It's one of the biggest buzzwords out there at the moment, but a recent survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that the podcast just isn't catching on.

Although the survey found that the number of people on the web in America downloading podcasts has grown from 7% to 12% fewer internet users are listening to them with great frequency. Just 1% report downloading a podcast on a typical day the survey found.

The survey did however find that men are more likely than women to report podcast downloading; 15% of online men say they have downloaded a podcast, compared with just 8% of online women. And those who have used the Internet for 6 or more years are twice as likely as those who have been online 3 years or less to have downloaded a podcast (13% vs. 6%).

The array of individuals and mainstream media institutions that now provide podcasts has expanded dramatically in the last two years

For example, in November of 2004, Podcast Alley, a podcast directory website, listed fewer than 1000 podcasts for download. Today Podcast Alley catalogs more than 26,000 different podcasts, totaling more than 1 million episodes.

In addition to homegrown podcasts that cover topics ranging from music and fashion to religion and politics, mainstream media institutions such as NPR, the BBC and Comedy Central now regularly provide podcasted material as an alternative way to distribute their content.

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