RAIN 12/16: More than 1 in 5 listen to online radio now; we'll all be using tablets soon, say USC Internet studies

Paul Maloney
December 16, 2011 - 12:05pm

You may have seen news coverage yesterday of the highlights from ten years of research on Americans' use and attitudes towards the Internet and new technology. The studies were done by the Annenberg School for Communication's Center for the Digital Future, at USC.

While most news sources focused on the report's dire predictions for print media ("Most print newspapers will be gone in five years"), kudos to Inside Radio for digging a little deeper for this tidbit: 22% of study respondents report "going on the Internet at least weekly" to "listen to online radio."Slacker on an iPad

[That data point is actually not from the recently-released highlights of the studies' findings over the last ten years; rather, it's from the 2010 Digital Future Report -- the tenth annual study in the series -- which was released in June.]

While that figure was outranked by online activities like general web-browsing, online banking, social networking, and gaming -- it's interesting that 22% is also the share of respondents who pay bills online. Also keep in mind that the "to listen to online radio" response was distinct from the "to download or listen to music" response (38%).

Here's another point the Annenberg summary made that should be of interest to broadcasters and webcasters: Over the next three years the tablet computer (e.g. Apple iPad) will become consumers' primary tool for most online/computing activities. Use of the trusty desktop will drop to 4-6% (laptops too!). "For the vast majority of Americans, the tablet will be the computer tool of choice by the middle of the decade, while the desktop PC fades away," the research summary reads. Food for thought.

Read Annenberg's highlights and predictions from their ten years of study here. Read highlights from the 2010 Digital Future Report (that has the online radio figure Inside Radio reported) here.

Paul Maloney
December 16, 2011 - 12:05pm

TargetSpotDigital audio ad network TargetSpot this week announced a deal that will have it deliver in-stream audio ads for Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS). According to TargetSpot, this will add 1.3 million unique monthly listeners from across SBS' 21 Hispanic-oriented stations. Spanish Broadcasting System has a presence in markets with significant Hispanic populations like New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, reportedly reaching 42% of the total U.S. Hispanic population. TargetSpot's ad network now includes more than 80 radio groups and webcasters.Katz360

Meanwhile, Katz Media Group's online audio network Katz 360 expanded its online ad network as well, announcing partnerships with Townsquare Media, Salem Communications, and Deseret Digital Media. Townsquare Media will add 176 radio station streams from 38 markets to the Katz 360 network, plus related websites and access to Townsquare's radioPup mobile app. With Salem Broadcasting brings 95 station streams to Katz 360, 58 of which are in 23 of the top 25 U.S. radio markets. Streams from Deseret Digital Media's three Salt Lake City stations are added as well.

Paul Maloney
December 16, 2011 - 12:05pm

iHeartRadioYou can now listen to Clear Channel's iHeartRadio online radio on your Xbox 360 game console, and you'll soon have more options for listening to Slacker in your car.

Microsoft yesterday made iHeartRadio part of a second round of content sources to the recently-revamped Xbox Live user interface. You might remember the iHeart Music Festival was streamed on the Xbox Live platform. Xbox Live customers in the U.S. can now also access YouTube, MSNBC.com, TMZ, and Verizon FiOS TV. Read more in Variety here.


Earlier this week, car audio manufacturer Harmon announced it had struck deals with five "premium" auto makers for its Aha Radio in-car app platform, teasing a big announcement which will come at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The "mystery" automakers will reportedly use Aha’s cloud-based platform to deliver Internet content to car dashboards beginning next year. Harmon says it expects its new auto maker partners to represent 22% of the new car market in 2012.

Currently, Aha's most-significant online radio partner is Slacker. Read more here.