Listening to Internet radio is "no longer a trend, it's a behavior," said TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger at RAIN Summit West 2012. That behavior spans a range of devices, listening locations, and listening sources.
Goldwerger presented a preview of TargetSpot’s Digital Audio trending study, set for release in early May, at RAIN's conference in Las Vegas earlier this month.
He revealed that 42% of the U.S. population listens to Internet radio, a growth of 8% over last year. Listeners said they enjoy web radio because it plays "music I want to hear," offers fewer commercials, "better music selection" and "more control," Goldwerger explained.
Listeners are tuning in to Internet radio on an increasingly wide variety of devices, and in different locations. Goldwerger revealed that 44% of listeners say they primarily listen on a tablet, 44% on a computer and 38% on a smartphone. 77% listen on home computers, while 53% listen on work computer.
Interestingly, a large number of web radio listeners change channels and services throughout the day. Around 3 in 4 listeners change stations within the same service at least once a day, while 64% change services at least once daily (like switching from Pandora to Slacker).
Internet radio's audience is "valuable and desirable," said Goldwerger. TargetSpot found that 42% of listeners have kids, 22% live in households with $100,000+ incomes and 64% own their own home. And 67% of listeners "often look at the player" to see currently playing artist information. Around 80% of listeners tune in for 1-3 hours per day, while 40% listen to 1-2 hours per listening session.
Goldwerger said that 65% of web radio listeners spend at least the same amount of time listening to AM/FM radio as the did before. But among 18-24 year-olds, 47% are spending less time with AM/FM radio. "If that’s a predictor of how that demo is going to behave as they get older, that’s something to watch," commented Tom Taylor of Radio-Info. Additionally, 57% of web radio music listeners said they prefer listening to Internet radio (compared to 26% who prefer AM/FM radio).
"Digital audio is firmly established," concluded Goldwerger. "Listeners remain highly engaged" and new devices are driving "increased listening."