Most consumers listen to new music the old-fashioned way

car radio

From digital satellite stations to online streaming services to MP3 players, twenty-first century technology has produced near-miraculous ways to listen to music and other programming. Unfortunately, according to a November 12 Nielsen report, most listeners don’t listen to them.

Even though technology is rapidly changing the way consumers listen to radio, traditional tune-in remains strong and vibrant. Tech advances like satellite stations and online streaming services have certainly gained the spotlight in recent years, but traditional radio continues to attract the biggest audience.

[T]raditional radio is still the predominant way people listen to the radio. Sixty-three percent of music listeners report that radio is their dominant source for music discovery.

Generation gap

It turns out that how old you are affects not only what kind of music you listen to, but how you listen to it.

As one might expect, younger listeners are more likely to be among the 37 percent who prefer to use the newfangled technology. “[Y]ounger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods,” says David Bakula, Nielsen SVP Client Development, but “traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers.”

Time and place

How you listen may also be a matter of where and when. Slightly more than two-thirds of the US population – specifically 68 percent – reported having streamed music online the past year. That stat reflects 40 percent growth in the number of consumers who report using an online audio streaming service.

But what with connectivity and ease of operation, streaming music isn’t the easiest thing to listen to when you’re driving to and from work five days a week. There’s certanly more involved than just pushing a preset button or two on your dashboard radio.

So morning and evening drive times should continue to attract peak radio audiences.Which should be music to terrestrial radio broadcasters’ ears.


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