Study charts the growth of online listening

Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2014 study shows that 55% of Americans over the age of 12 have used YouTube specifically to watch music videos or listen to music. 31% of Americans report using the Internet radio service Pandora on a monthly basis, up from 27% one year ago.

iHeartRadio is used by 9% monthly, while iTunes Radio comes in third with 8% monthly usage, followed by 6% using Spotify.

The study, now in its 21st year, has been tracking Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media since 1998.

The chart below lists online consumption of radio and audio streaming services together. It is interesting to note the position of traditional radio broadcaster streaming aggregators, compared with the new online streaming music services. The study uses the word ‘Radio’ to describe both streamed traditional broadcast radio services and non-broadcast music streaming services.

Top scorer Pandora is a new streaming music service, not a radio service, while second placed iHeart Radio is a hybrid service, which streams Clear Channel radio stations (incuding ARN stations in Australia), plus user defined music streaming services. Other traditional radio broadcast streaming services in the list include and TuneIn, while the rest are primarily music streaming services. iTunes radio, which only launched last September in America, is gaining traction fast.

124 million Americans listened to some kind of streamed ‘radio’ service (as defined by the study) in the past month, showing steady growth in the past ten years.

Listening to radio and music streaming services in cars is also growing, according to the study, now peaking at 25% of Americans aged over 12.

Other key points from the study include:

• More than six in ten (61%) now own a smartphone; that number increases to approximately eight in ten age 18-34.

• Growth in the adoption of the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter has slowed this year, compared with previous editions of The Infinite Dial. Facebook usage is flat compared to 2013, at 58%, while Twitter grew slightly from 15% to 16% year-over-year.

• Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25% year-over-year, from 12% in 2013 to 15% in 2014.
• Snapchat is now one of the leading social networking services; 53% of mobile phone users are familiar with Snapchat, while 13% of Americans 12+ — and 46% of 12-24 year-olds — use the image sharing service.

See full results of the research here.


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