Internet Radio Listening Trends Up In UK

One third of the UK population has ever listened to Internet radio, according to a new study just released by RAJAR, the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK. That translates to 17.4 million people 15+ who have listened, and it’s a number that grew by half a million in six months. 57% of those listeners are men, 47% are 15 to 34 years old.

More people are listening to personalized online radio services as well. Services like Spotify and Last.fm in the UK have seen rapid audience growth, increasing to 4.5 million, up 15.4% from 3.9 million in May and 55.2% from 2.9 million in October 2008. Pandora, a popular personalized online radio service here in the US is not available in the UK.

The survey looked at podcast listening as well and found that while the typical podcast listener downloads 5.9 podcasts per week, 76% of those listeners say they do not find time to listen to all the podcasts they download. 8.1 million people have ever listened to a podcast and 4.4 say they listen to at least one a week.

65% of podcast listeners are men, and 54% are 15 to 34 years old. 78% of podcast listeners said it had no impact on their listening to live radio.

These are interesting stats. RAJAR releases these studies twice a year – clearly they are taking a proactive approach to emerging new trends. Here in the US, Arbitron/Edison has been releasing their Infinite Dial study once a year. RAJAR is, by their own words, wholly owned by the RadioCentre (the trade body representing the Commercial Radio stations in the UK, formerly known as Commercial Radio Companies Association or CRCA) and by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). As an industry, they’re keeping an eye on emerging digital audio platforms, rather than leaving it up to independent, for profit companies. That’s a great idea…

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