Radio is still king. But the places and types of radio that Americans dial into are becoming many and more varied. According to a recent study by Edison Research that was jointly commissioned by Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn, one out of every two online Americans has streamed music over the Internet. They do so in many of the same places they also consume traditional broadcast radio-the car, at home, while working, out walking, exercising and taking public transportation. This is largely because high-speed data access is becoming more ubiquitous and somewhat less expensive, allowing listeners more freedom to choose their music-listening format.
Of course, there are still workplaces that ban the usage of streaming radio because of the cumulative bandwidth costs. And not all Americans have online access. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 15% of U.S. adults don’t use the Internet at all.
Those who do are finding more places to plug in and dial up music. One out of three streaming music listeners has used Web-connected TV sets for access, while one-third stream music from the in-dash entertainment systems in their cars.
“The advent of mobile listening, and the proliferation of choices for the types of Internet audio, have transformed the medium from niche activity to major media channel in under 10 years,” Edison Research president Larry Rosin says.
The implication is that where listeners go, advertisers will follow-eventually. Spending on digital music advertising in the United States is expected to grow to $970 million this year, up from $850 million in 2012, according to eMarketer. While that amount is still a fraction of the $15.7 billion expected for traditional broadcast radio ads, spending on Internet radio is growing at a much faster tempo — 13% in 2013 compared with just 1.5% for over-the-air AM/FM, according to eMarketer.