All That Jazz (and Classical and Pop and Talk Too)

Monthly usage of Internet audio has tripled from 5 percent of Americans in January 2000 to 17 percent in 2003, and the listening trend helped propel two jazz stations and two classical stations into the top 10 Internet radio stations for the month of May 2003, and America Online’s Radio@ Network into the top position for the beginning of June.

According to a joint Arbitron and Edison Media Research study of more than 2,000 Americans during January 2003, 34 percent have listened to radio stations online, and 19 percent have listened to Internet-only audio. These figures show a marked increase from 2002 when one-quarter listened to online radio and 12 percent listened to Internet-only broadcasts. Also, 35 percent of those surveyed in 2003 loved or liked Internet audio, compared to 26 percent in July 2001.

Evaluations from Arbitron reveal that online audio users are most likely listening to one of these popular networks: MUSICMATCH; America Online’s Radio@ Network – which encompasses Radio@AOL, Radio@AOL for Broadband, Radio@Netscape and; Live365; LAUNCH – the music destination of Yahoo; and Virgin Radio, among others.

Among the most popular Internet radio stations in May and early June were: classical music from WQXR-FM, and KING-FM/98.1; jazz from JazzFM and KPLU-FM; adult contemporary from London’s 1215 AM and 105.8 FM; and talk from WLS-AM/890 and Sean Hannity.

Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) found that most (43 percent) online audio listeners were in the 18-to-24 age range, followed by the 25-to-34 group at 36 percent. Jupiter recognized a decline in only one age category from 2001 to 2002 – 45-to-54 year olds – while the rest of the groups increased or stayed the same.

While traditional radio is the largest influencer of music purchases for 63 percent of the respondents in an August 2002 Jupiter survey, online radio motivated 12 percent to buy music, while 11 percent bought after streaming a sample. Furthermore, Jupiter found that online activities played an integral role in the purchasing decisions of 37 percent of music buyers.

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