A new study conducted by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research entitled "The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms" found that the online weekly radio audience is now at an estimated 76 million Americans. The figure represents a more than 30% increase from a year ago and s 29% of the U.S. population.

"We've been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year's increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we've ever recorded. said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron, in a statement. "The increased demand for online audio content, and the ever-expanding variety of that content, shows that online radio continues to be a resilient, adaptive media for the changing needs of today's consumer,"

The new data also shows that Americans increasingly own smartphones (three times as many in the last two years), use Apple products and engage in social media (especially adults aged 45 and older).

Other specific takeaways from the study, include:

- Forty-four percent of all Americans age 12 and over own a smartphone, representing half of all cell phone owners

- Six in ten (61 percent) own a portable digital media device such as a smartphone, portable MP3 player or tablet; 40 percent own an Apple device (iPod/iPhone/iPad)

-Smartphone ownership has tripled in two years.

- Americans age 45 and older represent the largest percentage increase in social media usage in the past year, now up to 38 percent (from 31 percent in 2011).

- Seventeen percent of all cell phone owners listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system; this is an increase of more than 50% in the past year.

- Fifteen percent are registered users of daily deals services such as Groupon and LivingSocial

This study is available via the Arbitron and Edison Research Web sites at www.arbitron.com and www.edisonresearch.com.

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