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Arbitron, Edison report "largest year-over-year jump" in weekly Net radio usage they've yet seen

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 11:40am

Two weeks ago Edison Research and Arbitron announced they'd found weekly Internet radio listening grew 30% during 2011 (see our coverage here), and that 29% of 12+ Americans (76 million) now listen to Internet radio weekly, for an average of almost ten hours a week. Yesterday the companies officially released the study from which that finding comes, "The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms."

"We’ve been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year’s increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we’ve ever recorded," said Bill Rose, Arbitron SVP/Marketing.  Edison Research VP/Strategy and Marketing Tom Webster added "The jump in weekly online radio usage is remarkable, but really a trailing variable to the rise in smartphone penetration, which has enabled much of that growth."

As always (this is the 20th edition of the study), the researchers looked at cellphone/smartphone penetration and use, other portable digital media devices, overall Internet usage, online video, and social media. 

A few points of interest to the Internet radio industry:

  • 39% of Americans 12+ (103 million) have listened to Internet radio in the last month.
  • 17% of cell phone owners report listening to Internet radio in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo, a 50% increase in the past year.
  • Smartphone ownership has tripled in the last two years. 44% of all 12+ Americans own a smartphone, which is half of all cell phone owners.
  • A third of at-work radio listening is done on a computer or mobile device. 12% of smartphone owners listen to online radio "several times per day" or more.
  • "Heavy" Internet and radio users are more likely to be employed full-time.

Read more from Edison Research and Arbitron here, and see all the research presentation slides here.

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