Bridge Ratings Updates Digital-Media Projections
January 26, 2007 at 5:49 AM (PT)
As part of BRIDGE RATINGS' ongoing study of audience attrition of traditional radio and subscriber and user growth of alternative digital media, it publishes a quarterly report comparing projected use and growth. Here are highlights from the report that covers interviews conducted with 3,101 persons 13+ between OCTOBER 1, 2006 and JANUARY 7, 2007.
Satellite Radio: While final results showed growth of 4.5 million satellite radio subscribers for 2006, BRIDGE projects a 2007 sector increase of 3.9 million subscribers with XM finishing the year with 9.12 million and SIRIUS with 8.34 total subscribers. "If a merger of the two companies does come to fruition this year," explains BRIDGE Pres. DAVE VAN DYKE, "we will re-forecast these numbers. It is our belief that a single satellite radio entity will produce fewer total subscriptions than two competitive businesses."
Terrestrial Radio: Weekly cume for traditional radio will slide from its current 94% of the U.S. population in 2007 to 77% by 2020. "While it's difficult to project too far into the future, we have revised our estimates up compared to our last report published in SEPTEMBER 2006," explains VAN DYKE. "These new estimates are based on interviews with current listeners of traditional radio (AM/FM). Their overall perception of the medium and their outlook for future use improved during this quarter's interviews."
HD Radio: BRIDGE's just-released study on HD radio awareness (NET NEWS 1/17) reveals a slower growth curve for HD radio unless the industry can overcome significant consumer resistance due to issues related to the benefits of HD radio. "We have lowered our previous estimate of the number of HD units sold through the end of 2007 to 1.5 million and to 12 million by 2010," VAN DYKE says. "While awareness of HD radio is up year over year (62%-72% of adults 12+), interest in owning an HD radio is down."
BRIDGE also found that Internet radio, increasing use of cell phones for audio and video entertainment, and slowing consumer interest are all contributing to a slowing growth curve for satellite radio in 2007. In addition, 221 million Americans now own mobile phones, 23.5 million of which are music-capable. While this represents 11% of all mobile phones, BRIDGE's next update, in APRIL, will likely reflect the growing interest in music-capable phones. BRIDGE anticipates that the release of APPLE's iPHONE in JUNE will accelerate ownership of such music-enabled devices.