Study: Online Radio not a competitor for terrestrial


PandoraDespite the rapid growth of Pandora, a recent online survey of 1,017 adult Americans conducted by Vision Critical indicates that Pandora’s gains are not coming at the expense of AM/FM radio. In fact, the results of this study showed that Pandora listeners report spending 50% more time listening to AM/FM radio than non-Pandora listeners.

“Pandora users are musical omnivores who want all the music that they can get, however they can get it. They not only listen to more broadcast radio, they listen to more music on their iPod, on CDs and satellite radio,” says Jeff Vidler, Senior Vice President of Media and Entertainment Research at Vision Critical. “It’s additive. Rather than displacing other ways of listening to music, Pandora is just another way for music fans to indulge their passion for music.”

Some other key insights:

·       Pandora listeners were slightly more likely to say that they are listening to more vs. less broadcast radio than they were two years ago—with 24% reporting that they are now listening to more radio while just 22% said they are listening less.

·       Just over a quarter (26%) of online Americans said that they listen to Pandora on a weekly basis while 15% said that they listen on a daily basis.

·       Pandora users are also more likely than other Americans to listen to AM/FM radio online and on a mobile device.  More than three-in-ten Pandora users (31%) say that they have streamed a radio station using a desktop/laptop in the past month (vs. 12% of non-Pandora users).  Meanwhile, 16% of Pandora users said that they have streamed an AM/FM radio station on a mobile phone over the past month (vs. 3% of non-Pandora users).

Vidler sees a future where there’s room for both broadcast and online radio. “The results show that Pandora and radio can coexist,” says Vidler. “Pandora delivers music fans a unique music experience.  But, as we dig deeper into the survey data, we also see that Pandora listeners value AM and FM radio for a personal connection that Pandora doesn’t deliver.”

The survey was commissioned by the Canadian Association of Radio Broadcasters to better understand the potential impact on Canadian radio tuning in the event that Pandora, or a service like it, is launched in Canada. It was conducted on Vision Critical’s Sparq survey platform using both computer and mobile devices between September 26 and October 1, 2012. Respondents were randomly drawn from Springboard America, Vision Critical’s proprietary online research panel of more than 150,000 Americans.

RBR-TVBR observation: Makes sense—there are people who listen to the radio and people who don’t. If you like music and spoken word radio, chances are, you’ll listen to it via whatever medium it’s offered. If you like terrestrial radio, you’ll like online radio, too. The only warning we have with this data is that it was culled from all adults. If it was 12-24 data or even 18-34 data, we might see a vast difference.