Those fearing for the future of radio need to look no further than the Internet to see that there is a hopeful future.
A recent study commissioned by TargetSpot shows that Internet radio listenership is on the rise -- with roughly 42% of U.S. households listening to some form of the radio.
So, while AM/FM stations are seeing a decline in people turning dials, radio execs shouldn't fear that Internet listeners won't be as devoted. In fact, 65% of broadcast radio listeners spend the same amount of time listening to radio content as do Internet radio users.
When you take a look at who is listening to digital audio content, TargetSpot found that 54% of the audience was male, 51% were married and 64% of them were listening from their own home.
Another promising finding for marketing executives working with Internet radio is that 22% of listeners have a household income of at least $100,000 -- thats up 29% from last year.
The study also found an 87% increase in tablet ownership among Internet radio listeners, and a 22% increase in smartphone ownership — so as more devices offer a portal into Internet radio options, we might be able to draw the conclusion that listeners are using these devices.
Compared to last year, 48% of respondents spend more time listening to Internet radio on a tablet device, and 38% spent more time listening on a mobile device.
And with services popping up to keep people in the habit of listening to music on their devices, such as Pandora, Spotify and Last.fm, online listeners are very social -- 60% of respondents reported visiting social networking sites.
But it is harder to pinpoint whether people are socially sharing Internet radio and music information in this context, especially since only 32% like to see music information from their friends or followers on social networks, and only 27% reported liking that others can see and comment on their listening habits.
Now that TargetSpot has drawn the conclusion that Internet radio listening is a now established activity that is continuing to grow and most Internet radio users, 86%, “opt-in” to receive ads on free, ad-supported services. So it looks like more broadcast radio should be rapidly working on beefing up their online presence and marketing solutions to remain competitive.