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Radio’s Streaming Disruption How Streaming And Smartphones Disrupt Radio Audiences

Report by Karol Severin
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The 20,000 Foot View

Along with TV, radio is one of the most pervasive media platforms on the planet.  It is also still one of the key drivers of music discovery. But things are changing.  Historically Radio broadcasters had their audiences protected in the safe confines of dedicated devices and direct competition was thin on the ground. But audiences now have choice and spend progressively more of their entertainment time on multifunction devices.  Audience segments that have until now been considered bastions of radio listening, such as the in-car and at-work are being swamped by an influx of streaming services via technologies such as smartphones, tablets and interactive dashboards.  The trend is particularly pronounced among younger consumers, with penetration rates and listening time in decline. The impact on the global radio market will be vast and broadcasters will need to up the innovation ante to keep pace.

Key Findings

  • In a handful of years smartphone penetration is already higher than regular radio listening        compared to       
  • Even though listening time among younger audiences may be declining, audience penetration still outstrips streaming audio across all ages 
  • Radio and streaming have opposite demographic adoption, radio  penetration increasing with age and streaming decreasing
  • Audiences under        show under average radio listening penetration, but over average streaming penetration 
  • Under        are least likely to listen to radio        and most likely to stream music       
  • Audiences over        show over average listening penetration, but under average streaming penetration
  • Digital radio platform strategies of traditional broadcasters are fragmented globally
  • Radio will hold on to its global dominance for years yet but disruption will accelerate 

Companiesmentioned in this report: Apple, YouTube, Pandora, BBC,Slacker

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