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Older generation chooses internet radio but their kids prefer MP3

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 20 Apr 2009 14:49 User comments (8)

Older generation chooses internet radio but their kids prefer MP3 Arbitron has released the results of their annual digital radio survey. It features market analysis of AM/FM based streams, online, satellite, and HD radio, and even Podcasting. They found 17% of respondents said they listened to internet radio during the previous week, nearly a third more than last year's 13%.
According to Arbitron, availability of different music and a measure of control over what they hear are the primary reasons for nearly 40% of consumers to choose online radio.

And how are those listeners finding their favorite online radio service? Nearly a third of listeners say they first heard about it on traditional over the air radio broadcast.

Those traditional broadcasters can at least feel secure in their dominance of in-car listening. Fewer than a third of respondents indicated any real interest in using a mobile (in-car) internet connection to listen to internet radio.

But it's easy to see how that could changes as more advanced phones become more common and more consumers are exposed to mobile internet.

Also according to Arbitron, 71% of 12-17 year olds own a portable music player, which is 2% less than last year, but stil 7% more than the percentage of 18-24 year olds who own them. From that age upward the ownership rate continues to decline.

By comparison, online radio listenership skews older, with 23% of potential listeners between 45 and 54 tuning in. That percentage is cut in half (12%) for 12-17 year olds and 11% for those between 18 and 24..

In fact, 32% of 12-24 year olds listen to the radio less in favor of listening to their portable music player. Although the majority of the public still doesn't own a portable media player, eventually it might be necessary to either find a new way to attract listeners or get a bigger percentage of a shrinking audience.

It will be interesting to see whether MP3 players represent a permanent loss of listenership for radio of all kinds.

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8 user comments

120.4.2009 16:18

So true, my dad listens to Italian radio stations online all the time where as I listen to no radio whatsoever. My iPod has all I need. I actually just got my dad off the CD player and to use my old MP3 player when he's working in the yard and stuff because it's just more convenient, smaller too.

220.4.2009 18:05

Originally posted by Morreale:
So true, my dad listens to Italian radio stations online all the time where as I listen to no radio whatsoever. My iPod has all I need. I actually just got my dad off the CD player and to use my old MP3 player when he's working in the yard and stuff because it's just more convenient, smaller too.
i still use my 80's Boom Box Best Reception,Best Sound.

I use a Audio Switch Box, so when i do use internet radio, i can switch from my PC speakers to My Stereo Tower Speakers.

i'm not a big MP3 fan, because when I'm out of my house its usually to get away from the noise, or to go to work.

321.4.2009 7:47

Unfortunatly, the radio is managed by 'media managers' as with most parasites of the media industry, they are one of the lowest life forms on earth. What do you expect when your performance has less to do with you and more to do about your competition? The result is, a bunch of lying weasils who know how to take credit for something they did not do.

This scum can't put 2 + 2 together. In their attempt to play 'hot' music they over play it, repelling many listeners. Most stations play 500-1000 different tunes. The average mp3 player hold many times that. It should be obvious people will pay to hear a varity of tunes, not a variety of generes. Stations that play more varity only do this with more generas not with more varity within a genere. They need to allow the DJs pick their own music like in the good old days. Most DJs love music and have a far better idea what to play than their idiot bosses. It really bothers me that the stations opt to spam you on the text stream instead of useful info about the tune in play. I am sure they are warped enough to think you enjoy their spam, if they even care to think at all. The continual bombardment of spam started with the TV. You can't watch TV without being exposed to the spam at the bottom of the screen. Does this bother anyone else?

The old folks are just lazy. It takes a great deal of resorces to build up an mp3 library better than a radio station's. Being lazy myself, I would listen to the radio if it was half way descent. By switching stations you can give yourself more variety but you can't escape the spam unless to pay for a subscription.

I am not trying to hijack the thread but explore why people don't like the radio. This is the only place where this kind of meaningful discussion COULD take place. I really don't expect a good discussion to take place. If it does, I will pass a link to this thread to a few radio stations. You never can tell, maybe some of the managers can read and may not be too lazy to check it out. I will say the consumers have better choices than we used to.

I believe radio will need to improve if they wish to survive. Unfortunatly, they seem to be getting rid of the DJs and just play junk music. Without the extra expense, the station can survive with a much smaller audiance. To me, DJs can be the best part of the radio, otherwise, my ipod has more of my favorite music than the radio station.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Apr 2009 @ 8:40

422.4.2009 7:03

I agree with Mez. The problem lies with media control of radio. What I find interesting, however, is trying to figure out the implications of music selection in a totally MP3 world. One of the historical functions of radio (and oriiginally the DJ) was as an opinion leader determining what music was good, should be listened toand ultimately, should be bought. Given the amount of available music out there who has time to sample and decide this is good and therefore I want to own the MP3? This is one of the reasons I have been suspicious whether services like Last.fm or pandora would work in the long run (assuming the record labels don't force them out of business first) I suspect that new modes of opinion leadership are developing to replace the role radio played for us older guys. But i sure don't understand how it works

522.4.2009 7:21

The local radio only wants to play what is popular not what is good. Popularity is dictated by the computer which get its info from various sources. That is a catch 22.

The only good source of what is good is from the counter culture. Paid for radio will also give you an nice sampling.

613.7.2009 0:42

In response to "old folks just being lazy" re: listening to mp3 collection vs internet radio. I don't find either option easy to use. I have over 1 TB in mp3s (creating an excellent mp3 collection is certainly easier than listening to it) and really only get to use them when I've made a music cd and can play it on my stereo system. I don't want an earpiece from a player nor do I want to tie up the resources playing music on my computer. I would even more like to be able to find an easy way to listen to Pandora. At the present, I listen to no radio stations because traditional radio is boring and, although I occassionally will play Pandora on the computer, I've yet to find an easy way to get Pandora to come out of my stereo system. Nor have I found an easy way to get my mp3s to play through the stereo system. I can think of many ways it could be done, but no way that is simple and will give me the sound I am used to from my stereo system. Any ideas would be appreciated.

713.7.2009 0:42

In response to "old folks just being lazy" re: listening to mp3 collection vs internet radio. I don't find either option easy to use. I have over 1 TB in mp3s (creating an excellent mp3 collection is certainly easier than listening to it) and really only get to use them when I've made a music cd and can play it on my stereo system. I don't want an earpiece from a player nor do I want to tie up the resources playing music on my computer. I would even more like to be able to find an easy way to listen to Pandora. At the present, I listen to no radio stations because traditional radio is boring and, although I occassionally will play Pandora on the computer, I've yet to find an easy way to get Pandora to come out of my stereo system. Nor have I found an easy way to get my mp3s to play through the stereo system. I can think of many ways it could be done, but no way that is simple and will give me the sound I am used to from my stereo system. Any ideas would be appreciated.

817.7.2009 7:27

kushner, they are forcing them out. Next year they will need to pay steep royalites.

Although the need for REAL DJs is greater than it ever has been no one want to pay them what they are worth. They are not allowed to select the music they play. Instead they have to play what is 'in'. About 6 months ago a classic rock station went belly up. On the last day the shakles were off because the big wigs probably already left.

That was the best radio I ever heard. I had stopped listening to that station regularly because they play so much garbage and advertised their own station soooooooooo much. They were playing music I never knew they had. There were a few I had never heard that piece before. If they played that kind of music routinely, they would have been the most popular station in DC.

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