One In Five 12-24s Listened To Pandora In The Past Month

Tomorrow will see the first release of Edison’s new American Youth Study: 2010, a look at the media and technology consumption habits of teens and young adults. The debut presentation of this project, which was sponsored by, will be at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 29th, but we’ll be pulling nuggets from this study throughout the rest of this year. We’ve got some great new findings about how young Americans discover, consume and obtain new music, as well as some potentially surprising findings about social networking in this demographic, so do stay tuned.
One finding that has already been talked about is this datapoint about Pandora and other online radio listening among 12-24s:
These are some staggering figures – not only have 20% of 12-24 year-olds listened to Pandora in the past month, but 13% have done so in the past week – and this is nationally representative, projectable research data (see our methodology statement, below). While we have seen server-based metrics that have demonstrated Pandora’s incredible growth over the past few years, this level of recalled listening amongst 12-24 year olds is truly a significant finding.
Yet, I can’t help but be drawn to another, more subtle point from this graph. If you examine weekly online radio listening, you can’t avoid the fact that more than twice as many young Americans have listened to Pandora lately than have listened to the online streams of terrestrial AM/FM stations. Equally significant, however, is the figure for listening to other (i.e., NOT Pandora) online-only radio streams, which among 12-24s is almost the same number as the AM/FM online number (5% vs. 6%).
Even taking Pandora out of the equation, the reach of online-only radio from services such as Slacker, Accuradio, Last.FM and others is nearly equivalent to the online reach of their tower-laden cousins. The “long tail” of independent online radio in other words, is nearly the same size as the dog in terms of reach. If you are an independent webcaster, this of course means that the youth market is as available to you as it is to terrestrial broadcasters. And if you are a terrestrial broadcaster, it’s equally good news – with your production, programming and branding expertise applied to your own online-only efforts, these no longer need to be viewed as “side channels.” They are channels, pure and simple – and are limited not by geography or Internet penetration, but by your imagination, and the size of your ambition.
Methodology: A total of 1,533 respondents were interviewed to investigate interest in, and consumption of, traditional and new media among American youth. From September 8 to September 13, 2010, interviews were conducted online with respondents age 12 to 34 chosen at random from a national sample of Knowledge Networks’ “KnowledgePanel,” an online panel that is representative of the entire U.S. population through its use of dual-frame sample recruitment and a known published sampling frame. Data from this year’s study is tracked with the 2000 Edison Research study, “Radio’s Future: Today’s 12 to 24 Year-Olds,” which was conducted via telephone.

1 reply
  1. Jim Kerr
    Jim Kerr says:

    I spent last week at the Public Radio PD convention in Denver, and as I discussed streaming with representatives of NPR, the CPB, and individual stations, I was staggered by the amount of streaming listening that public radio receives. We don’t see it as NPR and most of public radio aren’t measured by Ando yet, but it is there, and it is real, and it will knock your socks off. Public radio streaming most likely is at a level that is close to Pandora. Just look at the Ando rankers and compare WNYC/New York–ONE station–to broadcast GROUPs that operate in signficant market sizes.
    The appetite for streaming–from the educated audiences like public radio to the hip young audiences of Pandora–is huge. For radio to simply toss up their hands at what is a massive opportunity is a tragedy. No one is working harder at making streaming more enticing to advertisers than Triton–from our coming integration of behavioral targeting to our MRC accreditation for Webcast Metrics–but radio needs to do their part, too, and stop looking at streaming using a traditional radio reach-based spot model.
    Digital advertisers want user-level targeted advertising. Streaming can do that, broadcast can not. Digital revenue is increasing. Traditional is stagnant. If you are looking for growth, follow the money. It’s leading to digital, and the opportunity is there.
    Jim Kerr
    Triton Media


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