Internet and the Radio Online Radio is a Growing Medium

Internet radio broadcasting continues to be a fast-growing medium, according to a survey done by The Arbitron Co. and Edison Media Research.

The survey is an update to a similar study done in July of 1998. Some 1,350 Fall 1998 Arbitron diary keepers were interviewed for the current study. Arbitron uses the diary keepers to measure local US radio audiences.

The study found that both Internet access and listening to radio and other audio programming have grown rapidly over the past six months. Forty-one percent of all Americans have access to the Internet from home or work, according to the survey. An additional 9 percent have access from schools or libraries. In July, Arbitron found 30 percent of Americans had home/work access.

Online radio/audio listenership penetration has doubled in the last six months. The study found that 13 percent of Americans say they have listened to the radio on the Internet. This is up from 6 percent in the study done six moths ago.

The median time spent online is holding steady at four hours per week for home access and 3.4 hours per week at work, the survey found. According to the study, this indicates that increased Net traffic is due almost entirely to new users signing on in the last six months.

In an attempt to give radio stations an idea of the e-commerce market available to them, the Edison/Arbitron study also looked at the online purchasing habits of its respondents.

More than one-quarter of Americans have shopped online, the survey found, and 20 percent have shopped frequently for music and CDs. During the 1998 holiday season, 8 percent of all Americans purchased a gift online, and the median household expenditure was $175. Nearly 60 percent of these shoppers were in the 25-44 age group, according to the study.

For radio station Web sites, 23 percent of consumers say they would prefer to buy music from radio station sites.

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