Arbitron, Edison Media Research Release Survey Results

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Arbitron, Edison Media Research Release Survey Results

Feb 1, 2003 12:00 PM, By Kari Taylor, associate editor

Arbitron, Edison Media

New York - Feb 25, 2003 - Arbitron and Edison Media Research have revealed the findings of their latest Internet study Internet & Multimedia 10: The Emerging Digital Consumer. This study found that during the last three years, the number of Americans listening to Internet audio broadcasting nearly tripled. The number of Americans who have ever listened to radio stations over the Internet has surged from 11 percent in January 2000 to 34 percent in January 2003. Therefore, Internet audio has become more of a regular habit for millions of Americans.

Satellite radio awareness was also surveyed and found that from January 2002 to January 2003, aided awareness for XM Satellite Radio increased from 17 percent to 32 percent. Aided awareness for Sirius Satellite Radio grew from 8 percent from January 2002 to 18 percent in January 2003. For XM and Sirius, the awareness of the two satellite radio providers and interest in each service is much more pronounced among men than with women. The survey also found that about 17 million Americans say they are very interested in the concept of satellite radio. There is a strong correlation between active users of Internet audio and those who express an interest in satellite radio. While 9 percent of all Americans indicate they are very interested in satellite radio, 15 percent of those who used Internet broadcasting in the last month say they are very interested in satellite radio. Sixty-six percent of those who are very interested in satellite radio have tried Internet broadcasts. Therefore, it is clear that there is a significant number of American consumers who actively seek unique and compelling audio content regardless of its distribution method.

Arbitron and Edison Media Research offered these recommendations for Internet radio after reviewing the survey results:

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  • Internet broadcasters should get serious about ad sales.The growth in tuning to Internet broadcasts has been remarkable. Most of this growth has been driven by consumers listening to audio online and that is where Internet broadcasters should concentrate their efforts for now.
  • Companies pursuing subscription models should emphasize their unique and compelling content as their primary value.About 12 million Internet audio consumers would be willing to pay a fee to listen to the online station they tune to most. However, the evidence is clear that Internet audio consumers have greater interest in subscribing for unique and compelling content vs. fewer commercials or better audio quality.
  • Internet broadcasters should try a mix of subscription and advertising.Years of research and experience show that subscription and advertising models do not need to be mutually exclusive.
  • Don't build an Internet broadcasting business plan based on the assumption that large numbers of radio listeners are dissatisfied.Contrary to the opinion of a vocal minority, most Americans give radio high marks for playing the kinds of music they like and for providing a variety of programming.
  • Satellite radio and Internet broadcasters should find ways to partner with each other.There is a strong correlation between active users of Internet audio and those interested in satellite radio. Satellite radio has good distribution in new cars, but limited ability to deliver in the workplace. Most tuning to Internet audio occurs in offices with broadband connections, but distribution is limited in cars.
  • Internet broadcasting needs to develop hit programs to spur even greater audience growth.Internet broadcasting needs to develop a hit of its own that creates a buzz and gets people talking.
  • Manufacturers and distributors of new digital devices should use Internet broadcasting to advertise their products.People who tune to Internet broadcasting are more likely to be aware of, show interest in and own new digital devices.

    Since 1998, Arbitron and Edison Media Research have conducted 10 studies on the Internet and streaming media, one every six months. The findings reported here are based on a January 2003 survey consisting of 2,005 telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of Arbitron Fall 2002 radio survey diary keepers. To read more about the survey results, go to