Infinite Dial: Radio’s quiet competitor is YouTube
Over a third of Americans age 12+ used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music in the last week. For listeners to most current-based formats, those numbers are significantly higher. 57% of Top 40 P1s have used YouTube for music in the last week, followed by 53% of Urban P1s and 48% of Rock P1s.
That is one major finding of the just-released “Infinite Dial 2014: Radio Format P1s” study, which breaks out Edison Research’s influential “The Infinite Dial” survey results by P1 listeners to ten major format groups. Country was the next major music format for YouTube usage at 27%, followed by Classic Rock/Classic Hits (24%) and AC (19%).
“While radio has spent much of the last year focusing on Pandora and Sirius XM, YouTube remains a major destination for many formats’ P1 listeners,” says Edison Research VP of music and programming Sean Ross. “In fact, nearly as many Top 40 P1s use YouTube for music in a week as the 60% that use Pandora in a given month.”
In other findings, Top 40, Urban, and Rock radio P1s are the most likely to listen to any online radio, as well as the most likely to be aware of and use Pandora. Country is last among major music formats in both measurements.
Among the other findings:
• More than six in ten (61%) now own a smartphone; that number increases to approximately eight in ten age 18-34.
• Internet-only audio services continue to grow, led by Pandora — now consumed by 31% monthly. iTunes Radio debuts in The Infinite Dial with 8% monthly usage.
• Growth in the adoption of the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter has slowed this year, compared with previous editions of The Infinite Dial. Facebook usage is flat compared to 2013, at 58%, while Twitter grew slightly from 15% to 16% year-over-year.
• Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25% year-over-year, from 12% in 2013 to 15% in 2014.
• In-car usage of online radio and other forms of digital audio continues to grow. In 2014, 26% of mobile phone users have connected devices to a vehicle, either physically or via Bluetooth, up from 21% in 2013.
• Snapchat is now one of the leading social networking services; 53% of mobile phone users are familiar with Snapchat, while 13% of Americans 12+ — and 46% of 12-24 year-olds — use the image sharing service.
“The continued penetration of smartphones in America is changing behavior significantly,” noted Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “We are now seeing activities that were dominated by desktop usage in 2013, flip dramatically to become mobile behaviors. For millions of Americans, the smartphone has become ‘the first screen.’”
“The Internet of Things means audio in everything internet,” said Mike Agovino, COO, Triton Digital. “Scaling connectivity across a plethora of devices is enabling tremendous growth in online radio consumption. Listening levels have reached significant proportions across all demographic groups, and this year’s Infinite Dial study illustrates a definitive upward trajectory.”
Released in early March, and sponsored by Triton Digital, “The Infinite Dial” surveyed more than 2,000 respondents aged 12+.
RBR-TVBR observation: No surprise here. YouTube offers just about any song you’d like to hear, instantly and for free. No other on-demand services can match that. With so many new phones sporting 4G service, the YouTube experience is only getting better. YouTube also offers 50-song mixes, so that once a song is played, others follow from the same artist and/or similar ones. However, for those who think they can just bookmark the YouTube song links, they’ll be disappointed perhaps the next time or two they want to hear a particular song. The owners of the music force YouTube to pull the songs down regularly due to copyright restrictions.