With the growth of smartphone and tablet usage, it’s no surprise that Americans are spending more time listening to radio through digital devices. Despite this fact, a new report from Nielsen shows that Americans are also spending more time listening to the radio through over-the-air broadcasts. Nielsen’s study illustrates how important the mobility of radio will be to consumers in the coming years.
In the last year, consumption of audio through smartphones has doubled over the past year, with “the typical adult spending 34 minutes per week listening to audio programming on their smartphones.” Comparatively, tablet-based listening is representing a larger share of device based streaming. According to Nielsen, “the typical adult listened to streaming audio on their tablet for 14 minutes per week during the first quarter, more than three times as much as the 4 minutes reported lasted year.” Nielsen’s report also shows that with the increase in smartphone and tablet listening, Americans are spending less time listening to audio through their desktop computers.
Interestingly, across the same time period, streaming listenership isn’t taking away from traditional broadcast radio listenership. During the first quarter of this year, broadcast radio listenership increased .3% compared to last year. Though this gain may seem small, Nielsen says it is especially noteworthy in an era where there is an increased push toward the digital sphere.
When looking at demographics, streaming using has increased the most among Hispanic listeners. Specifically, the Hispanic audience “averages 53 minutes per week listening to audio on a smartphone, which represents a 48% increase from the previous year.” Compared to other groups, Hispanics also spend the most time listening to AM/FM radio. African-American listeners also spent greater amounts of time listening to radio over smartphones. “Their smartphone usage increased 46% from the past year and their tablet usage increased as well,” according to Nielsen.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how radio consumption will evolve. There is one thing that won’t change – Americans will always be listening to the radio in one form or another.