At least 2.7m adults in the UK listen to podcasts on their mp3 players, according to data released today from radio measurement body Rajar.
Rajar began collecting data on podcast listening habits last summer. Since then, the number of adults listening to podcasts has risen 40 per cent from 1.9m (or 14.8 per cent of mp3 player owners) to 2.7m (18.3 per cent).
The actual number of podcast listeners is likely to be higher than this, as the data does not take into account people who download podcasts and listen to them on their computer instead of on a portable device.
As mp3 player ownership increases, a number of traditional print journalism brands have moved into podcasting to increase their reach, from national newspapers such as The Guardian to magazine publishers such as technology specialists VNU.
Podcasting can also provide a new revenue stream. In May, London rolling news station LBC said it had attracted more than 11,000 subscribers to its paid-for podcasts, bringing in more than £100,000 in revenue in the past year.
LBC launched its foray into subscription-only podcasts in January 2006, under the name LBC Plus, with all of its shows, including breakfast presenter and former Sun Bizarre column editor Nick Ferrari. Subscribers are charged £24 a year to access the content.