2010 Infinite Dial Study Offers Clear Direction for Streaming Broadcasters

According to the newly released Infinite Dial study, listening to Internet radio didn’t increase much from 2009 to 2010. Last year’s study pegged the audience at 69 million, this year it’s 70 million, both netting a 27 share of the population.

That’s because broadband is nearly ubiquitous, says the study. As organic growth of broadband has nearly stopped, growth for online mediums such as online radio, podcasting and online video have slowed.

The audience is 55% male, 45% female and tends to be employed, educated, and have higher incomes. They like the interactive options that online radio offers, along with variety and fewer commercials. When asked to name an online only station, Pandora was the clear winner. Pandora is has taken the brand position for online radio. (See my post here about Pandora becoming the Kleenex of Online radio).

The study found that more people listen to online only brands than AM/FM streams. This should be a clear impetus to AM/FM broadcasters to offer more and different options in their online streams. According to this information, listeners are turning online to find offerings that are different than what they can hear on their AM/FM radios. To compete, broadcasters must expand their offerings to include side channels and options that give listeners ways to control and interact with the streams.

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One response

  1. The reason why Americans go to web only internet radio sites instead of broadcast sites, is because FM radio is so godawful. The point of going to the web is to get away from the narrow, banal playlists found in the wasteland of media consolidation found on the FM dial. Europeans clearly like their broadcast radio much better which is why they will listen to their favorite FM stations on line. My husband who is European will listen to a station from back home on line, and it has no enhancements that you are calling for. It is identical to the terrestrial version, including ads and hourly news updates, and my husband enjoys it very much.

    Until FM in the U.S. opens up the airwaves to new and good music, they will continue to flounder whether it be on the traditional FM dial or on line. Piling enhancements on their mediocre product will not save them.

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