James Cridland's blog

A radio futurologist writing about what happens when radio and new platforms collide
This is an archive post from my old website. Not all links will work. For new posts, visit my main writing index.

« | Blog index | »

How the UK consumes internet radio

Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 10:16 am. #


A press release lands in my inbox, and it’s not (yet?) on RAJAR’s website, so here it is. My comments in italics…

THE RAJAR SURVEY OF INTERNET DELIVERED AUDIO SERVICES (well, internet radio, really: we should reclaim the use of the ‘r’ word)

- 2.2 million smartphone owners have downloaded a radio app (for a specific radio station)
- 16.3 million* listeners claim to have ever listened to radio via the internet
- 12.7 million adults have used a Listen Again service
- 8.1 million adults have downloaded a podcast and 44% of users say they listen to them at least once a week

RAJAR Ltd (Radio Joint Audience Research) releases findings of its seventh survey of internet delivered audio services today, December 15, 2010. The number of smartphone owners who claim to have downloaded a radio app has increased from 1.4 million in June 2010 to 2.2 million. 16.3 million* listeners now claim to listen to radio via the internet, 12.7 million adults have used a Listen Again service and 8.1 million adults have downloaded a podcast.

The RAJAR Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services (MIDAS 7) was conducted during November 2010 by Ipsos MORI. The sample comprised RAJAR respondents drawn from the main RAJAR survey who had claimed to listen to the radio via the internet, or downloaded podcasts, or listened to the radio via their mobile phone. The survey findings are based on 1,091 respondents. (That bit’s important, because it shows that you can’t directly compare these figures with the full RAJAR survey).

Top line findings:

Listening via mobile phone:
- 6.6 million* adults 15+ (13%*) have ever listened to the radio via mobile phone. Of those, 53% select the station using specific FM preset and 16% run an app for a specific radio station. (So this excludes popular apps like TuneIn Radio, the PURE Lounge, etc)
- Over a quarter of smartphone owners on the Midas survey (26% or 2.2 million adults) have downloaded a radio app and, of those, almost half (44%) use their radio apps at least once a week.

Listening via the Internet
- 16.3 million* (32%) of adults claim to have ever listened to the radio via the internet, including 14.7 million (29%) who have listened live and 12.7 million (25%) who have used time-shifted listening (using Listen Again services).
- 72% of those Listen Again listeners said the service has no impact on the amount of live radio to which they listen; while half said they are now listening to radio programmes to which they did not listen previously. The average user of Listen Again services listened to just under 1.5 programmes in this way in the previous week.
- Almost 8 million are aware of Personalised Online Radio (POR) while the number of people who use such services at least once a week currently stands at 2.6 million. (I have never before heard of the acronym POR. Is last.fm POR, or just a personalised online music service? Hmm.)
- 6.5 million have heard of WiFi radio (a standalone radio set that connects wirelessly to the internet and is able to play any internet radio service) but only 2% claimed to own one.

Listening to Podcasts
- 8.1 million adults (16% of the adult 15+ population) claim to have ever downloaded a podcast. Almost half of podcast users (44%) claim to listen to podcasts at least once a week but only 24% of users find the time to listen to all the podcasts they download. (As a comparison, this means that podcasting is still very niche; but twice as popular as Twitter)
- 76% said that listening to podcasts had no impact on their live radio listening habits, while 30% say that they now listen to radio programmes to which they did not listen previously. (So it’s good for trial of new programmes, and doesn’t impact much on live listening. This is good.)
- The typical podcast user subscribes to just under 5 podcasts, and spent just under an hour in the last week listening to them. As in previous surveys, comedy and music remain the two favourite genres. (Music? Really? Except there are no full music podcasts…)
- 77% of podcast users listen to podcasts at home (this is a massive figure) , and 50% listen in the car or on public transport.

Note: * figure derives from RAJAR Q3 2010


James Cridland
commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 10:25 am

One thing I always think about these figures: “have ever” is a rubbish thing to measure. I’ve listened to FM radio once on an old mobile phone about five years ago; it was rubbish reception, and I never did again. I’d still appear in their figures as “have ever”.

Always much better to get figures for weekly use, not “have ever”, in my view.

Nigel Waymark
commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 10:58 am

without a doubt Internet radio is the way forward, yes quality of music may suffer slightly however there is just so much choice of music out there, I can listen to an exact choice of music when I want.

Internet Radios are getting cheaper by the day, I would think Station’s like H**rt and C**ital ought to be very worried that no longer People have to listen to the same old 90 songs!!

marc settle
commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Really useful data, thanks. It’s not even available on Rajar website yet…! MIDAS 6 said 53% used radio apps on smartphones once a week – down to 44% now? Must be a statistical quirk (small survey?) as everything else in mobile space is growing…

commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Not sure I get your point about music podcasts. Could you explain what do you mean by there being no “full music podcasts”?

James Cridland
commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

There are no podcasts which play tracks in full, James – though a few podcasts that are about music. Podcasts are mostly limited to less than 30-second snippets of tracks, rather than the full song.

commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I guess there aren’t many podcasts that play full tracks, but I don’t think it’s quite right to say there are none. CD Baby and IndieFeed are worth checking out. Unless you’re only talking about mainstream music?

Stats: how Absolute Radio is consumed online - James Cridland
commenting at December 15th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

[...] How the UK consumes internet radio | Blog index [...]

The Future of Internet Radio Seen in UK | RadioJingles.co.nr
commenting at December 16th, 2010 at 8:24 am

Cool Stuff This Week from @marketingweeked @radioaddsbite @jamescridland @absoluteradio @bbcr1 @radioacademy and more! « Radio And Marketing Blog
commenting at December 19th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

[...] – up from 1.4 million when a similar survey was done six months ago. James Cridland examines more in his blog about how listeners listen to radio, based on this RAJAR report release – ┬ávia the internet, [...]

This is an archive site, and comments are now closed.