Online Radio Listening Up In Home, Car, On The Go

Listening up via cellphones and connected TVs, down via computers, tablets
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Somerville, N.J. — Music streaming at home, in the car and on the go continues to rise, and people are listening more through cellphones, connected TVs, and cellphone-connected car audio systems and less through desktops, laptops and tablets, a national survey found.

The Infinite Dial survey also found that although online listening is up in the car, consumers listen more often to AM/FM, CD and MP3 players through car audio systems.

A total of 53 percent of people ages 12 and older, or 143 million people, listened to online radio in the past month, up from 47 percent in last year’s survey and up from 5 percent in 2000, according to a survey by Edison Research and Triton Digital, a provider of online advertising technology

A total of 44 percent, or 119 million people, listened to online radio in the past week, up from the previous survey’s 36 percent and only 2 percent in 2000. The survey, conducted in January and February, is the 23rd annual survey conducted to gauge consumers’ digital-media adoption.

Online listening is heavily skewed to 12- to 54-year-olds. A total of 77 percent of people in the 12- to 24-year-old group listened to online radio in the past month, with 61 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds listening. Only 26 percent of people ages 55 and older listened in the past month.

The results are similar for weekly listening: ages 12 to 14 (69 percent), ages 25 to 54 (50 percent), and 55 and older (18 percent).

Surprisingly, people listening to online radio listened a little less in the latest survey. Average listening time in the past week fell to 12 hours and 53 minutes from the 2014 survey’s 13 hours and 19 minutes. That’s still way up from 2008’s six hours and 13 minutes.

Online sources: As for how they’re connecting to online radio, the survey found that people are listening more on cellphones and connected TVs and less on desktops, laptops and tablets.

The findings:

--73 percent use a smartphone, up from the previous survey’s 66 percent;

--61 percent use a desktop or laptop, down from 64 percent;

--32 percent use a tablet, down from 34 percent;

--18 percent use an internet-connected TV, up from 12 percent; and

--3 percent use an Internet-connected audio system, up from 2 percent.

Perhaps the most significant finding from this year’s report is the change in frequency of use for streaming audio,” said John Rosso, market development president of Triton Digital. “For years Americans have been occasional listeners, but for the first time it’s apparent that streaming audio has become an ingrained part of our lives as the number of Americans listening weekly is now 44 percent.”

In-car sources: Listening to online radio through phone-connected car audio systems also continues to rise. A total of 35 percent of listeners with cellphones said they listened in online radio by connecting their phone to their car audio system, up from 26 percent. In 2010, the number was only 6 percent.

A total of 92 percent of respondents said they owned a cellphone, whose penetration among people ages 12 and up grew to 71 percent, or 192 million people, from the year-ago 61 percent, the survey found.

Younger age groups were most likely to connect a phone to a car audio system, in part because they are also more likely to own a cellphone. A total of 59 percent of cellphone owners ages 12 to 24 connect phones to car audio systems, and 39 percent of cellphone owners ages 25 to 54 do so. The percentage fell to 10 percent among people ages 55 and older.

Phone ownership among the age groups tops out at 86 percent of 12- to 24-year-olds, dips to 81 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds, and drops to 45 percent among older folks.

Frequency of in-car use: Although online listening in the car is up and exceeds satellite-radio listening, AM/FM, CD, and MP3 players are used more often as audio sources among consumers ages 18 and up who have ridden in a car or driven one in the past month.

The survey found that:

--81 percent listened to AM/FM, down from 86 percent in 2014;

-- 55 percent listened to CD, down from 61 percent;

--38 percent listened to an MP3 player connected to a car audio system, up from 31 percent;

--21 percent listened to online radio, up from 14 percent; and

--17 percent listened to satellite radio, flat with the previous survey but up from 2013’s 15 percent.

When asked which sources they listened to most of the time in the car, respondents said they tuned in the least to online radio and mostly to AM/FM.

Here’s how usage was ranked:

--AM/FM: 53 percent, down from 58 percent in the previous two years.

--MP3 player: 15 percent, up from 13 percent in 2014 and 11 percent in 2013.

--CD player: 11 percent, down from 15 percent in each of the previous two years.

--Satellite radio: 10 percent, down from 11 percent in 2014 and flat with 2013.

--Online radio: 9 percent, up from 6 percent in 2014 and 4 percent in 2013.

Service preferences: Among consumers listening to online radio, 55 percent said they listen most often to Pandora, followed by Spotify at 16 percent, iTunes Radio at 7 percent, and iHeartRadio at 6 percent. Others came in at 6 percent.

A total of 2,002 persons were interviewed in January and February 2015 for the latest results through a phone survey that included 900 cellphone interviews.

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