One in three now listen to online radio


ArbitronOne in three Americans aged 12+ 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 is the 21st in a series of studies dating back to 1998.

Among the findings:

— 53% of all Americans aged 12+ (an estimated 139 million people) own a smartphone; three-quarters of those aged 18-34 own these devices

— 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

— More than one in four Americans (27%) check their social network several times per day, estimated at 71 million people

— AM/FM radio is an “almost all of the times” or “most of the times” in-car choice for nearly six in ten adults aged 18+; dashboard AM/FM radio (58%) far outpaces frequent in-car use of CD players (15%), portable digital audio/MP3 players (11 percent) and satellite radio (10%)

— 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%)

–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%.

“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 Bill Rose, Arbitron SVP.

“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 Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research.

A total of 2,021 persons were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media.  From 1/15 to 2/10, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12+ chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2012 survey diarykeepers and through random digit dialing sampling in geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available for the survey.  Diarykeepers represent 45% of the completed interviews and RDD sampled respondents represent 55% of the completed interviews.  The study includes a total of 711 cell phone interviews.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is all good news. AM and FM streams are on the increase; over the air radio listening is on the increase and AM-FM remains the top choice for music discovery. Content is content, no matter how it is delivered, and traditional radio continues to establish itself in the streaming arena quite effectively.