Online Radio Listeners are Active Web Consumers

Online radio listeners are far more interactive while surfing the Internet than Web users who have not tuned into an online audio streamer, according to a study by Arbitron NewMedia and Edison Media Research.

The study found there is a significant difference in behavior between those that have listened to audio online and those who have not. Among Web users, online listeners are far more likely to have made Web-based purchases (43 percent) than non-Web listeners (30 percent), and online radio listeners are far more likely to bookmark a Web site (70 percent) than non-Web listeners. Online radio listeners are also three times as likely to visit and bookmark a radio station Web site compared to non-listeners.

The study also notes that, although Internet radio listening is up to 30 percent of Web users (compared to 18 last year), Web listening is not yet habitual. While nearly one out of three Web users say that they have ever listened to an online streamer, only 10 percent said they listened in the past month.

Throughout 1999, the “dot-com” advertisers have been using radio aggressively to promote their brands and build traffic to their sites. The study found that 29 percent of people with Internet access (nearly 31 million people) have visited a Web site as a direct result of an ad they heard on the radio.

“Internet and radio advertisers should continue to utilize radio as a primary medium for building brands and driving Web site traffic,” said Greg Verdino, vice president and general manager, Internet Information Services, Arbitron NewMedia. “In addition, radio stations should begin developing, if they haven’t already, Internet niche programming like that of the Internet-only audio providers. Radio stations already have tremendous programming expertise. By creating Internet outlets, radio station can supplement and enhance existing over-the-air franchises.”

Many people with access to the Internet say they are spending less time with other pastimes, such as watching television (35 percent), reading magazines (19 percent) and newspapers (18 percent), listening to the radio (16 percent), shopping at the mall (18 percent), and going out (12 percent), the study found.

Web users showed interest in several mediums of streaming audio delivery, according to the study. The most popular model (59 percent) being an icon on PC desktops that automatically “tunes into” the programming of their favorite radio stations. Consumers also showed a similar interest in creating their own customized radio stations on or through a Web site (56 percent) and a Web site link to hundreds of radio stations worldwide (55 percent).

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