Unlike many other traditional media formats, radio has managed to adapt to the massive changes brought about by the proliferation of mobile internet. While traditional radio may be in a state of relative decline from its heyday, people in the United States have shown that they appreciate what it offers as source of news and entertainment. New, internet-based or online radio platforms now account for over 585 million dollars’ worth of streaming music revenue and the format continues to grow with each passing year. The decline of over-the-air radio is, in many ways, being offset by the growth of its online counterpart. One example of this is advertising; over-the-air radio station advertising revenues have fallen by over four billion dollars since 2010, while online ad revenue has grown by a similar amount.
Online radio market leaders
iHeartRadio is the clear leader in the online radio market, while NPR has established itself as a distant runner-up. Competition within the industry is somewhat unique; online radio providers compete against each other as well as alternative music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music for consumers’ time. As these alternative platforms grow, consumers spend less of their time on online radio platforms like Pandora, but despite this, Sirius XM, the current owner of Pandora Radio, has reported years of continuous subscriber growth with recent figures placing it at over 34.08 million users.
The online radio market
The market for online audio in the United States is massive, with the average user spending well over 16 hours per week these services. Over two-thirds of Americans report that they listen to online radio on a monthly basis, while 62 percent consider themselves at least weekly users. The impressive reach and usage time of these services provides companies with increased advertising possibilities and user engagement opportunities. In order to ensure that the format continues to expand, online radio providers will need to focus on the aspects of the technology that set it apart from is streaming competitors.
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