How We Listen To Radio

Going For The Gold
August 7, 2012
Get Adjusted
August 14, 2012

How We Listen To Radio

A little more than a decade ago, it was sheer novelty to “tune in” your favorite radio station on your computer and listen through your computer speakers.  Then we discovered we could listen to radio stations around the world, as desktops and laptops became 21st Century’s “short wave radios” with static-free, global access.

Today, we use an endless array of devices to access tens of thousands of radio stations worldwide, plus those we create online.  We listen to what we want, where we want.  And it’s no surprise that the younger the listening audience, the more different “toys” are in play to stream the signal.

Radio industry newsletter RBR-TVBR dissected the mass listening research at BIGinsight to identify the most popular hardware devices being used by radio fans.

Surprisingly, the overall survey showed that, less than half of all respondants to the BIGinsight survey (Adults 18+) still used a desktop computer to listen to radio.  That’s a gadget-giddy testament to the proliferations of tablets and smartphones and an indicator of future trends.  Here’s the full rundown of the devices being used, along with the percentage of Adults 18+ using them:

  •             48.6  Desktop computer
  •             41.7  Wireless laptop
  •             21.6  Android smartphone
  •             19.7  MP3 player
  •             19.3  iPod
  •             16.1  iPhone
  •             10.9  iPad
  •             09.6  Blackberry smartphone
  •             07.1  Wireless Netbook
  •             06.3  Mac
  •             04.3  Android tablet
  •             03.7  Nook
  •             02.6  Windows phone
  •             01.5  Windows tablet
  •             01.3  Sony Reader
  •             01.2  Blackberry PlayBook

Source: BIGinsight

Clustered together, it’s clear that tablets and smartphones are stealing share from desktops and laptops.  But the bigger picture takeaway is that “radio” is as portable and ubiquitous as it was when transistor radios changed the landscape more than a half-century ago.

Most cell phones can now stream countless local, global and Internet-only radio stations – plus the 100+ channels of SiriusXM – AND an infinite number of “create your own” stations through Pandora, Slacker, Spotify and others.

Infinite choice.  Total mobility.  And no static.  Sounds pretty amazing.

Mark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website