Posted to OGR on 04/11/2010
There was an interesting report posted online last week by Digital Music News and AirplayDirect.com. It seems that Internet radio stations are now attracting 60 million listeners - a week - in the US, according to the latest from Bridge Ratings. That number is predicted to grow to 77 million by 2015. 38 million of these listen to pure-play internet only stations at least 5 minutes per week. Bridge notes that that internet-only and terrestrial simulcasts will reach parity by 2017. A growing number of these listeners are “tuning in” on their cell phones or other smart mobile devices. According to Bridge, smartphone-based streaming audio is experiencing double-digit growth across every demographic. The 18-24 set is clocking the most with 5 hours weekly, though the 55-plus category is growing the fastest. Listening hours among the older set has expanded nearly 28 percent (to 2.3 hours weekly) since 2007. This can only improve with more and more listeners buying the smart technology and the increasing availability of mobile broadband services.
According to the Bridge report, the 55 plus group listens to radio more hours per week than any other demographic group. The boomers, to whom music has always been an important part of their lives, peaked listening to AM/FM in 2007 at 25 hours per week. Since then, boomers have followed their younger counterparts to digital media, in particular to Internet Radio where the stations have been steadily increasing the percentage of programming content with live DJs. Conversely, in the face of corporate bankruptcies and shrinking bottom lines, terrestrial radio stations are turning to automation with minimal pre-recorded voice tracking to augment their content. Broadcasters, faced with a shrinking bottom line have replaced the live local DJ with a juke box. Clearly the radio listening audience wants the whole package, music, news, and that ever so important element, a live DJ who carries on a conversation with you, not just plays records. Oh MY! Sounds like the ‘60s again!
Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley