Internet Radio Listener Levels Jump During 2006

The advent of the internet has brought about a lot of changes in the way we live our lives. One of the significant changes is the way we consume media. In recent years, internet radio has become increasingly popular, and the numbers prove it. According to figures released by Bridge Ratings & Research, the number of internet radio listeners jumped considerably last year. The group pointed to a year-end total of 72 million monthly listeners, up from 45 million at the tail end of 2005.

On a weekly basis, that figure was 57 million, or 19 percent of all people above the age of 12. Interestingly, most internet radio listening happens at the office, when workers are often chained to their desks. “Internet radio listening is primarily a work-hour phenomenon, with 75 percent of all on-line listening occurring between 5 am Pacific and 5 pm Pacific,” the group noted. But the format is gradually diversifying, and the level of at-work listening moved downward from 81 percent in 2005.

The rise in internet radio listenership can be attributed to several factors, one of which is the convenience it offers. Unlike traditional radio stations, internet radio is accessible from anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet connection. With the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, it has become even more accessible. You can listen to your favorite internet radio station while at home, in the car, or even while on a walk.

In terms of market leaders, AOL Radio grabbed the largest share with 15.25 hours of average listening per week, while Yahoo Music pulled a second-place tally with 10.25 hours weekly. Live365 earned 10.6 hours, while Clear Channel Online Music & Radio pulled 9.4 hours.

When it comes to listener demographics, the figures are quite interesting. 35 percent of internet radio listeners were between the ages of 25 and 34, 60 percent were younger than 35, 33 percent were younger than 25, and 5 percent were older than 55. For the period, 60 percent of listeners were men, down from 75 percent in 2005.

Bridge found that 21 percent of all internet listeners were tapping into terrestrial station simulcasts, up from 16 percent last year. This means that traditional radio stations are beginning to embrace the internet as a medium and simulcasting their shows online.

Internet radio has also opened up new avenues for independent artists to showcase their work. Unlike traditional radio stations, which have stringent requirements for the type of music they play, internet radio stations offer a more diverse range of music. This has led to the rise of independent artists, who can now reach a wider audience through internet radio.

In conclusion, the rise of internet radio has brought about a lot of changes in the way we consume media. With the convenience it offers and the diverse range of music available, it’s no wonder that more and more people are tuning in. As the format continues to diversify, we can expect to see more changes in the industry, and who knows what the future holds for internet radio.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.