of the audience (29 percent) and were more than twice as likely as the average Internet user to download podcasts. People between the ages of 35-54 represented about half of the podcasting audience and were also more likely than average to download podcasts.

"The comScore study reveals significant advertising opportunities among several consumer segments," said Nick Tabbal, comScore senior vice president of media and entertainment solutions. "While the conventional wisdom says that only young, tech-savvy consumers are downloading and listening to podcasts, there is also a sizable market among 35-54 year olds, indicating that the audience is broader than previously thought."

comScore also examined the household income and education levels of the iTunes podcasting audience, revealing that consumption of podcasts increased with both income and education. In particular, those individuals in households making at least $100,000 annually were 28 percent more likely than average to download podcasts, while college graduates were 25 percent more likely.

Added Mr. Tabbal, "Since many of the top podcasts are in the educational and business genres, it's not surprising that podcasts today appeal to the more educated and higher-income consumer segments. Because these core audiences represent highly desirable consumer segments, it's probably just a matter of time before significant advertising dollars begin to flow toward this medium."

Although not intended as the focus of this study, I believe that it's important to state the inverse of this trend -- meaning, the remaining audience for both broadcast radio and television will be progressively different as media fragmentation becomes the new norm. Those who remain as the trapped legacy broadcaster audience -- unable to access online digital media -- will become the least desirable consumer group for discerning marketers.

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