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Why Choose Radio?
An insight into Internet radio, mobile radio
Online radio and podcasting are two of the biggest growth areas in media consumption with audience
figures rapidly growing. It’s a curious area with podcasting being largely dominated by iTunes; online
radio being led by the fast growing Pandora, Last FM and Spotify. On the production side many of the
traditional big broadcasters, aside from the BBC, who have a large presence in both online radio and
podcasting, the area has been largely untapped. Commerical radio stations in particular have generally
failed to make any great impact online.
This is of course an ever changing digital landscape and many are making efforts to improve perfor-
mance in this area. Despite this, it is an area that has yet to reach maturity as the figures for podcasting
and online radio are only going up; and with the prospect of much easier access to listening via mobile
devices looming it is a very interesting area. There are numerous apps now for listening to internet radio
via smartphones, and podcasts are obviously a key format for mobile handsets and mp3 players. Any
online audio offerings now have to take the demands of the mobile market very seriously as the prolifera-
tion of these devices continues to escalate.
Analogue radio unlike television has been very resilient in the face of the growth of new media with 46
million adults listening every week in the UK; and the main reason for this is that it’s a complementary
medium. People tend to listen to the radio alongside doing other things, people listen to the radio at
home at work and perhaps most importantly in this context, alongside surfing the internet. Radio has
been shown to offer something very similar to the internet in that it enables a connection with people’s
social community. The Internet is often used as a means for people to operate within their immediate so-
cial network, whilst radio is commonly used to connect to the wider social network of a local community
or shared interest group (in 2008 34 million people in the UK tuned in to a local radio show every week).
In fact research has shown that radio listening combined with online use gives a relief from isolation when
at home and specifically radio creates a more relaxed frame of mind when listening and surfing.
Personalised music offerings such as Pandora, Last Fm and Spotify are rapidly growing in size but all are
yet to totally clarify their long-term business model. Social media and radio have a lot in common and
whilst social media has become massively popular online, yet online radio is still yet to really see massive
audiences. This is despite research indicating that a high number of internet users are listening to radio
whilst surfing at any one time. The next few years are going to be very interesting to see how things
develop with online radio and it’s little brother podcasts. We for one have our eyes wide open and want
to be a big part of the future of both these areas.
Here at Delicious Digital we are passionate about radio and new media; this document offers a little of
our insight into the field of internet radio and podcasting. There’s lots of interesting facts and figures
floating around and we’ve compiled a few of them for you. We are firm believers in online and mobile ra-
dio as a platform and that podcasting is here to stay; both formats are great ways to communicate with
an audience and that both areas have a lot of room for bigger and better production.
A lot of people are listening to radio online..
17.4 million UK adults have listened to online radio, 15 million of these are listening live; this is up
500,000 from May to December 2009.
Radio online is mostly listened to by younger men..
There is a slight male skew with 57% of internet listeners being men and there is a broad split across
generations, with the younger generation being the largest with 47% aged between 15-34. Internet
radio listeners are also more likely to be affluent, educated and employed.
Online radio is mostly listened to at home..
89% of internet radio listening takes place at home, while 21% listen at work and 6% listen elsewhere.
‘Personlised Online Radio’ is the fastest rising subsector of online radio..
Some 4.5 million people in the UK had tuned in to personalised online radio services such as Spotify and
Last FM by December 09, up from 3.9 million in May and 2.9 million in October last year.
There are more radio stations online than anywhere else..
source: guardian.co.uk 10/12/08, RAJAR 10/12/09, RadioCentre April 2008, Arbitron and Edison Media Research’s The
Infinite Dial 2009
Commercial Radio stations are all staking a claim...
93% of Commercial Radio stations stream their audio online, and 57% have a listen again service in
some shape or form.
People like to listen and surf..
Internet radio is the soundtrack to online activity, with 47% reporting listening while researching products
on a website.
Advertising on online radio is a growth area..
“Online shows and podcasts have loyal audiences who pay attention to advertisers who support the
shows they regularly listen to or watch, (Our) studies showed that 69 percent of audience members have
a more favorable view of in-show advertisers, which means a tremendous amount of goodwill goes to
advertisers of online shows when show selection is intentional and advertising and ad formats are inte-
grated into show formats.”
Velvet Beard, Podtrac’s vice president of products.
BIA/Kelsey calculates the industry’s online revenue will be up 12% to $382 million in the USA this year,
with a more robust 20% increase in the coming year. “Radio’s online assets have proven to positively
impact consumer behavior,” said Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer, BIA/Kelsey. “Now radio has to extend
this ability to impact consumers into its advertising efforts. Once the cross-platform model is fully em-
braced by sales teams, and advertisers learn how to effectively plan and buy radio’s digital and air as-
sets, the revenue will follow.”
source: guardian.co.uk 10/12/08, RAJAR 10/12/09, RadioCentre April 2008, Arbitron and Edison Media Research’s The
Infinite Dial 2009 / Other Line of Enquiry 2008
The BBC is a major player in online radio...
Podcasting is very popular in the UK...
8.1 million people have downloaded a podcast (up from 7.8 million in May ’09), while 4.4 million say they
listen to podcasts at least once a week (up from 4.2 million in May ‘09, 4.1 million in October ’08 and 3.7
million in May ‘08).
The typical podcast user subscribes to 5.9 podcasts per week (up from 5.2 podcasts in May ’09) and
spent about an hour listening to them in the previous week.
They peg the podcast audience at 9% of Internet users now, and are predicting the audience to nearly
double, to 17%, within five years.
iTunes is still dominating the podcast market...
iTunes continues to be the software of choice, used by 75% of podcast users to subscribe to podcasts,
while 18% simply download directly from a website via their browser.
Podcasts have a good degree of mobility..
79% listen to podcasts on their home computer and 66% listen via a portable audio/mp3 player; and
this hasn’t changed in the last 12 months.
83% of podcasts users listen to podcasts that are more than a week old.
Podcast listening occurs throughout the day, with an evening peak when 37% of podcast users press
the play button (weekdays).
Podcasts are mostly listened to be younger men..
Podcast users are more likely to be men (65% of users) and in the 15-34s age break (54% ofusers).
Podcasting and radio go hand in hand...
Podcasting appears to have a positive effect on radio listening with 33% saying that they now listen to
radio programmes to which they did not listen previously. 78% of podcast users said that listening to
podcasts had no negative impact on their live radio listening habits.
Advertising doesn’t necessarily turn off podcast users..
59% of respondents said they would be interested in downloading podcasts containing advertising if
they were free, while only 33% responded positively to the idea of podcasts without adverts that had to
be paid for.
Commercial radio stations are producing a lot of podcasts..
57%of Commercial Radio stations produce podcasts or non-live audio.
Source: RAJAR 10/12/09 / MORI (UK) May 09 / Radiocentre April 2008
The BBC is very successful in the podcasting market..
Radio listening via mobile phone is growing..
Radio listening via mobile phone continues to grow steadily among adults aged 15+ with Q4, 2009
posting an increase of 7.1% from 6.2 million in Q4, 2008 to 6.7 million in Q4, 2009, though this is down
slightly from 6.9 million in Q3, 2009.
There are some interesting demographic trends..
The 15 to 24-year-old demographic shows a decrease of 2.1% year on year, but nearly 30% of those in
this age group continue to claim they have listened to the radio in this way; while 13.6% say they listen at
least once a week and 2.9% say they listen every day. However, the 25+ demographic shows a steady
increase of 13% year on year, up from 8.7% in Q4, 2008 to 9.7% in Q4, 2009.
The BBC again have a big stake in the mobile radio market..
According to M:Metrics, the BBC mobile site is currently the second most popular UK destination on the
mobile internet, attracting more than six million visitors a month.
Pandora has been very succesful in the mobile market..
Of the 65,000 people who register for a Pandora account each day, 45,000 do so on mobile phones,
said Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder.
But it turns out that Pandora’s 11 million registered mobile listeners (compared to the 35 million on the
Web) click on mobile ads about twice as often as they do on Web ads.
Spotify’s premium subscritption service is allegedly picking up pace...
As of January this year Spotify are alleged to have 250,000 premium subscribers who have access to
their mobile service.
Source: DagenNyeter 29.1.10
More and more people are listening to music via mobile..
A new study by Forrester Research shows that 10% of mobile phone users use their device to listen to
music, up from 5% a year ago. According to a summary of the study by Mediaweek, texting and email-
ing pictures were also up, while watching TV or videos was flat, and checking the stock market was
down (I wonder why!) Specifically, it is the under 30 year olds (18 to 29) that are leading the way, 22%
of them use their phones to listen to music while only 7% of the older demographic do the same. It’s all
good for Internet radio, as more and more people find their way to their favorite online station via their
connected mobile device. - RBR.com 14.8.09
Sources: RAJAR Q4 2009 / M:Metrics / NY TImes 9.09 /
Clear Channel are taking mobile radio very seriously..
“It’s [mobile radio is} extremely meaningful ,” Clear Channel Executive Vice President Evan Harrison says.
About a year after the No. 1 radio company introduced its iHeartRadio app for iPhones, phone users
account for 10% of its digital audience. “We expect to at least double that number” in 2010, he says.
“That’s a modest goal.” The company attracts about 28 million unique visitors a month, up 30% vs. last
So are lots of advertisers...
While many marketers have been reluctant to embrace a channel that lacks proven use cases, an in-
creasing number have begun to realize the “additive effect” of mobile on their other advertising and
marketing efforts. As smartphones proliferate and marketers move beyond experimentation, budgets will
steadily increase. eMarketer predicts that spending on mobile advertising will gain momentum over the
next five years, reaching $1.56 billion by 2013. eMarketer - December 08, 2009