As reported in the Guardian, a survey of over 300 U.K. podcast users done by Chrysalis Radio's download division found that 80% of those surveyed indicated that they would be more likely to seek out products and services after hearing about them.
Before rushing out to promote products via podcasts, it should be noted that the most popular subjects for audio downloads are books and films (not search engine marketing, surprise), and 55% of listeners seek out podcasts on entertainment topics. Electronic goods and gadgets are good targets, for 49% of listeners downloaded podcasts about gadgets and electronic goods.
The survey also found that podcasts have an underexploited social component inasmuch as 90% of those surveyed said they would consider forwarding audio shows to friends. Podcasters not already doing so should consider adding social bookmarking to their show's landing pages.
Confirmed by the survey is that podcasts are in a time-shifting medium. 75% of listeners listen at their convenience not during live show times and a similar number listen while away from home. While listening on an MP3 player or mobile phone (50%), podcast fans are engaged in exercise (10%), traveling on public transportation (20%) or doing housework (12%). Podcast listeners are dedicated listeners with 25% listening for up to two hours a day, but they are time-challenged, and a third of the time do not listen to their entire downloads. This suggests that if you want to make a point in your podcast, make it early since you may not get a chance to be heard if you wait until the end.