The Bridge Ratings Report - The Impact of Wireless Internet


For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

30 million Americans using wireless Internet access will grow to nearly 45 million by the end of 2007. What affect, if any, will the increased use of this technology have on consumers of traditional AM and FM radio.

Bridge Ratings recently concluded an extensive research project on the behavior and use of current Wi-Fi and WiMax wireless Internet users and intent of use by those not currently accessing the Internet with this technology. The national sample of 2200 persons 15+ includes listeners to AM/FM radio, satellite radio, Internet radio and MP3 players.

Of the estimated 30 million users of wireless access technology in the U.S., 75% or 23 million have wireless accessed Internet radio. In fact, 48% of those accessing the Internet via wireless technology seek out Internet radio. The number of Internet radio listeners accessing wirelessly will grow to 77 million by 2010 as wireless technology penetrates the average U.S. lifestyle.

ABI Research forecasts that the total number of Wi-Fi-enabled consumer electronics devices will grow from just 40 mln shipped in 2006 to nearly 249 mln in 2011.

Mobile WiMAX customers will grow at an annual compounded rate of 64% between 2009 and 2012, when telecoms embrace WiMAX as a fixed wireless broadband service, according to Pyramid Research.


44% of the consumers under 24 years of age that we interviewed consider the Internet to be the primary way to listen to music. That number falls to 39% of those over 24 and only 18% of those over 35. The greatest potential for growth in this area comes from this over 35 group where 22% believe that the Internet will become their primary way to listen to music in the future.

While still in its infancy, the number of consumers using their mobile phones to listen to music (streaming/native to the device) is projected to grow 34% by the end of 2007.

We asked the sample what they search for while accessing the Internet by mobile browser. Approximately 50% seek music or listen to Internet radio.

Music and Internet radio garner a large share of interest for consumers accessing the internet with mobile browsers or wireless internet access through laptops - right in the mix with the information consumers consider important.

Impact on Traditional Radio

The more time spent using wireless technology to access the Internet, the less time spent with traditional AM/FM radio. The following chart tracks the time spent using wireless Internet access over time. In 2006, the average weekly time spent using Wireless connectivity to access the Internet rose to fifteen-hours-forty-five minutes.

While some of the research conducted at Bridge Ratings reflects that for the general public some of the lost listening to AM/FM is recaptured through Internet radio listening to simulcast, among this group of wireless Internet users, the recapture component is considerably lower when compared to their listening to streaming music or non-terrestrial simulcast Internet radio.

This study was commissioned by a firm interested in confirming wireless Internet use among listeners to traditional radio. Once again, while many publications and media outlets report theory regarding these issues, this study reflects actual use.

Sample:2200 Persons 15+. Margin of error: +/- 2.1%
Interviews conducted January 2 - March 1, 2007



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