Almost Half of Americans Have Profiles Says New Arbitron/Edison Research Study
Study Also Reveals Younger Consumers Eager to Adopt Mobile Digital Radio
The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who have a profile on one or more social networking Web sites has reached almost half (48 percent) of the population in 2010 – double the level from two years ago (24 percent in 2008), according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2010: Digital Platforms and the Future of Radio.
The new study, released today, also reveals that consumer use of social networking sites is not just a youth phenomenon. While nearly eight in ten teens (78 percent) and 18 to 24s (77 percent) have personal profile pages, almost two-thirds of 25 to 34s (65 percent) and half of 35 to 44s (51 percent) also now have personal profile pages. The study also shows that 30 percent of Americans age 12 and older, who have a profile on at least one social networking Web site, use those sites “several times a day” compared with only 18 percent one year ago.
“The use of social networking sites has expanded beyond younger consumers, with substantial numbers of Americans over the age of 35 now using social media,” said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.
“Social networking has become a part of mainstream media behavior,” said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research.
Since 1998, this notable research series has reported on and analyzed consumer use of the Internet, digital platforms and their impact on radio.
“Americans continue to hold radio in high regard, with nearly eight in ten saying they plan to listen to as much AM/FM radio in the future as they do now – despite advances of technology” said Arbitron’s Bill Rose.
“Younger consumers show interest in radio on mobile phones,” said Tom Webster from Edison Research. “More than four in ten mobile phone owners age 12 to 24 say they would listen more to FM radio if a tuner were built into those phones.”
Key Findings about Radio and Digital Platforms:
Nearly one in four Americans has listened to audio from an iPod or other MP3 player connected to a car stereo: Although consumers often have to deal with myriad adapters and other barriers to in-car listening, 54 percent of iPod/MP3 player owners have listened to their device in their car; this equates to 24 percent of all persons age 12 and older having listened to an iPod, iPhone or other MP3 player while connected to a car stereo.
Three in ten 12 to 24s are “very interested” in online radio in the car and on mobile devices: Among those age 12 to 24, 30 percent are “very interested” in listening to online radio in-car, while 28 percent are “very interested” in listening to online radio on mobile devices.
Consumers say radio station Web sites are improved but TV and print sites are leading the local battle: Nearly half of people age 12 and older give credit to radio for improvements in their Web sites. Forty- eight percent say that radio station Web sites have gotten more interesting compared to 17 percent believing them to be worse or less interesting. However, monthly visitation to radio station Web sites (16 percent) among persons 12+ lags visitation to local TV and local newspaper Web sites.
Other key findings:
The Internet passes TV as most essential medium in Americans’ lives: For the first time, more Americans say the Internet is “most essential” to their lives when given a choice along with television, radio, and newspapers; 42 percent chose the Internet as “most essential,” with 37 percent selecting television, 14 percent choosing radio, and 5 percent said newspapers. While television still leads among those over the age of 45, Internet dominates among younger persons age 12 to 44.
More than six in ten households with Internet access have a Wi-Fi network at home: Sixty-two percent of homes with Internet access have wireless network set-ups in their homes, more easily enabling the consumption of digital media in any room of their home, as more and more devices feature built-in Wi-Fi such as the new Apple iPad.
Texting has become a daily activity for nearly half of all mobile phone owners: Nearly half of mobile phone owners (45 percent) age 12 and older text multiple times a day. Three quarters of teens (75 percent) and persons age 18 to 24 (76 percent) text multiple times a day compared with nearly two thirds (63 percent) of 25 to 34s; and four in ten (42 percent) 35 to 44s and 45 to 54s (37 percent).
Broadband access has leveled and growth has stabilized for some digital platforms: Growth of residential broadband has leveled off, with 84 percent of homes with Internet access having broadband connections. The slower growth of residential broadband is associated with little year over year change in weekly usage of online radio (17 percent) and online video (29 percent). The study suggests that expanded use of use of mobile devices and in-car Internet may spark the next wave of growth.
How the study was conducted
A total of 1,753 people were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media. From January 25 to February 22, 2010, telephone interviews were conducted with respondents age 12 and older chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2009 survey diarykeepers and through random digit dialing (RDD) sampling in certain geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available for the survey. Diarykeepers represent 51% of the completed interviews and RDD sampled respondents represent 49% of the completed interviews. The study includes a total of 371 cell phone interviews.
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is a media and marketing information services firm primarily serving radio, television, cable, advertising agencies, advertisers, retailers, out-of-home media, and online media. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring and estimating network and local market radio audiences across the United States; providing application software used for analyzing our media audience and marketing information data; and providing consumer, shopping, and other media usage information services. The Company has developed the Portable People MeterTM, a new technology for media and marketing research.
About Edison Research
Edison 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 Research is also the sole provider of election exit poll data for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison 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 opinion 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 Research has a sixteen year history of thought-leadership in media research, and has provided services to successful media properties in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.
Portable People MeterTM and PPMTM are marks of Arbitron Inc.