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UK Teens Turn Off the Radio

While UK consumers as a whole still love radio, teens are much less keen

According to a May 2013 Audiometrics study, 35% of UK internet users preferred to listen to audio on the radio. This most traditional of audio-listening devices was the most popular by quite some distance, with listening on the computer/laptop coming in a distant second, cited by just 16% of respondents.

Preferred Device for Listening to Audio According to UK Internet Users, May 2013 (% of respondents)

The same study also delved into the listening habits of the UK teen demographic (those ages 15 to 19), and the results were starkly different. Among UK teen internet users, just 3% of respondents cited radio as the preferred device for listening to audio. Instead, results were heavily skewed toward mobile devices, with 36% preferring to listen on their smartphone or mobile phone, and a further 35% choosing an MP3 device. The clear indication is that teens are embracing digital platforms when it comes to audio, and they are very much about mobility.

Preferred Device for Listening to Audio According to UK Teen Internet Users, May 2013 (% of respondents)

This preference for multifunction mobile device use is no great surprise. eMarketer estimates that 81% of teen mobile phone users (ages 12 to 17) will use a smartphone this year, and that percentage will rise to 96% by 2017. And what they are using their device for is multifaceted, with listening to music particularly high on the agenda.

UK Smartphone User Penetration, by Age, 2011-2017 (% of mobile phone users in each group)

With teen users becoming increasingly mobile and digital, and with high expectations for what their internet-enabled devices should be able to do, the flexibility offered by both streaming and download services heralds a potential shift in the way UK consumers will listen to audio in the coming years.

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