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Has the Streaming Threshold Been Crossed?

Young streaming listeners showing up in ratings

Edison Research and Triton Digital have released their latest Infinite Dial audience study.

One highlight that is catching some notice is “Online radio crosses crucial threshold; now listened to by half of Americans weekly.”

“Online radio has reached a critical new high, with 50% of Americans 12+ now telling us that they listened to the medium in the last week,” Edison Research says in a post. It estimates that 136 million Americans listened to “online radio” in the last week. It defines online radio as an AM/FM broadcast station’s webstream or a stream from a dedicated Internet audio streamer.

Edison Vice President of Strategy Tom Webster said, “We’ve been tracking this behavior since 2000, and it has truly been remarkable to see this march upward from 2% to half of all Americans. … The trend here also correlates extremely well with the rise in smartphone ownership. With online radio accessible in the pockets of a majority of Americans, consumption of this medium has rapidly become a habit for millions.”

Edison’s Larry Rosin zoomed in even more, noting “In our most recent release of data, we found that for the first time, among 18–24 year olds Streaming Audio (that is, audio from Internet pureplays from Pandora, Spotify, and their ilk) has surpassed broadcast radio.” He also pointed out, “This advantage comes despite the fact that for audio consumption in the car, streaming is as yet quite small. Despite this disadvantage, streaming wins at-home and at-work in sufficient amounts to surpass radio overall.”

The same study also offered that podcast listening has taken a leap forward with 21% of that same group saying that they had listened to a podcast within the month.

The Infinite Dial study was built from a sample of 2001 people, aged 12 and up.