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Edison research shows at-work radio listeners migrating to Internet-only alternatives

Friday, September 20, 2013 - 9:10am

We previously mentioned Edison Research's "What's Working at Work" study of radio and audio in the workplace. Edision president Larry Rosin presented the study at the Radio Show today in Orlando. The team last took a look at how employees listen in 1997. Probably needless to say, but Internet radio plays a far more significant role 16 years later.

First, a third of the respondents said they listen to Internet radio at work. Almost three-quarters listen on a desktop or laptop computer, but more than half listen on a smartphone (obviously, some use both).

While more people still listen to AM/FM radio at work than Net-only radio, the total number of at-work broadcast listeners is apparently dropping as (some) migrate to online-only options. Half of at-work Internet radio listeners say their listening has replaced time they used to spend listening to broadcast radio (28% say it's replaced time spent with their own music collection, and 22% of Internet radio listeners say it's "new listening").

High spot loads (and competition from Net radio's traditionally lower commercial load) is likely playing a role in that migration from broadcast to Net-only radio, says Edison. Rosin commented, "New options that consumers have for audio have completely changed the notion of what constitutes an acceptable number of commercials."

See slides and respondent interview videos from the "What's Working at Work" presentation here.

Edison to reveal findings of at-work radio usage study at The Radio Show in Orlando

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 11:35am

To tease the debut of its latest research study, Edison Research is revealing one small finding "of potentially great significance:" 26% of at-work AM/FM radio listeners are wearing headphones or earbuds. Among younger employees, the percentage is much higher.

Edison Research will reveal how "at work" radio usage has evolved since it last studied in-office listening 16 years ago. The firm will debut "What's Working At Work?" at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando on September 20.

Though greater mobile connectivity has moderated this trend slightly, the vast majority of Internet radio listening takes place Monday-Friday, 6a-8p in the U.S., when listeners tend to be near Internet connections for extended periods of time.

Edison Research president Larry Rosin said, "When we fielded our study in 1997, only 16% of workers ever accessed the Internet while on the job. Today the percentage is 73%. This has brought enormous shifts in at-work audio usages."

RIAA, NARM appeal to IT managers to allow employees their streaming music

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 12:50pm

The music industry website WhyMusicMatters.com has posted an open letter on the site encouraging businesses to allow employees to enjoy licensed streaming music services while at work.

WhyMusicMatters.com was developed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and NARM (a trade association for the music business) to steer consumers towards licensed and "authorized" digital music services. "An Open Letter To IT Executives: Don’t Block The Rock" is signed by NARM president Jim Donio and RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman.

It cites research that supports the idea that music in the workplace can have beneficial effects. It describes a healthy digital music industry with legitimate, licensed services (the usage of which poses little danger of spyware or viruses). And it breaks down typical bandwidth usage for services like Spotify and Pandora to demonstrate that employee enjoyment of streaming services won't tax the system.

"Nearly half of IT administrators are blocking, throttling or banning access to legitimate music streaming services like Spotify, Vevo and Pandora on employee computers and mobile devices," the group claims. "It doesn’t add up, and we believe it’s time for business leaders to rethink their current IT policies: don’t block the rock."

Traditionally, services like Internet radio have seen highest usage during the Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm standard work day. Even as listeners increasingly using mobile devices to tune in (see today's story on the growth of listening via mobile phone here), on-the-job music lovers can simply use the office WiFi to connect.

WhyMusicMatters does add the warning: "Of course, there are still illegal sites out there, and that’s why we wholeheartedly encourage administrators to remain vigilant about bandwidth hogging file-sharing sites rife with malware and configured with settings that can expose a company’s top secrets to the world."

Read the open letter at WhyMusicMatters.com here.

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