143 million Americans listen to online radio a month in 2015

On The Kowch blog looks at Online RadioFrom where I sit On The Kowch,  the latest Edison Research and Triton Digital study on consumer adoption of digital media is a real eye opener. Fifty-three per cent of Americans 12+ listen to online radio every month up from 27 per cent five years ago. This year 119 million Americans listen on a weekly basis! While these are U.S. figures, there is no doubt in my mind that in Canada, online radio listening is almost as popular. That’s why I agreed to an interview on Joseph Planta’s popular podcast to mark kowchmedia’s 4th anniversary:

Click here to learn how online listening gives radio a new lease on life in Canada

What the researchers at Edison and Triton have to say about their study:

edison triton logo“For years Americans have been occasional listeners but for the first time it’s apparent that streaming audio has become an ingrained part of our lives as the number of Americans listening weekly is now 44 percent," said John Rosso, President, Market Development, Triton Digital.

edison logo-300x137“Media consumption habits have changed dramatically in the past five years,” says Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. “Online Radio has become mainstream."

By The Numbers:

Number of people surveyed

A total of 2,002 persons were interviewed to explore Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. Researchers conducted 900 cell phone interviews to reach people who don't have a land line in a country where 71 per cent - 192 million Americans - own smart phones.

Smartphones drive online listening

The study shows the smartphone continues to drive overall online audio listening. Researchers say while most users don't care about data consumption - the younger 12-24 demos admit it is a concern because they also use up a lot of data on videos, games and social media.

Edison device used to listen to Online Radio

Looking at the different demos the study shows 77 per cent of the younger listeners 12-24 listen to online radio. In the 25-54 demos, 61 per cent listen to online radio while 26 per cent of the older 55+ crowd listen to online radio.

Almost 60 per cent of 12-24-year-olds plug in their smartphones into the car's audio to listen to online radio. On average 35 per cent of Americans listen to online radio in the car - up from 26 per cent a year ago.

Edison Online Radio listening in car chart

AM/FM Radio 

AM/FM radio continues to dominate in the car at 81 per cent - down from 84 per cent in 2013. Second choice is CD players, third is digital media players, fourth is online radio at 21 per cent - up from 12 per cent in 2013 while satellite radio is stuck at 17 per cent.

edison audio sources chart of Online Radio listening in cars over 3 years

Popular Online Listening

In the U.S., Pandora is the leading Internet-only audio service. More than half (54 percent) of Internet audio users say that Pandora is the service they listen to most often followed by iHeartRadio (11 percent), Spotify (10 percent), and iTunes Radio (8 percent).

YouTube is the new Juke Box

That said, the big surprise is how YouTube has become a musical channel - 83 per cent of 12-24-year-old Americans say it is how they keep up-to-date with their music - making YouTube as mainstream as ALL online audio put together. The younger demos spend more time listening to YouTube music videos than they do watching it.

Popularity of Social Media

Facebook remains the King of Social Media but the younger 12-24 demos are gravitating towards more mobile and visual social media like Instagram and Snapchat to express themselves by sharing photos of their everyday experiences.

edison social media 12-24 usage

A whopping 73 per cent - 197 million Americans use social media and 54 per cent of them visit Facebook several times a day.  Forty-five per cent of the younger 12-24 demos visit Snapchat several times a day and 43 per cent spend a lot of time on both Instagram and WhatsApp everyday to update their activities and share photos with their friends and followers.

89 million Americans listen to Podcasts

One in three Americans are now listening to Podcasts. Researchers are predicting that figure will grow to 50 per cent by 2016. On average, Americans listen to an average of six podcasts a week. Fifty-five per cent listen to podcasts on their smartphones.  Fifty-two per cent of Americans earning more than $100,000 a year listen to podcasts. The  monthly audio podcast consumption grew from approximately 39 million monthly users in 2014 to approximately 46 million in 2015.

edison podcast Online Radio listeners

From where I Sit On The Kowch,  there is way too much in the Edison Research and Triton Digital study to provide you all its findings in this blog. For more details and to see all 78 slides click here.  

Steve Kowch ran two of Canada’s largest newstalk radio stations in Montreal and Toronto for more than 14 years. He was National Director of NewsTalk Radio Programming for Astral Media. He was a professor at two of Toronto's leading broadcast schools and is the author of  99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Making It BIG In Media 

Contact Steve at 647-521-6397 or email steve@kowchmedia.com