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Weekly Online Radio Audience Increases From 11 Percent to 13 Percent of Americans in Last Year, According to the Latest Arbitron/Edison Media Research Study

April 9, 2008

NEW YORK, April 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Infinite Dial 2008: Radio’s Digital Platforms, the latest study by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, shows continued growth in usage and ownership of various forms of digital audio platforms, including online radio, iPod/MP3 players, and podcasting.

Key findings from The Infinite Dial 2008: Radio’s Digital Platforms, include:

The weekly online radio audience increased in the past year to an estimated 33 million. Thirteen percent of the U.S. population age 12 and older have listened to online radio in the past week; up from eleven percent (approximately 29 million) in 2007. On a weekly basis, online radio reaches more than one in seven 25- to 54-year olds (15%).

AM/FM radio continues to have a big impact on people’s lives. The study asked consumers to rate the impact different digital audio platforms has on their lives. More than one in five (21 percent) consumers said radio has a big impact on their lives; ranking second only to mobile phones (33 percent) as the audio platform/device that has the biggest impact on people’s lives.

iPod/Portable MP3 player ownership continues dramatic growth. Nearly four in ten (37 percent) own an iPod or other brand of portable MP3 player; up from 30 percent in 2007 and more than two and a half times the number in 2005 (14 percent). Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of those ages 12-17 own a digital audio player.

Audio podcasting usage continues to increase along side the proliferation of iPod/MP3 player ownership. Eighteen percent have ever listened to an audio podcast; up from 13 percent in 2007. Nine percent have listened to an audio podcast in the past month (an estimated 23 million).

More than four in ten weekly online radio listeners have a profile on a social networking Web site. Those who regularly listen to online radio are much more likely to participate in social networks; 41 percent of weekly online radio listeners report having an online social networking profile (compared to 24 percent of the total 12+ population); more than one-third (37%) visit social networking sites nearly once per day or more.

The Internet is gaining on radio as the medium to learn about new music. In 2008, radio is mentioned as the medium “you turn to first to learn about new music” by about half of consumers (49 percent), with Internet at 25 percent. In 2002, radio was mentioned by nearly two-thirds of consumers (63 percent) for this perception, while only nine percent mentioned Internet.

“Traditional radio and Internet-only radio must realize that they are now part of an even broader world of online information and entertainment options and respond accordingly,” said Pierre Bouvard, president, sales and marketing, Arbitron Inc. “Advertisers who want to go where the trends are pointing need to be more involved with the new forms of audio media as they continue to expand.”

“Users continue to prove that they want to consume radio on their terms,” said Tom Webster, vice president, Edison Media Research. “On-demand media and a wealth of portable devices are creating listening occasions that were previously either unavailable or under-utilized, which is increasing the overall demand for audio content.”

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

How the Study Was Conducted

A total of 1,857 people were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of various forms of traditional, online and satellite media. From January 18 to February 15, 2008, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2007 survey diarykeepers. In certain geographic areas (representing eight percent of the national population), a sample of Arbitron diarykeepers was not available for the survey, and a supplemental sample was interviewed through random digit dialing.

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. is a media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company has developed the Portable People Meter, a new technology for media and marketing research.

Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with The Nielsen Company, Arbitron also provides media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, newspaper and online industries.

Arbitron’s marketing and business units are supported by its research and technology organization, located in Columbia, Maryland. Its executive offices are located in New York City.

About Edison Media Research

Edison Media 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 Media Research is also the sole provider of election exit poll data for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and the Associated Press. Edison Media Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, Citadel, CBS Radio, Bonneville and Westwood One; and also conducts strategic and perceptual research for a broad array of companies including Time Warner, Google, Yahoo!, Sony Music, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Universal Music Group, Time Life Music and the Voice of America. Edison Media Research has a fourteen year history of thought-leadership in the radio industry, and has provided services to successful radio stations in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.

All of Edison Media Research’s industry studies can be found on the company’s Web site at http://www.edisonresearch.com/ and can be downloaded free of charge.

   PPM(TM) and Portable People Meter(TM) are marks of Arbitron Inc.    Contact:  Jessica Benbow             Arbitron Inc.             410-312-8363             jessica.benbow@arbitron.com  

Arbitron; Edison Media Research

CONTACT: Jessica Benbow of Arbitron Inc., +1-410-312-8363,jessica.benbow@arbitron.com

Web site: http://www.arbitron.com/http://www.edisonresearch.com/




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