Latest Arbitron/Edison Media Research Study Results
April 9, 2008 at 12:18 PM (PT)
THE INFINITE DIAL 2008: RADIO'S DIGITAL PLATFORMS, the latest study by ARBITRON and EDISON MEDIA RESEARCH, shows continued growth in usage and ownership of various forms of digital audio platforms, including online radio, IPOD/MP3 players, and podcasting.
Key findings include:
The weekly online radio audience increased in the past year to an estimated 33 million. 13% of the U.S. population age 12 and older have listened to online radio in the past week; up from 11% (approximately 29 million) in 2007. On a weekly basis, online radio reaches more than one in seven 25- to 54-year olds (15%).
AM/FM radio continues to have a big impact on people's lives. The study asked consumers to rate the impact different digital audio platforms has on their lives. More than one in five (21%) consumers said radio has a big impact on their lives; ranking second only to mobile phones (33%) as the audio platform/device that has the biggest impact on people's lives.
HD Radio Awareness Down?
A suprise was seeing the awareness of HD Radio was down 26% to 24% over the past year, despite much talk and advertising. ARBITRON Pres./Sales And Marketing PIERRE BOUVARD explained the difference from other studies was because this survey was "very specific in the way the question, 'are you aware of HD Radio' was asked."
IPOD/Portable MP3 player ownership continues dramatic growth. Nearly four in ten (37%) own an IPOD or other brand of portable MP3 player; up from 30% in 2007 and more than two and a half times the number in 2005 (14%). Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those ages 12-17 own a digital audio player.
Audio podcasting usage continues to increase along side the proliferation of IPOD/MP3 player ownership. 18% have ever listened to an audio podcast; up from 13% in 2007. 9% have listened to an audio podcast in the past month (an estimated 23 million).
Social Networking Tied To Music
More than four in ten weekly online radio listeners have a profile on a social networking Web site. Those who regularly listen to online radio are much more likely to participate in social networks; 41% of weekly online radio listeners report having an online social networking profile (compared to 24% of the total 12+ population); more than one-third (37%) visit social networking sites nearly once per day or more.
The Internet is gaining on radio as the medium to learn about new music. In 2008, radio is mentioned as the medium "you turn to first to learn about new music" by about half of consumers (49%), with Internet at 25%. In 2002, radio was mentioned by nearly two-thirds of consumers (63%) for this perception, while only 9% mentioned Internet.
"Traditional radio and Internet-only radio must realize that they are now part of an even broader world of online information and entertainment options and respond accordingly," said ARBITRON Pres./Sales And Marketing PIERRE BOUVARD. "Advertisers who want to go where the trends are pointing need to be more involved with the new forms of audio media as they continue to expand."
"Users continue to prove that they want to consume radio on their terms," said EDISON RESEARCH VP TOM WEBSTER. "On-demand media and a wealth of portable devices are creating listening occasions that were previously either unavailable or under-utilized, which is increasing the overall demand for audio content."