Radio Listening Gradually Transitions to Digital Platforms

April 16, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Digital | Mobile Phone | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Radio | Youth & Gen X

JacobsMedia-Radio-Listening-Platforms-2014-v-2013-Apr2014Almost one-fifth of weekly radio usage in the US and Canada now occurs on digital sources, according to the 10th annual Techsurvey from Jacobs Media. That mirrors a similar shift in TV content viewing on alternative sources, and is being driven by younger core radio listeners, who are more apt to use digital platforms to listen to broadcast radio. Even so, only about 1 in 6 respondents agree that Pandora and other such services will eventually replace listening to FM radio for music. That sentiment is not much higher among the youngest age group; only about 1 in 5 (21.5%) of listeners aged 18-29 share it.

What’s more, fewer than 1 in 10 respondents agreed that with all the other available sources, AM/FM radio isn’t very appealing to them – a figure that was actually lower among older age groups. And almost three-quarters agreed that AM/FM radio will never go away.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that consumption of digital radio is increasing. According to a recent study from Edison Research and Triton Digital, some 36% of Americans aged 12 and up listen to online radio on a weekly basis, up from 33% last year and 29% a year earlier. Weekly time spent with online radio was also reportedly on the rise. For its part, the Jacobs Media study found that 55% of radio listeners stream internet radio at least weekly.

Add it all up and it’s no wonder that agencies are showing greater interest in online radio and that online radio revenue is growing quickly.

Yet, as respondents to the Jacobs Media survey remind, the emotional appeal of traditional radio endures:

  • More than two-thirds listen to hear their favorite songs and artists;
  • Close to half (45%) say that a primary reason for listening is because it keeps them company;
  • A similar percentage (43%) listen because they want to get in a better mood; and
  • Roughly one-third report that a primary reason for listening is to escape the pressures of everyday life.

About the Data: Techsurvey10 results were gathered online from January 14-20, 2014. Overall, 199 broadcast stations across the U.S. and Canada participated, contributing 37,063 respondents.

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