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One in three Americans age 12 and older, or an estimated 86 million people, now listen to online radio on a weekly basis according to a recent survey from Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research.

Furthermore, the weekly audience size of traditional AM/FM radio grew from 223 million to 243 million over the past year, and time spent listening remained approximately the same at two hours a day, the survey also found.

The study, titled The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital, polled Americans across the country about their use of digital platforms and media.

Among other key findings:

  • 53% of all Americans over the age of 12, an estimated 139 million people, own a smartphone, including 75% of those age 18-34.
  • 27% of Americans check their social networks a few times per day.
  • 29% of respondents own a tablet, compared with 17% in 2012.

Below, additional findings from The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms.

Online Radio Trends

Online radio users reported listening an average of 11 hours 56 minutes per week, up by more than two hours over 2012 listening levels (9 hours 46 minutes), and nearly double that reported in 2008 (6 hours 13 minutes).

Other notable online listening trends:

  • 21% of mobile phone owners have used their phone to listen to online radio in the car.
  • 33% of radio listeners at work tune in on a computer or mobile device.
  • Use of podcasting has seemingly leveled off, with 27% of respondents saying they've ever listened to an audio podcast, versus 29% last year.
  • Pandora is the most familiar online radio service (69% awareness) but iHeartRadio is gaining ground (45% awareness in 2013 vs. 31% awareness in 2012).

Traditional Radio Listenership

AM/FM radio remains the "almost all of the time" or "most of the time" in-car choice for adults. Dashboard AM/FM radio (58%) outpaces in-car use of CD players (15%), portable digital audio/MP3 players (11%), and satellite radio (10%).

Also, AM/FM radio is the top source for new music discovery (78%), followed by friends and family (73%), YouTube (55%), music TV channels (44%), and Facebook (41%).

About the data: The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms survey was conducted by Arbitron and Edison Research in January and February of 2013 among 2,021 people age 12+, in English or Spanish, via landlines or mobile phones. Data was weighted to reflect national population figures.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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