The digital radio space is undergoing expansive growth in usage, revenues and access modes. Radio listeners are tuning in to digital stations on an increasingly broad set of devices, including desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, in-car systems, and other consumer electronics gadgets. Marketers are tapping into this opportunity by attaching their brands to digital radio services in traditional and novel ways, according to a new eMarketer report, “Digital Radio: Usage Grows, but Lack of Scale Remains a Challenge.”
eMarketer estimates there will be 159.8 million digital radio listeners in 2014, and that figure will grow to 183.4 million in 2018. Digital radio listeners are now at mass-market proportions, representing just more than half of the population and nearly two-thirds of internet users.
US digital music listening hours will also increase, according to an AccuStream Research forecast. The company predicted average monthly hours would reach 6.70 billion in 2016, up from 4.22 billion in 2014.
As the US digital radio landscape matures, several trends are taking hold, including:
Like any segment in the midst of a steep growth curve, digital radio offers abundant opportunities for marketers. Many companies that are marketing through digital radio use 15-second audio spots, some tailored to specific services. Advertisers are also creating branded playlists and sponsoring launch events, contests and festivals. Some are creating ads that keep the listener within the streaming app, while others opt to send users to a browser page with product information or purchasing options. Yet despite a generally positive outlook for digital radio, scale and pricing consistency challenges—also typical of a rapidly growing market—remain.
The full report, “Digital Radio: Usage Grows, but Lack of Scale Remains a Challenge,” also answers these key questions:
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