News March 17, 2017

Study: young Americans turning to online radio but still head to YouTube to find new music

Stella Chetty

More and more Americans aged 12—24 (Gen Z) are listening to online radio, with 87% of that demographic listening to it every month. That’s a stunning rise from 52% in 2013.

But where do they head to find new music? YouTube.

This is according to the 2017 Infinite Dial survey of Americans’ online listening habits conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Keeping up with new music is considered “very” or “somewhat” important to 70% of Gen Z. Of this number, 80% name YouTube as their first choice.

Recommendation by friends and family is second at 77%. Spotify gets the tick from 59% and Pandora 53%. FM and AM radio comes in fifth at 50%.

The figures are, as is to be expected, different when it comes to where Americans of all ages go to source new music. Family and friends are top of the list with 68%, YouTube at 64% and radio is third choice.

For the study, Edison and Triton defined online radio as a streaming AM/FM station or streamed audio content only available on the internet.

The survey was done between January and February of this year by telephone of 2,000 people aged 12 and above. 

The growth in the consumption of online radio from 5% in 2000 to 61% in 2017 is largely due to how easy it is to operate, and that (unlike traditional radio) the user can decide what track can be played through personal playlists or programming of stations.

So although the 87% figure indicates that online radio is clearly being fuelled by the under-24s, it is nevertheless being adopted by all age groups.

70% of the 25–54 age group listen to it monthly, up from 65% last year. The figure is 32% for the 55+, a rise from 31% in 2016.

According to the survey, consumers are spending more time listening to online radio. It’s 14 hours and 39 minutes now. It was 12 hours and 8 minutes last year, and six hours in 2008.

40% of Americans consume music in their car, compared to just 6% seven years ago. 

Of this, 82% tune to AM/FM while driving. Then come CDs (52%) and digital music (45%). Online radio trails at 26% but is rising as it was 14% in 2014. 

Pandora tops the list of awareness of streaming services, with 86%. It’s then a drop to 71% for HeartRadio and 62% for Spotify. 

Apple and Amazon share a 60% brand awareness, while Google Play is 50%. Others like NPROne, Radio.com and NextRadio are in the 20% range.

But there’s a growing gap between awareness and actual usage in all age groups.

In America, Pandora remains the most popular streaming service by far with 32%. But it is losing users to rivals, down from 34% in 2015.

The loss is most marked with 12—24 year olds, with their 30% a 3% drop from last year and a 15% dip from 2015.

Pandora is still the most popular streaming service with the 25—54 age group – 29% say it’s their favourite service. It’s a strong figure, but is still a 3% decline from 2016 and a 4% drop from 2015.

So who is Pandora losing listeners to? Within two years, Spotify has risen from 10% to 18% and iHeartRadio from 11% to 13%.

Spotify is becoming the rage for the 12—24 demo: 45% of them listen to it in 2017, compared to 23% in 2015.

Post new comment
Recent comments (0)

Related articles

JobsLatest jobs