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Monday, May 31, 2011
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Internet Radio Listener Survey Results

While it's only a small portion of what Audio Graphics has been doing online since its debut in 1997, our internet radio listener surveys have become a standard for delivering information not found anywhere else. The approach is simple; we get data from persons who listen to radio online and convey its meaning to the radio industry.

It continues with the 53rd survey, completed with support from Borrell Associates.

" has a huge amount of growth potential, provided it gets deeper into the online world." It will do the radio industry well if it pays attention to the 1,028 respondents this time because we deal with two items having a direct affect on the future: 1) if there has been a purchase made online in the preceding 30 days and for how much; 2) whether the respondents use their hand held device to listen to radio online.

Tighten your seat belt because this survey shows how much things are changing for the terrestrial radio industry.

First let's tackle that issue about how much listening is being done using hand held devices - you may call them cell phones, smartphones, or tablets (like iPads). Most refer to it as "mobile" listening, and we've shown its growth at AG's RadioRow many times.

Charting January 1, 2010 through yesterday looks like this:

Let's go a little deeper with this by comparing mobile listening from previous surveys. Here's a comparison between respondents in December 2009 and today when asked, "If you own a Hand Held device, do you listen to Internet Radio on it?"

Side-by-side, here's how the 18-54 demos look.

We won't get into a discussion over the obvious. Just let it be known that the radio industry is ill-prepared to meet this growth of online listening until it starts taking these numbers seriously. (Calling Pandora "not radio" is one way that shows radio's "wave-it-off" mindset still exists.)

Now let's turn to a question advertisers are concerned with - "Have you made an online purchase in the last 30 days?" Here's how respondents answered Survey 52, and how they answered the same question in June 2005 for Survey 31.

To place emphasis on "how much" is being spent, we asked "If Yes - of what value?" Again, the comparison between today and 2005 is striking - especially in the $1-$15, $30-45, $60-$75, and "Over $100" categories.

As the radio industry begins to get its online legs, please keep in mind that doing anything on the internet is not like doing it with an antenna. There are a variety of elements that new media brings which are embraced by audience and advertisers.

Simply putting up a web site and sending people there via an on-air promotional push is only the beginning. Having your audio easily accessible online (which is another article) and being able to turn a visitor into a purchaser are areas wherein the radio industry still lags.

If you want to take the positive spin on this, say that radio has a huge amount of growth potential, provided it gets deeper into the online world.

All that's needed for the industry is to take actions for "using" the internet as an adjunct to its broadcasts. The problem is that most executives in radio still think this means you merely put up a Facebook page. Things get far more difficult than that - which NAB has realized and is about to get around by hiring Kevin Gage as Chief Technology Officer.

The radio industry can make a place for itself online, but it's going to take learning what pureplay operators, advertisers, and your audience already know. Mobile and metrics are here to stay.

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