By David Alpern
The annual Infinite Dial study was recently released. It examined the expanding proliferation of smartphones and digital audio services, such as listening to online radio and podcasts. The research found that half of the audience now listens to some sort of online radio each week, up from 44% last year. Here are some highlights of how content delivery is evolving:
- 57% of Americans use online radio each month
- Podcast listening is growing on a monthly basis (17% to 21%) and weekly (10% last year to 13% this year). Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of five podcasts per week
- In-home ownership of a radio receiver has dropped. 79% have a radio at home. Eight years ago it was 96% = nearly every home in America. Among 18-34-year-olds, radio ownership in the home is down from 94% to 68%
- Pandora remains the best-known online audio brand with 82% awareness. Apple Music which invested heavily to relaunch a year ago is second (67%). iHeartRadio, the largest broadcaster in the country is close to Apple (65%). Spotify has strong brand presence (52%)
- Music streaming among the 12-24 demo finds that 43% listened to Pandora within the past month and 30% listened to Spotify
- Spotify gained as the “Audio Brand Used Most Often,” up from 10% to 14%. Pandora leads everyone with 48%
- Broadcast radio is tied for the lead among all audio sources for keeping up-to-date with new music – ahead of YouTube. However, among 12-24s, broadcast radio falls to third (58%), behind YouTube (86%) and friends/family (74%)
- Smartphone ownership continues to grow, reaching 76%, up five percentage points since last year. Among 12-24-year-olds, smartphone ownership rose to 93%. Even seniors are getting “smart” with more than half now using a smartphone – up 45 to 51%
- On demand video-subscriptions are at 51% of the country. The largest is Netflix. 43% of all survey respondents subscribe to Netflix
- Facebook remains the most-used social media platform (64%). Among 12-24s Snapchat (72%) and Instagram (66%) lead the social media pack
Media consumption is dramatically changing. Mobile is increasingly being utilized as a “first screen” after several years of having established itself as the “second screen” supplement to traditional HDTV set viewing.
Podcasts and on-demand video services are allowing for binge watching and listening, and their anticipated future growth will continue to impact and change the media landscape. Expect to see online radio continue to increase its audience reach and join smartphones and social media as broad mainstream activities.