Some 44% of Americans aged 12 and up listen to online radio on a weekly basis, up from 36% last year and 33% the year prior, according to the latest annual “Infinite Dial” report from Edison Research and Triton Digital. Moreover, the percentage of survey respondents listening to online radio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) on a monthly basis cracked the majority threshold for the first time, reaching 53% of the 12+ population, up from 47% last year.
No surprise, then, that a recent report from the Radio Advertising Bureau found optimism surrounding radio’s digital ad sales growth, expected to be in the double-digit range again this year.
Unlike in years past, though, online radio’s rising reach isn’t accompanied this year by growing consumption, the Edison Research study finds. Weekly time spent tuned in to online radio averaged 12 hours and 53 minutes among weekly listeners, down almost a half-hour from last year’s average of 13 hours and 19 minutes. That suggests that new weekly listeners this year are lighter consumers than average, though not to a large extent.
While online radio continues to appeal most to youth, this year’s increase in reach owes much to the 25-54 demographic. Half of respondents in that group reported having listened to online radio during the prior week, up from 37% in the prior year’s survey. By comparison, 69% of 12-24-year-olds (up from 64%) and 18% of those aged 55 and older (up from 13%) reported having listened during the prior week.