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Infinite Dial: Online Radio Continues to Grow

Increased smartphone usage has not translated into less AM/FM radio listening, according to the findings

More than half of all Americans now own a smartphone, however that does not translate into less AM/FM radio listening, according to Arbitron and Edison Research in their latest Infinite Dial study.

That’s 53% of all Americans age 12+, not just all cellphone owners. “This is the first time we’ve said this,” according to Edison Research VP Strategy & Marketing Tom Webster.

“In the smartphone, the majority of Americans now have powerful computers in their pockets, which has irrevocably altered not only out-of-home listening behavior, but out-of-home purchase behavior as well,” Webster said during a webinar explaining the results.

Radio remains the top medium reaching consumers within a half-hour before a purchase at 49%. Billboards are the next closest advertising outlet at 21% followed by television at 12%.

Online radio continues to grow. One-in-three Americans 12+ now listen to broadcast simulcasts and Internet-only online radio on a weekly basis, according to the results.

Weekly online radio listeners report listening for an average of 11 hours 56 minutes per week, up by more than two hours over last year’s listening levels (9 hours 46 minutes in 2012), and nearly double that reported in 2008 (6 hours 13 minutes). During the same span of time, Arbitron’s network radio measurement service — Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research — indicates that AM/FM radio has grown to 243 million weekly listeners and time spent listening has remained approximately two hours a day.

Arbitron SVP Marketing Bill Rose said digital platforms do not replace media use, they enhance it. People are spending time each day with a combination of radio, TV and the Internet, according to the results.

Tablets are beginning to replace the third computer in the home. Twenty-nine percent own a tablet; this is up more than 70% in the last year, compared to 17% ownership in 2012.

This is the 21st Infinite Dial study. Researchers interviewed more than 2,000 people about their use of digital platforms and new media. Download the study from either or