Joel Osteen Hits Big on iTunes

America's "Most Watched Pastor" saw his audio podcast hit No. 9 in the podcast charts on iTunes last week.

Megapastor Joel Osteen's audio podcast has been in or near the top 10 on iTunes since January, according to Joel Osteen Ministries officials. More than 1 million downloads were recorded in the month of February alone.

"We were very pleased to see the numbers spike when we began letting people know about the podcasts on Joel's television broadcast," stated Jeana Lawrence, Director of Marketing and Communications for Lakewood, in a press release. "Based on the number of subscribers per day, Joel Osteen is one of the most popular podcasts in the world."

Osteen's audio and video podcasts have consistently grown in popularity since they were first launched early 2006 and have stayed at or near the No. 1 spot in the iTunes inspirational category for the past six months. The audio podcast has consistently ranked in the top 20 overall and the video podcast, the top 40.

iTunes offers 30-minute podcasts of Joel Osteen's weekly television message in audio or video format, downloadable to iPods, PCs or MP3 players for free.

Osteen is the author of New York Times bestselling book Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, which has sold over 4 million copies and remained on top of the New York Times bestsellers list since its release in October 2004.

He and his wife, Victoria, lead Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas – one of the largest and most diverse churches in America. Lakewood Church's weekly services are broadcast on numerous national cable networks, including Discovery, USA Network, ABC Family and Daystar Television Network.

Joel Osteen can also be seen internationally in over 100 nations through CNBC Europe, Vision Canada, CNBC Australia and Middle East Television. In an earlier interview, the megapastor mentioned plans to expand his broadcast reach to the Philippines and South Africa. Nielsen Media Research rated Osteen's broadcast the No. 1 inspirational program nationally, based on average television viewers per market.

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