An increasing number of listeners
More people are listening to Internet radio than ever before, a lot of that listening is done through social media and on tablets and smartphones. According to a report from Triton Digital Data, internet radio listenership was up 20.8 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year.
More listeners might also translate into more ad revenue. According to research by Rain News and XAPPmedia from February 2015, internet radio ad loads and spending are set to increase as consumers spend more time listening to digital music. They estimate that audio streaming listening hours will grow over 40 percent over the next three years, from 30 billion in 2014 to 43 billion in 2017. According to eMarketer digital radio will account for almost 13 percent of US adults daily time spent on media this year.
In 2014 Americans streamed 164 million songs through a variety of streaming services. Many streaming services now have their own radio stations and recommendation services. The model invented by pandora is now an industry saturated by similar streaming services. The biggest players at the moment are Spotify, Apple, Pandora and Rdio, with Spotify having an 85 percent market share. The Swedish company had over €1 billion in revenue n 2014, but it still isn’t profitable.
Radio and cars
Radio’s future is closely connected to the car and the way people consume media in their cars. The demand for in car internet radio is also on the rise. A new Gartner study reports that more than one third of American car owners are likely to want Internet radio in their next new car.
During a panel the New York Consumer Electronics Week, part of the Connected Car Conference, industry executives agreed the future of radio is embeddable apps. Such apps bring more content directly to the car for more entertainment options while keeping drivers’ eyes away from their smartphones. Although this could take a few years to gain traction, data plan carriers such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have already expressed interest, writes Mashable.
But there are also a few obstacles, like data pricing and design. Most of us will own a car for a longer period of time than we will own a computer or a mobile phone, the technology will have to be able to support new apps and new software technology.