On Monday, Internet radio’s Main Event, the Annual RAIN Summit took place in Las Vegas at the Renaissance Hotel. The impressive attendance at the one day meeting is an indicator of the growing popularity of streaming audio.
One of the presentations featured Tom Webster of Edison Research and the newly updated study The Infinite Dial 2009 – an update of Arbitron and Edison Research’s annual survey of Radio’s Digital Platforms that date as far back as 1998. It’s a great study, and the most comprehensive annual study of national listening patterns to Internet radio and other digital platforms.
The online radio weekly listening audience has grown by a remarkable one-third in the past year. 42 million persons 12+, which represents 17% of that US population, now listen to Internet radio on a weekly basis; and 69 million have listened in the past month. Big numbers, indicating that Internet radio has clearly moved into a mass appeal media platform.
As it has in the past, listening to online radio skews slightly male – about 52% of the listeners are male, and 48% female. This is interesting as it runs counter to the gender skew for persons online, which tends to be female. The age cells for online radio listening are nicely balanced, with 19% 25-34, 19% 35-44, 23% 45-54, 12% 55-64, 23% 12-24 and 4% over 65. Online radio listeners are upscale, well educated and employed.
Internet radio is a great way to sell products or services online. Lots of people listen to Internet radio while they are researching an online product or service or actually shopping online, giving advertisers a clear reason to use online audio to support their online marketing platforms. Ads should specifically talk to an online audience.
It’s a great study, full of useful data that fortifies the buzz around Internet radio – it’s real, it’s mass appeal, and it’s growing. Kudos to Edison Research, Arbitron, and sponsor Targetspot for continuing to update this information and release it for use by the industry at large. More to come this week in Audio4cast about the RAIN Summit as well as this newly released study.