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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Podcasting Killed The Radio Star

According to latest figures, it seems people are listening to their MP3 players so much, that radio listening is significantly dropping. According to Bridge Ratings, 27% of people 12-24 attribute their reduced use of radio to MP3 use; 22% attributed it to tired radio programming; 3% attributed it to podcast listening.

According to the firm's latest research:

  • Terrestrial audience erosion to alternative audio entertainment continues to occur in young demographics.
  • Podcasting is beginning to siphon listening.
  • MP3 device usage can consume as much as 80% of a radio user's audio entertainment during initial ownership weeks and months. This number tends to be generally lower among 30+ women and 35+ men.
  • MP3 player fatigue is slowing overall as the market continues to expand due to consumer interest in these devices. Fatigue with MP3 players remains high among those consumers who have owned the devices longer than 6-8 months.
  • Competition for traditional radio time-spent-listening is more severe. Time spent listening to terrestrial radio is fighting for its share of time with a multitude of digital devices. Even television has regained viewership based on this quarter's data. The most often given reason for this by our sample: better programming and new shows. Meanwhile, music-specific radio stations are vying for the attention of their constituencies as MP3 players continue to be more pervasive than ever (75 million sold). Podcasting is beginning to show evidence of cannibalizing radio's time-spent-listening.
  • Satellite radio also suffers from attrition! For the first time, we are seeing satelite radio consumers who have been subscribers for longer than 6 months are actually spending less time than they were six months ago with their satellite service of choice. According to our panel, during the second quarter of 2005 average time spent listening to satellite radio was 16 hours per week. During this most recent study during the period of January 1 through March 31, 2006, weekly TSL for satellite radio among subscribers of 6 months or longer was down to 12.6 weekly hours.

Which I certainly understand. The only radio station I am tuned to is the one that best works with the receiver for my iPod. On the other hand, a recent digital radio study done by Arbitron Inc states that most podcast users and listeners are young and rich, and that radio is in no danger.

Report Highlights:

  • The weekly Internet radio audience has increased 50% over the last year.
  • Nineteen percent of persons age 18-34 have listened to Internet radio in the last week.
  • Satellite radio subscribers are twice as likely to live in 100K+ households
  • Many people are still confused about what podcasts are.
  • Podcasting attracts a relatively youthful audience. More than half of listeners are under 35.
  • 11% of all Americans have listened to audio podcasts. That translates into approximately 27 million Americans that have tried podcasts.
  • More than half of all teens own an iPod or other portable media player.

Podcast Highlights

According to Arbitron, 22% of Americans have heard of podcasting, and 11% have tried podcasts

Link to report pdf

Link to Bridge ratings:

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