When Streamers Stream: How Much Is Via Phone?
September 9, 2013
In our continuing series about the digital revolution and Radio listeners, we have seen how many ways, and how quickly, they are shifting their life functions to theirÂ smartphones.Â
Last week we looked at how many smartphone owners are already using these devices to stream Radio stations.Â
This week, let’s pull back a bit from just the smartphone.Â Let us also include listening via home and work computers, so we can see the big picture of where and how online streaming is today.Â We will focus only on the listeners who say they are streaming regulars, averaging 30 minutes a day or more.Â What devices are they using, and in what environment/lifestyle?
Then, let’s look at these same regular streamers and compare how much they are also using traditional terrestrial receivers, in those same environments.Â What patterns can we detect?
Just a few years ago, at-work streaming was almost exclusively on desktop computers.Â Today, although more streamers still choose their computers, the smartphones are closing fast.Â Meanwhile, outside of work, the smartphone has taken the lead on streaming. Regular streamers today are more likely to use their smartphones to stream at home or in other places (19%) than they are to stream radio on their computers at home (14%).
These regular streamers have certainly not abandoned the “regular” radio, but a massive shift is underway.Â
We did not ask here about use of regular radio in-car, but we know from other studies that in-car streaming is still far behind the in-car terrestrial radio.Â (Nonetheless, more than 1/4 of our regular streamers say they already use smartphones to stream in cars.)Â
Butâ€¦now let’s shift the listening venue from the car to the workplace, where the listener doesn’t have a no-brainer receiver that automatically comes on with her ignition.Â Same audience base:Â people who stream. At work, it turns out, their smartphone, which still trails the computer, is already tied with or slightly ahead of their old desktop radio.Â And outside of work or the car?Â The smartphone, with its advantage of pocket-portability-everywhere-I-go, is now being used by more of these regular streamers than a home computer or a home radio, for listening to what we call radio stations.
What this means to you
These data do not say that most listeners are streaming most of the time.Â But what they do stand for is the ever-increasing faction that steams Radio for at least a half hour a day. And what we are learning is that once they attain this regularity of streaming, these folks are more likely to be using a phone or a computer than a radio at work, home, other non-car place.Â I.e. once you get in some streaming habit, streaming becomes your preferred radio delivery system outside your car.
For this increasing population of streamers, in other words, Radio is a service that lives on their smartphones, like everything else in their life.Â So here’s our moment and here’s our challenge.Â To dominate the field of online audio with our on-phone-screen advertising / promotion / messaging, now and forever into the future. Â To change the future.