Radio Gains Listeners With Web Presence

If radio wants listeners, it may find them on a sister medium. According to a new research report released by CreditSuisse (CS), radio Web sites can attract larger online audiences. "We view the Internet as the primary 'new' distribution platform that radio operators could utilize to attract substantial incremental listeners," says CS analyst Michael Klim.

Between June 2005 and June 2006, 12 leading radio Web sites posted total unique audience growth of 33.5 percent, says Klim. In June 2006, an average site visit lasted about 13 minutes--a four-minute increase over the previous year. CS also noted that the online audience tends to be both young and male: 65.5 percent falls between the ages of 18 and 49, and 57.9 percent are men.

Overall, these findings seem to jibe with assertions by Evan Harrison, Clear Channel Radio's executive vice president for its online music and radio division, the company's fastest-growing source of revenue this year. Harrison said Clear Channel's most popular online features include streaming video-on-demand and music-on-demand features. And in a trend that may sweep the radio industry, he boasted that Clear Channel online has integrated video and is now "a visual medium."



Some concerns remain--namely, that online listening may cannibalize ordinary broadcast radio's audiences. According to a recent study from Arbitron, "The Infinite Dial: Radio's Digital Platforms," this worry may be overblown. Arbitron's findings suggest that regular broadcast listening hasn't decreased among the relatively small subset of audiences that also listen to radio online.

Next story loading loading..