Internet radio use is on the rise, reaching 42% of US broadband households, and this has translated to higher effectiveness for advertisers, says TargetSpot [pdf] in a May 2012 study. 58% of listeners surveyed recalled having seen or heard an internet radio ad in the past 30 days, up 11.5% from 52% in the company’s 2011 study. Of those, 44% responded in some way to an ad, up 10% from 40% a year earlier. The most common response, at 20% of all internet radio listeners, was to visit the company’s website (up from 17% in 2011). 17% searched online for more information about the product or service (up from 15%), and 14% clicked on the ad displayed in the internet radio media player or website (up from 13%). 12% also became a fan of the product or service or clicked like on a social networking website, up from 10% in 2011.
Listeners Are Socially Engaged
The study also finds that a high proportion of internet radio consumers are engaging in social media activities in combination with their radio use. 3 in 5 say they visit social networking sites while listening to internet radio on a computer, while 37% recommend or share stations or websites, 35% link their internet radio profile to a social network, and roughly one-third like to see songs and websites others are listening on social networking sites. More than one-quarter also post the song and internet radio website on social networking sites and like other people to see and comment on what they are listening to.
According to an April 2012 report from Jacobs Media, which looked at the behaviors of about 57,000 radio listeners (not just internet radio) across the US and Canada, 79% are members of Facebook, with LinkedIn (29.7%) and Twitter (22.1%) trailing distantly. MySpace still sees some usage (13.3%) among this group, and Pinterest (8.4% – 13.3% among female respondents) also sees significant usage. Overall, 85% of the respondents said they are members of at least one social networking site.
Sharing Shifts Towards Digital
Data from TargetSpot’s “Digital Audio Benchmark and Trend Study, 2012” indicates that internet radio listeners are shifting towards digital means of sharing recommendations. While in-person recommendations remain the most popular way to share music and preferences, at 45% of respondents, this is a 29% drop from 58% in 2011. At the same time, 9% more are emailing (36% vs. 33%), 19% more are sharing links or posting messages on their social network profile (25% vs. 21%), and 9% more are sending texts (25% vs. 23%).
- 54% of the digital audio audience is male, while 51% are married. 64% own their own home, and 22% have household income of at least $100k, up 29% from 2011.
- 80% of the audience is listening for 1-3 hours per day, while 40% are listening for 1-2 hours each session.
- 62% own a smartphone, up 22% from 51% in 2011. And 28% own a tablet, up 87% from 15% in 2011. According to the Jacobs Media survey of radio listeners (not just internet radio), 52% own a smartphone, and 24% own a tablet (see link above).
- 54% of the TargetSpot survey respondents use an internet radio player built into the car audio system, 32% use a portable internet radio player with applications built into the device, and 15% manually connect a smartphone or tablet into their car’s device outlet. Almost 1 in 10 of the Jacobs Media respondents said that the main vehicle they drive has a built-in entertainment/information system.
- Digital audio consumers are listening digitally on multiple devices. The most common device for listening at home is a computer or laptop (77%), followed by a mobile phone or smartphone (44%), and a tablet (41%). 41% also listen to AM/FM radio stations on a standard radio. Data from the Jacobs Media survey indicates that the preferred way to listen to internet/streaming radio, among the American respondents who do so, is on a computer (75.9%), while 21.1% prefer doing so on a portable device such as a smartphone or tablet.
- 2 in 3 respondents to the TargetSpot survey say they often look at the player to check the name of a song or artist.
- The most common internet radio website activities among digital audio listeners are searching for new music (63%), searching for artist or band information (57%), and playing video clips (49%).
About the Data: The TargetSpot study was conducted by Parks Associates and fielded from January 7, 2012 through January 17, 2012. The sample population includes 1,000 adult US internet radio listeners in broadband households who listen to the medium once a month to daily. The trending data is based on an online survey of internet radio listeners in the US, which was fielded December 22, 2010 through December 30, 2011. The sample population includes 1,000 adult US internet radio listeners in broadband households who listen to the medium once a month to daily.