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Weekly Online Radio Audience Jumps More Than 30 Percent In Past Year Says New Arbitron/Edison Research Study

COLUMBIA, Md., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The weekly audience of all forms of online radio is now at an estimated 76 million Americans age 12 and older, reaching 29 percent of the population and representing an increase of more than 30 percent from one year ago according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms.

The study, released today, is the 20th in a series of studies dating back to 1998.  Among the many other findings:
  • Forty-four percent of all Americans age 12 and over own a smartphone, representing half of all cell phone owners
  • Six in ten (61 percent) own a portable digital media device such as a smartphone, portable MP3 player or tablet; 40 percent own an Apple device (iPod/iPhone/iPad)
  • Americans age 45 and older represent the largest percentage increase in social media usage in the past year, now up to 38 percent (from 31 percent in 2011)
  • Seventeen percent of all cell phone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system; this is an increase of more than 50% in the past year when only 11 percent had ever done so
  • Fifteen percent are registered users of daily deals services such as Groupon and LivingSocial

"We've been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year's increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we've ever recorded. The increased demand for online audio content, and the ever-expanding variety of that content, shows that online radio continues to be a resilient, adaptive media for the changing needs of today's consumer," said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.

"The jump in weekly online radio usage is remarkable, but really a trailing variable to the rise in smartphone penetration, which has enabled much of that growth," said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. "The increasing ubiquity of the mobile web is profoundly altering the quantity, nature and context of media consumption in America."

This study, as well as previous studies, may be downloaded free of charge via the Arbitron and Edison Research Web sites at and

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