Weekly Online Radio Audience Jumps More Than 30 Percent in Past Year Says New …

The weekly audience of all forms of online radio is now at an estimated 76 million Am width=ericans age 12 and older, reaching 29 percent of the population and representing an increase of more than 30 percent from one year ago according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms.

The study, released today, is the 20th in a series of studies dating back to 1998.   Among the many other findings:

  • Forty-four percent of all Americans age 12 and over own a smartphone, representing half of all cell phone owners
  • Six in ten (61 percent) own a portable digital media device such as a smartphone, portable MP3 player or tablet; 40 percent own an Apple device (iPod/iPhone/iPad)
  • Americans age 45 and older represent the largest percentage increase in social media usage in the past year, now up to 38 percent (from 31 percent in 2011)
  • Seventeen percent of all cell phone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system; this is an increase of more than 50% in the past year when only 11 percent had ever done so
  • Fifteen percent are registered users of daily deals services such as Groupon and LivingSocial

“We’ve been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year’s increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we’ve ever recorded. The increased demand for online audio content, and the ever-expanding variety of that content, shows that online radio  continues to be a resilient, adaptive media for the changing needs of today’s consumer,” said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.

“The jump in weekly online radio usage is remarkable, but really a trailing variable to the rise in smartphone penetration, which has enabled much of that growth,” said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “The increasing ubiquity of the mobile web is profoundly altering the quantity, nature and context of media consumption in America.”

This study, as well as previous studies, may be downloaded free of charge via the Arbitron and Edison Research Web sites at www.arbitron.com and www.edisonresearch.com.

How the study was conducted
A total of 2,020 persons were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media.  From January  20 to February 19, 2012, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2011 survey diarykeepers and through random digit dialing (RDD) sampling in geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available for the survey.   Diarykeepers represent  45% of the completed interviews and RDD sampled respondents represent  55% of the completed interviews.   The study includes a total of 500 cell phone interviews.

About Arbitron
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is a media and marketing information services firm primarily serving radio, television, cable, advertising agencies, advertisers, retailers, out-of-home media, and online media. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring and estimating network and local market radio audiences across the United States; providing application software used for analyzing our media audience and marketing information data; and providing consumer, shopping, and other media usage information services. The Company has developed the Portable People Meterâ„¢, a new technology for media and marketing research.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio stations, television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations. Edison Research is also the sole provider of election exit poll data for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel), CBS Radio, Bonneville, Dial Global and Hubbard; and also conducts strategic and opinion research for a broad array of companies including Time Warner, Google, Yahoo!, Sony Music, the Voice of America, See Saw Networks and Zenithmedia. Edison Research has an eighteen year history of thought-leadership in media research, and has provided services to successful media properties in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.

Portable People Meterâ„¢ and PPMâ„¢are marks of Arbitron Inc.

SOURCE Arbitron Inc.