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Digital Audio / Satellite Radio

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AM/FM radio was the original portable electronic medium as technology migrated out of homes and into cars and onto transistor radios through the mid-20th century. Now online audio services and satellite radio have stolen some of traditional radio's mobility thunder with delivery on multiple devices and capacity for each user to customize content or to receive unique content based on algorithms

Although it's all sound, consumers and the respective industry segments differentiate among traditional AM/FM radio, digital audio/Internet radio services, and satellite radio services. The newer audio options have established a place in the media spectrum relatively quickly, appealing to younger consumers, early adapters, upscale adults – and advertisers, who are attracted to the expanded options afforded by satellite and digital/online audio marketing.

Digital Audio (Internet Radio, Streaming Audio)

  • Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. The verb to stream refers to the process of delivering media in this manner. The term refers to the delivery method of the medium rather than the medium itself.

(Source: IAB – Internet Advertising Bureau)

  • Streamed music (or other audio) may be played on a downloaded player on a compatible device or on a player embedded in the website from which it is streamed. Audio music streaming sources include Google Play, Grooveshark, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, TuneIn.
  • Digital audio is an audio signal made by computers and digital devices that allows you to record and playback sound or music in digital form rather than in analog.

(Source: Reverb.com, How Does Digital Audio Work)

  • Pureplay radio services are webcasters that transmit only on the Internet; they don't transmit simulcasts of AM/FM radio broadcasts. These may not be interactive ("on demand") based on a ruling on royalty payments. (Arista)
  • Online radio's monthly audience (pureplay/AM/FM streamed combined) is estimated at 189 million, representing 67% penetration of the U.S. 12+ population.
    • 91% of America's 12-24-year-olds listen online monthly

    • 74% of 25-54's are online listeners

    • The 55+ audience is slower to adopt, with just 40% penetration

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • An estimated 60% of persons 12+ (estimated 169 million) tune in to online radio weekly
    • Weekly listening by P12+ over the past years have been substantial
      • 2011 @ 22%
      • 2012 @ 29%
      • 2013 @ 33%
      • 2014 @ 36%
      • 2015 @ 44%
      • 2016 @ 50%
      • 2017 @ 53%
      • 2018 @ 57%
      • 2019 @ 60%

(Source:The Infinite Dial 2019 – Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • Digital radio continues to grow, partially as result of starting from a low base number, but also owing to adaptation among younger consumers and innovations in technology. Among pure-plays, growth is measured in sessions, not listeners like AM/FM radio.
  • In 2019, the average time spent listening to online audio is 16:43 minutes weekly compared to 13:40 minutes in 2018.

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • 64% of A18+ stream audio through their smartphones while 25% of adults stream audio on their tablets each week.

(Source: The Nielsen Total Audience Report February 2020)

  • Number of paid audio streaming services that adults subscribe to
    • 1 - 38%
    • 2 - 15%
    • 3 - 5%
    • 4+ - 4%
    • None - 37%

(Source: The Nielsen Total Audience Report February 2020)

  • Influences of choosing an audio streaming service:
    • Ease of use, 78%
    • Variety/availabiliy of content, 72%
    • Cost compared to free alternatives, 64%
    • Quality of personalized content based on preferences, 61%
    • Availability across devices, 60%
    • Availability in car while driving, 56%
    • Quality of curated content available, 53%
  • Reasons to subscribe to additional audio streaming services
    • To acess on the go content, 39%
    • To acess content with little to no commercials, 39%
    • To expand content that I have available, 39%
    • To control playback of content, 33%
    • To listen on-demand on my own schedule, 31%
    • Flexibility of cancellation policy, 28%

(Source: The Nielsen Total Audience Report February 2020)

Smart Speakers / Voice

  • 24% of Americans 18+ (an estimated 60 million people), own a smart speaker.

(Source: The Smart Audio Report, Winter 2019)

  • Smart speaker adoption rates increase as awareness grows.
    • As of Dec. 2019, 84% of A18+ are aware of any smart speaker device.
    • 1 in 4 adults currently owns a smart speaker.
  • The number of households that have multiple speakers continues to grow.
    • As of Dec. 2019, U.S. households own an average if 2.6 smart speakers.
    • The number of smart speakers in U.S. households grew 135% from 67 million in 2017 to 157 million in 2019. 
  • Smart speaker owners are using their smart speakers frequently.
    • 33% of A18+ use their smart speaker several times a day.
    • 27% nearly every day
    • 21% at least once per week
    • 8% once per month or less
  • 54% of American adults have ever used voice commands.
    • Of these adults who have used voiced command, 24% use commands nearly every day.

(Source: The Smart Audio Report, Winter 2019)

  • Persons 13+ took the following actions with their smart speakers:
    • 46% streamed any audio
    • 24% streamed AM/FM radio
    • 10% streamed music that they own

(Source: The Smart Audio Report, Winter 2019)

Audio Podcasting

  • A podcast is an audio program formatted to be played on the iPod and made available for free or for purchase over the Internet. The name derives from the combination of broadcast and iPod.
  • Podcasts are shows similar to a radio show that is produced by professionals or amateurs and posted to the Internet for download and listening or viewing.

(Source: About.com)

  • 197 million P12+ are familiar with audio podcasts
    • Up 17 million versus 2018
  • In 2019 - 51% of persons 12+ had ever listened to an audio podcast, an all-time high – increasing from 44% in 2018, 40% in 2017 and 36% in 2016

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • Approximately 90 million (32%) of Americans reported listening to a podcast in the past month in 2019 – nearly double from 17% in 2015
    • 36% of men listened to a podcast in the last month while 29% of listeners were women.
    • 40% of America's 12-24-year olds listened to podcasts in the last month
    • 39% of adults 25-54 listened to podcasts last month while only 17% of adults 55+ listened.
    • In 2019, 53% of listeners 12-24 listened to their podcast on Spotify.

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • 62 million people or 22% of the population 12+ listened to a podcast in the last week.

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • Podcast listeners listen to multiple podcasts each week - an average of 7 per week
    • Listen to 1 podcast per week - 16%
    • Listen to 2 podcasts weekly – 15%
    • Listen to 3 podcasts weekly – 17%
    • Listen to 4-5 podcasts weekly – 21%
    • Listen to 6-10 podcasts weekly – 17%
    • Listen to 11 or more podcasts weekly – 14%
  • Preferred devices for listening to podcasts
    • Smartphone/tablet/portable device - 65%
    • Computer/laptop - 25%
    • Smart speaker - 10%

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • Leading reasons for people listening to podcasts
    • To learn new things - 74%
    • To be entertained - 71%
    • To stay up to date with latest topics - 60%
    • To relax - 51%
    • To feel inspired - 47%
    • To escape - 37%
    • For companionship - 24%

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 – Edison Research/Triton Digital)

  • Streamed or online audio not seen as replacing AM/FM radio in the car. AM/FM Radio continues as the most used audio source in car over other audio options including owned digital music.

(Source: The Infinite Dial 2019 - Edison Research/Triton Digital)

Satellite Radio

  • Satellite radio arrived on the American scene with the September 2001 debut of XM Satellite Radio, followed by Sirius Satellite Radio in July 2002. The two competitors merged in July 2008 after it became apparent the sector couldn't support two distinct entitites – now known as SiriusXM Radio.
  • Satellite radio services broadcast from satellites, with programming delivered primarily to vehicles or other dedicated devices. Programming is available only to those who subscribe to the service.
  • Satellite radio subscriber categories:
    • Self-Pay – individuals pay their own monthly fee
    • Promotional – Depending on how initial deal with an auto partner is structured, promotional subscriptions may or may or may not be "paid" by the manufacturer or a third party
  • Satellite service claimed 34.55 million subscribers as of Q3 2019

(Source: SiriusXM Radio, 2019)

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