Streaming - Radio's New Transmitter and Tower

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Posted by on June 03, 2009 at 10:16:10:

"Streaming - Radio's New Transmitter and Tower"

Jacobs Media's new survey reveals a significant rise in streaming radio.

iPhone owners are especially likely to stream their favorite stations.

When it comes to listening to AM/FM radio, "the next big thing" is something that's been around for years - audio streaming.

And as hi-speed Internet connections become commonplace, audio streaming represents broadcast radio's best bet to successfully participate in the digital revolution.

In a new survey conducted among more than 21,000 members of rock radio email databases, there's momentum for listening to traditional radio stations on computers and other devices. Of the various listening locations tested - at home, in vehicles, at work, and while walking around - three in ten (30%) say their radio listening on computers has increased in the past year.

Another striking finding is that the percentage of respondents who have never streamed has dropped from 50% in the 2005 Jacobs study to just 34% in this new survey. And now, four in ten respondents (39%) say they stream weekly or more frequently. This represents an increase from 32% over the past year, and a steady rise since this study was first conducted in 2005.

The most frequent "streamies" are fans of Alternative stations, and iPhone/Touch owners. Among this latter group, 45% tune in streaming audio outlets at least weekly, while nearly one-fourth (23%) do so at least daily. This finding strongly suggests mobile devices clearly enable accessing audio entertainment and information, and that AM/FM radio can be a primary beneficiary.

There's more good news for broadcast radio. Among those who stream, their most frequent destinations are local radio stations. About half say they either listen to the survey station's stream or streams from other local market stations.

Of the many Internet-only outlets available to "streamies," the most popular is Pandora - mentioned by one-fifth (20%) of these streaming radio users - nearly doubled their 2008 score. Other sites, mentioned by at least 10% of streaming audio consumers include Sirius XM channels and iTunes radio channels (12% and 10%, respectively).

"For broadcast radio, if you build it, they will come," comments Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs. "The brands that consumers know and trust terrestrially are one and the same on computers and phones. While streaming has its costs, for AM/FM stations, it's like erecting a new tower and transmitter that creates availability to users of digital media."

About The Jacobs Media Tech Survey V

Jacobs Media's Technology Web Poll V is the largest such study of its kind, fielded in mid-February/early March 2009, among more than 21,000 respondents across 64 different Rock-formatted stations. It is the fifth annual poll in the series, conducted among Rock radio listeners who are predominantly members of station email clubs. Participating stations represent Mainstream/Active Rock, Classic Rock, and Alternative outlets in markets around the U.S.

This is a web poll, and cannot replicate all radio listeners or even all Rock radio listeners. As with all Internet-based research projects of this kind, the results reflect only those who chose to participate in the survey, and do not necessarily represent the views of all Rock radio listeners in the country. Still, the 64 radio stations that invited their listeners to take the survey are a broad cross-section of Rock stations, from large and small markets, as well as those that play the newest Rock music and those that play only Classic Rock.

Jacobs Media is a Detroit-based media research and consulting firm, specializing in radio, television, and new media.

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