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Study: Online Radio Use Is Up Significantly

Arbitron/Edison research reveals digital media is being consumed simultaneously with radio

The number of adults 12+ who have a smartphone has more than doubled in the past year; and of those, one in 10 have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system.

These findings are in a new survey from Arbitron and Edison Research, “The Infinite Dial 2011: Navigating Digital Platforms.”

Among other findings of telephone interviews this February from some 2,000 Arbitron diarykeepers chosen at random:

  • -Facebook is now being used by a majority of all Americans age 12 and over (51%); this number was only 8% when Arbitron/Edison Research first measured the social media phenomenon in 2008.
  • -A majority of American households now have two or more computers (51%), as compared to 24% of households in 2002.
  • -Usage of online radio is up significantly, with weekly usage of all forms of online radio having doubled in the last five years; self-reported weekly time spent with online radio is now nearly 10 hours (9 hours 47 minutes).
  • -Daily time spent with TV, radio and the Internet combined has increased by 20 percent in the last 10 years, with self-reported daily usage now at 8 hours 11 minutes compared to 6 hours 50 minutes in 2001.
  • -Just under one-third of all Americans (31%) have plugged an MP3 player such as an Apple iPod into their car stereo systems.
  • -One in 10 Americans report listening to Pandora Internet Radio in the week before they were surveyed.
  • -Among the 81% of American households with Internet access, two-thirds now have a Wi-Fi network installed.
  • -More than one-tenth of cell phone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system.

The results are likely to be fresh on the minds of attendees at programming and business sessions as the industry convenes in Las Vegas starting this weekend.

“When you consider the rapid growth in ownership of smartphones in context with the continued rise in the use of social media it becomes increasingly clear that these platforms are fueling fundamental changes in consumer expectations and how they use media,” stated Arbitron SVP Marketing Bill Rose.

Edison VP of Strategy & Marketing Tom Webster said, “Rather than crowding other forms of media off the plate, so to speak, digital media is being consumed simultaneously with offline media, and in venues and opportunities where media might not have been consumed previously.”