Internet Listening of AM/FM Diary-Entry Data Released

June 11, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Radio

Diarykeepers’ entries for internet listening to AM/FM radio stations grew substantially in fall 2006, accounting for 20,331 unweighted quarter-hours compared with 4,684 quarter-hours in spring 2006, according to a 30-market analysis by Arbitron.

The firm analyzed survey diary entries for internet-based listening to AM/FM radio stations (via FMQB).

Some findings from the survey:

  • The increase in entries coincides with implementation of new diary instructions (effective fall 2006) that identify internet and satellite radio as sources of listening for respondents to note in their diary in addition to AM/FM radio.
  • Despite the growth, internet listening to AM/FM radio stations still accounts for less than 1% of unweighted quarter-hours overall in the 30 analyzed markets (from 0.11% in spring 2006 to 0.47% in fall 2006).
  • Diarykeepers who recorded internet listening to AM/FM radio stations tend to be older, male and Other (not black, not Hispanic).
  • 66% of the quarter-hours that included an internet identifier for an AM/FM station identified a local station – that is, a station with an AM/FM signal that reaches into the county from which the diary was returned.
  • 78% of these diaries that contained listening to local stations’ internet stream also contained listening to the over-the-air version of the station.

Diarykeepers who record internet listening recorded this listening differently from how respondents typically record listening to AM/FM radio: Those recording internet listening tend to identify what they listened to by call letters more so than frequency:


Diarykeepers use the word “internet” the most when recording their internet listening.

  • 81% of the quarter-hours credited as internet included the word “Internet.”
  • 9% of the quarter-hours credited as internet included the suffix .com, .org, .net, or .edu.
  • 8% of the quarter-hours credited as internet included the word “online.”
  • 4% of the quarter-hours credited as internet included the word “stream,” “streaming,” or “streamed.”
  • Less than 2% included the words “computer,” “pc,” “Web,” “Webcast” or “Web site.”

AM/FM radio stations are credited for their internet listening in Arbitron’s ratings reports only if the station’s stream is a 100% simulcast (including all programs and commercials, for all of the station’s broadcast hours.)

  • For Fall 2006, 12% of stations submitted to Arbitron that they simulcast 100% of their programming over the internet.
  • Of the quarter-hours which contained an internet identifier, 29% was credited to the 100% simulcast primary station. The remaining internet listening was credited as “Unidentified Internet.”

Listening to Internet-Only radio (online radio that is not broadcast on over-the-air radio stations) is not included in the Arbitron local market radio ratings and is not included in this analysis.

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