Streaming overtakes radio use for US teens: but UK fares better

By James Cridland for
Posted 21 January 2015, 2.00pm est

Garry Knight

The highly respected Edison Research released new "Share of Ear" figures recently, based on research from Autumn 2014.

In it, they show US teens are spending more time with streaming audio services, like Pandora or Spotify, than they do with broadcast radio (including both over-the-air and the online streams of AM/FM stations).

"While AM/FM Radio listening leads by a significant margin among all other age groups, much of teens’ listening time has shifted to pureplay Internet audio services like Pandora and Spotify and others," said Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research. "This could be a lens into the future of audio usage."

US: Age 13-17 - daily minutes spent listening [to audio]

55% (64 min) - Streaming Audio - Pandora, Spotify, etc
45% (53 min) - AM/FM Radio - broadcast and online streams of AM/FM stations
Source: Edison Research Share of Ear™ Fall 2014.

UK: Age 15-19 - daily minutes spent listening [to audio]

40% (81 min) - Streaming Audio - Spotify, Blinkbox Music, etc
60% (124 min) - Live Radio - broadcast and online streams of radio stations
Source: RAJAR MIDASplus, Wave 4, Spring 2014.

Figures obtained by from RAJAR, the UK's radio research body - above - give a different picture for the UK. Jerry Hill, CEO of RAJAR, points to the strong presence of the BBC and Radioplayer, as well as a lack of a strong Pandora-like service in the UK.

Methods of measurement are different between the two pieces of research and the Edison figures are more recent; but the UK has a number of strong national youth radio brands like KISS, Capital and BBC Radio 1, that are without a clear equivalent in the US. Additionally, services like Pandora are unavailable in the UK.

Audiomonitor report that consumption via streaming overtook radio for the first time for 15-19s; with 22.9% of all audio consumption ocurring on a radio receiver. However, Audiomonitor's figures are based on devices, not content. You can see an overview of Audiomonitor's data in this video.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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