Internet Radio On The Rise
Internet radio listening is surging, according to new data unveiled this week by TargetSpot, which operates a digital audio ad network, and Pandora, the leading online audio platform.
The TargetSpot data is drawn from the Digital Audio Benchmark and Trend Study, based on a survey of adult U.S. broadband households conducted from January 7-17 of this year by Park Associates. The survey showed that Internet radio has penetrated to 42% of adult U.S. broadband households, up 8% from 33% in 2011. Within this cohort, 42% are households with children, 64% own their own homes, and 22% have a household income of $100,000 per year or more -- up 29% from 2011.
Digital audio listeners also display significant engagement with the medium, with 80% listening from one to three hours per day. Increased listening is facilitated in part by the proliferation of mobile devices with Internet connectivity: among Internet radio listeners, tablet ownership increased 87% from 2011-2012 and 48% are spending more time listening on their tablets, while smartphone ownership increased 22% and 38% are spending more time listening on their phones. In-car listening is also increasing, with 14% of digital audio listeners using an Internet radio player in their automobiles.
The TargetSpot-Park study also showed substantial recall and response rates for online audio advertising. Here, 58% of digital audio listeners said they recalled having seen or heard an Internet radio ad in the last month, up from 52% in 2011. Among listeners who recalled ads, 44% said they responded to an Internet radio ad, up from 40% in 2011. Ad support is clearly important to Internet radio’s viability, as 86% of listeners say they do not pay for digital audio content.
Meanwhile, Pandora released data showing that its online audio service now constitutes 6% of all radio listening, with 1.06 billion listener hours in April 2012, up 87% from 566 million hours in April 2011. Active listeners numbered 51.9 million at the end of April 2012, up 52% from 34 million in April 2011.
Separate data released by Arbitron in March of this year shows that broadcast radio reaches 241 million listeners per week, representing 93% of the total U.S. population, while Arbitron data from January suggests average total listening of about 14.6 billion hours per month.