Satellite Radio Awareness Tops Sixty Percent of the U.S. Population;
AM/FM Radio Audience Remains Strong
NEW YORK, April 13, 2006 – The proliferation of digital broadcast platforms such as Internet radio, satellite radio, HD and podcasting is a testament to the popularity of radio programming. The Infinite Dial: Radio’s Digital Platforms, a new study by Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Media Research, explores this expansion of the radio market and its implications for advertisers and media planners.
Growth of Internet Radio
Internet radio is growing rapidly. The monthly audience age 12+ now tops an estimated 52 million; an increase from an estimated 37 million people in 2005. The weekly Internet radio audience also increased 50 percent over the past year, with 12 percent of the U.S. population age 12+ (an estimated 30 million) having listened to Internet radio in the past week, up from 8 percent in 2005.
Advertiser highlights: Online radio reaches nearly one in five (19 percent) persons per week age 18-34 and 15 percent of persons 25-54. Weekly Online radio listeners are 36 percent more likely than the average consumer to live in a household with an annual income of more than $100,000.
In 2006, awareness of XM and Sirius satellite radio has reached equal levels of 61 percent awareness each among those age 12 and older. Nearly one in five non-subscribers to satellite radio say they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to subscribe to satellite radio in the next 12 months.
Advertiser highlights: Twenty-seven percent of satellite radio subscribers live in households with an annual income of more than $100,000, nearly double the percentage of all households (14 percent).
When asked to define podcasting in their own words, there was some confusion among respondents regarding the differences among podcasting, Internet broadcasting and downloadable music. When read a definition, eleven percent of Americans say they have ever listened to an audio podcast.
Advertising highlights: Podcasting attracts a youthful audience: one out of five who have ever listened to an audio podcast are 12-17 years old, and more than half (53 percent) are under the age of 35.
More than one-third of Americans say they are “very” or “somewhat” interested in HD Radio; more than 40 percent of satellite subscribers say they are interested in HD Radio as well.
More than one-third of those who said they were interested in HD Radio say they would be likely to purchase an HD Radio receiver at a $100 price point, and 58 percent of those interested say they would be likely to purchase at $50.
While there has been tremendous growth in usage of radio’s new digital platforms, AM/FM radio does not appear to be losing Time Spent Listening (TSL). Daily radio TSL is 2 hours 45 minutes for the average consumer, compared with 2 hours 48 minutes among those who listen to digital radio (have listened to Internet radio in the past month or subscribe to satellite radio or have ever listened to an audio podcast).
Seventy-seven percent of Americans say they expect to listen to AM/FM radio as much as they do now despite increasing advancements in technology. The same holds true for Internet radio listeners (77 percent) and those who have tried audio podcasting (73 percent). Satellite radio subscribers showed slightly less dedication to traditional broadcasting, with 64 percent saying they plan to continue listening to the same amount of AM/FM radio.
“Consumers are quickly embracing radio’s digital platforms and this new research reveals that these advertising vehicles are becoming increasingly viable,” said Bill Rose, senior vice president, marketing, Arbitron.
“Our research shows that regardless of the platform consumers see all these options as merely being new forms of ‘radio’” said Larry Rosin, President, Edison Media Research. “This report provides crucial measurement on the development of radio as it is consumed in new and different ways.”
How This Study Was Conducted
The findings reported here are based on a January 13 – February 12, 2006 telephone survey of 1,925 people who were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of various forms of traditional, online and satellite media. Respondents age 12 and older were chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2005 survey diary keepers. In certain geographic areas (representing five 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.
This study, as well as previous studies, may be downloaded free of charge via the Arbitron and Edison Media Research Web sites at www.arbitron.com and www.edisonresearch.com.
About Edison Media Research
Edison Media Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations. Edison Media Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, ABC Radio, CBS Radio, Bonneville and Westwood One; and also conducts strategic and perceptual research for a broad array of companies including AOL/Time Warner, Yahoo!, Sony Music, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Universal Music Group, Life Music and the Voice of America. Edison Media Research also conducts research for successful radio stations in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe. Edison Media Research designed and operated the CNN RealVote election projection system in 2002; and currently conducts all polls and election projections for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and the Associated Press. All of Edison Media Research’s industry studies can be found on the company’s Web site at www.edisonresearch.com and can be downloaded free of charge.
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe. 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 also developed the Portable People Meter (PPMSM), a new technology for media and marketing research.
Arbitron’s marketing and business units are supported by its research and technology organization, located in Columbia, Maryland. Arbitron has approximately 1,700 employees; its executive offices are located in New York City. Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with VNU, Inc., Arbitron also provides media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, magazine, newspaper and online industries.