Weekly Online Radio Audience Reaches An Estimated 86 Million Nationally Says New Arbitron/Edison Research Study
Study Also Reveals That More Than Half of Americans Now Own a Smartphone
April 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM (PT)
One in three Americans aged 12 and older now listen to all forms of online radio on a weekly basis, according to the new national survey from ARBITRON and EDISON RESEARCH, "The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms."
The study, released TODAY (4/2), is the 21st in a series of studies dating back to 1998. Among the many other findings:
* Weekly online radio listeners report listening for an average of 11 hours 56 minutes per week, up by more than two hours over last year’s listening levels (9 hours 46 minutes in 2012), and nearly double that reported in 2008 (6 hours 13 minutes). During the same span of time, ARBITRON’s RADAR service indicates that AM/FM Radio has grown to 243 million weekly listeners and Time Spent Listening has remained approximately two hours a day
During TODAY's webinar, ALL ACCESS asked if they broke down listening between users who acually turned on the radio or web stream, and those who were passive listeners and heard the radio wherever they were. The answer: "We have asked the same question about 'radio' usage since the study's inception; for tracking purposes, it is whatever people think of as 'radio.' We did not ask specifically about 'active' vs. 'passive' listening."
* AM/FM radio is an "almost all of the time" or "most of the time" in-car choice for nearly six in 10 adults aged 18 and over; dashboard AM/FM radio (58%) far outpaces frequent in-car use of CD players (15%), portable digital audio/MP3 players (11%), satellite radio (10%) and online radio (4%).
"We are now seeing the highest levels of weekly online radio listening with the increasing strength of AM/FM streams and other online radio brands and the near ubiquity of devices in which consumers can listen," said ARBITRON SVP/Marketing BILL ROSE.
* AM/FM Radio delivers far more consumers (49%) than other media during the half-hour before they arrive to shop, more than twice the number reached by the next closest medium (advertising on Billboards at 21%)
* 53% of all Americans aged 12 and over (an estimated 139 million people) own a smartphone; three-quarters of those aged 18-to-34 own these devices.
"In the smartphone, the majority of Americans now have powerful computers in their pockets, which has irrevocably altered not only out-of-home listening behavior, but out-of-home purchase behavior as well," added EDISON VP/Strategy and Marketing TOM WEBSTER.
* More than one in four Americans (27%) check their social network several times per day, estimated at 71 million people
* 29% own a tablet; this is up more than 70% in the last year, compared to 17% ownership in 2012.
* Among the nearly half of Americans (45%) who say it is important to learn about and keep up-to-date with new music, AM/FM radio is the top source for new music discovery at 78%. Missing from the webinar presentation was a historial perspective on that, but the webinar did illsutrate a potential warning sign. In the 12-24 demo, Friend/Family was the top source 79% for new music discovery, followed by YOUTUBE (77%), AM/FM (72%), PANDORA (58%) and FACEBOOK (57%).
* The median age of each medium's users, interestingly enough, portends troubling news for, of all media, TV. The average median age for heavy Internet users is 33; the average age of the heavy radio fan is 42, and the heavy TV fan user is 50 -- and only 17% of heavy TV users are under 24. In contrast, 24% of heavy radio fans are under 24, while 44% of heavy Net users are of that age group.
Noticing a conspicuous absence of HD Radio listening data in the presentation, ALL ACCESS asked if there were any breakouts for HD radio listening. The answer: "The only question we asked about HD Radio usage was "ever use" in-car; 3% of the 12+ population. By standard 10-year age demos, it varies from 2%-4%.
Conclusions: Digital Media Doesn't Cannibalize Listenership; Optimize Smartphone Access
The data presented in the Webinar prompted the study's authors to make the following observations:
* Media consumption is not a zero sum game. Digital platforms do not replace media usage; they enhance it.
* Now that the majority of Americans have smartphones, they have a "two-way" radio in their pocket. Find ways to engage an audience that is tuning-in and responding on the same device.
* Prime real estate is crucial on the smartphone. A clear app strategy can help ensure your brand doesn’t get lost.
* FACEBOOK is on top of the social media world, but TWITTER is getting hot. Content providers, especially those focused on 12-24s, should engage TWITTER users differently than FACEBOOK.
* Social networking sites like INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST are becoming popular. Increase your visual marketing efforts with social media.