Smartphones and other Internet radio devices have increased Internet radio’s mobility and moved Internet radio into much closer competition with broadcast radio, according to a briefing of the Station Resource Group. Wireless Internet radio will not completely replace broadcast radio, however it will continue to expand.
Handheld devices are becoming a popular mobile Internet radio listening device, and although easy listening is complicated by the need for specialized applications per station or service and device operating system, that will likely change with updates to browsers and technology. New interest and developments are heating up for connected automotive devices, which will grow listening to Internet radio as well. However the study notes that these in-car listening stations will also offer AM/FM receivers and won’t replace broadcast technology in cars.
An important aspect of radio’s new delivery systems is the screen that many devices have that can deliver graphical displays and even video. So as not to be considered deficient on these devices, broadcasters must develop alliances and strategies for offering visual content compatible with their audio content.
It’s an interesting briefing that acknowledges the increasing impact the Internet radio is having on broadcast radio stations. There’s wisdom in the recommendations that radio begin to identify itself as a visual medium and develop visual content solutions that can entice listeners. This video by Slate Magazine gives an overview of some Internet radio stations’ visual approaches and also made me think a little more about videos as well…
By 9am on weekdays NPR‘s broadcast audience has peaked, while the online audience continues to build until mid afternoon. According to data NPR recently shared on their website, the broadcast audience peaks at 7am with about 2.3 million listeners in an average quarter hour. Two hours later that number is under 2 million and falling – while the streaming audience is ramping up.
The streaming audience peaks at about 70,000 at 2pm. Both the broadcast and streaming numbers drop for the rest of the afternoon, with the broadcast audience peaking to 2 million again at 5pm.
NPR.org’s deep online platform includes a large amount of programming from the 24 Hour Stream or archived shows like Morning Edition, NPR Newscasts, Car Talk, or NPR Music. The online number seems to indicate website traffic, and therefore counts visits to NPR’s blogs and news offerings on the site as well.
It’s very interesting data that underscores what a deep platform NPR has. By offering live and archived streamed programming and other website features, NPR is doing a nice job of expanding their brand.
Note: This post has been updated (9:50am) for better accuracy. Many thanks to Matt for his comments and insight.
Four fifths of online radio stations in Germany are only available online, according to a newly released study by the Bavarian regulatory authority for commercial broadcasting – BLM and Berlin strategy consultant Goldmedia. The study is based on a survey of 2692 online radio operators in Germany in 2010.
Interest in online radio grows every year. About 11 million Germans listen to online radio at least occasionally, according to a 2009 Online Study 2009, and 12 percent of all Internet users are already using online radio regularly.
Other highlights from the study:
- While FM radio channels are turned on mainly in the morning, online radio is mostly listened to in the evening.
- About 44 percent of all streaming services are already available on mobile phones.
- Mobile app services offered by stations have also increased. More than 70 percent of FM stations reported having heir own apps, all of them for the iPhone.
- There has been a 40 percent increase in online radio services in Germany since 2009.
“The new study documents once again the significance online radio listening has already gained and shows how manifold and creative this medium is. Traditional radio stations are obviously taking on the challenges posed by new technology and actively creating new services.” says Stefan Sutor, Director of the Radio Department in the Division Programme of the BLM. The study also concludes that mobile streaming options will further the popularity of the medium, but notes that the challenge will be making the offers and new program formats economically successful.