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Online Listening Arrives, Podcasting Becoming “Mainstream”

Some main conclusions from latest Infinite Dial study

The overall takeaways from the latest Infinite Dial study by Edison Research and Triton Digital are that online audio has arrived, online audio consumption in-car is growing and podcasting is increasingly becoming mainstream.

Fifty-three percent of Americans age 12 and up listen to online radio monthly and 44%, or 119 million, listen weekly. That’s considered a “milestone,” said Triton Digital Market Development President John Rosso during a webinar in which they presented the results. He notes that “online radio has truly become consistent behavior for some” people.

Smartphone online listening is growing in particular, it’s up to 73% for device owners now, compared to 66% a year ago.

Pandora is the leading Internet-only audio service. More than half (54%) of Internet audio users say that Pandora is the service they listen to most often followed by iHeartRadio (11%), Spotify (10%), and iTunes Radio (8%).

Nearly 90 million Americans, or about one-third of the country, have listened to a podcast at least once. Monthly audio podcast consumption grew from some 39 million monthly users in 2014 to about 46 million in 2015.

It’s “not a niche medium,” said Edison Research VP Strategy and Marketing Tom Webster, who adds that these affluent, well-educated listeners are increasingly harder to reach by advertisers because they do so much podcast listening. This “means podcasts will become more attractive to agencies and brands,” said Webster.

Online radio consumption in-car has increased in the last two years, from 14% to 21%. Overall, AM/FM in-car is still the most used audio source at 81% but down slightly compared to 84% in 2013. The CD player is 55% and MP3 player/owned music use is 38%.

The results are based on data from 2,000+ respondents, age 12 and up.