As a previous user of Pandora and a current user of Spotify, I understand the increasing trend of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 35 to use digital sources for music listening.
While AM/FM radio is still the primary source for music listening, Internet radio (e.g. Pandora, Spotify) is quickly catching up. From the graph above, it becomes obvious that Internet radio will eventually take over AM/FM radio.
Where the Digital Music Listeners Are
From those tuning in to online music services in the United States, here is an approximate breakdown as of Q4 2012:
In another study from the NPD Group released in February 2013, the research organization found that close to 56% of U.S. smartphone owners use it for music listening and that a 65% use apps. Here is a list of iPhone radio apps and Android radio apps. Back in July 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that 79.3 Million people listened to Internet radio weekly. This number will just continue to increase, but AM/FM radio will still be around. Why? Because it is free for the user!
The Radio Marketing Landscape is More Complex
Given this transition period in the next couple of years between AM/FM radio and Internet radio alternatives, it becomes obvious for online marketers that they need an expert radio advertising agency to develop an appropriate media plan.
There is Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and satellite radio. Which channel should I use?
As a person daily involved in making client suggestions regarding their media plans, I can tell you that if you are using the “which channel” question, you are asking the wrong one. You have to ask “what audience”. And most of the time you can answer the audience question through radio personalities. Listeners listen for a reason – they feel CONNECTED to their favorite radio personality. They listen to what they have to say about life, politics, food, family, health and they laugh and rant and cry. Think Howard Stern. Think Oprah. Think Leo Laporte.
Just like in the case of social media, using the appropriate celebrity may increase your website traffic and increase awareness of your products.