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The Infinite Dial: Online Radio Listening, Smartphone Ownership Grow

12–24 age group dominates online radio listening numbers

This is the second in a series looking at the recent Infinite Dial report.

According to the Infinite Dial 2016 Report, online radio listening and smartphone ownership are both growing on a year-by-year basis. In 2016, 57% of Americans 12+ listened to online radio each month (155 million listeners), while 76% of them owned smartphones (207 million people). Back in 2011, only 34% of Americans 12+ listened to online radio, while just 31% of them owned smartphones.

The Infinite Dial 2016 was compiled Edison Research and Triton Digital, using responses from 2001 randomly-surveyed people 12+ over cellular and landline phone.

The 12–24 age group leads in online radio listenership and smartphone ownership in 2016, at 79% and 93% respectively. That is up from 77% for online radio listenership and 86% for smartphone ownership in 2015. That can be compared to the 75% and 78% recorded in 2014.

Worth noting: In 2013, 68% of survey respondents aged 12–24 listened to online radio and owned smartphones. Since that time, online radio listenership growth has lagged behind smartphone ownership growth.

For the sake of comparison, 65% of the 25–54 age group listened to online radio in 2016; compared to 52% in 2013. Eighty-four percent of this same group owned smartphones in 2016; up from 64% in 2013. Meanwhile, only 31% of respondents 55+ listened to online radio in 2016; which is still better than the 20% who did in 2013. Fifty-one percent of the 55+ group owned smartphones in 2016; up from 25% in 2013.

The takeaway: Online radio listenership is growing as smartphone ownership grows. The downside is that online listening is not growing as fast as smartphone ownership is. The Infinite Dial 2016 does not provide any explanations or theories as to why this is the case.