Something interesting is happening on the internet streaming front. Satisfaction and time-spent with broadcast radio streaming is slipping soon to be overtaken by on-demand pure play streaming sources (Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, etc).

We define broadcast radio streaming as 100% on-line simulcasts of over-the-air broadcast signals or near-simulcasts where a small percentage of the on-line content is not part of the broadcast signal.

In 2009 time spent with broadcast simulcast on-line streams was two-and-a-half hours a day. Pure play time spent was almost one-and-a-half hours.

And up until 2012 broadcast on-line listening was increasing as was pure play listening.

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But something happened in 2013. Time spent per day with on-line broadcast station streaming that year dropped.

At Bridge Ratings, our first thought was that this could be an anomaly.

Pure play time spent continued to increase as well and the perception was that all internet streaming behavior was increasing.

Trends do not support this thinking.

According to Bridge Ratings' new year-end analysis, since 2012, broadcast radio on-line daily time spent listening (TSL) has fallen 9.4% (2.65 to 2.40 hours per day) while pure play online listening has increased 65% (1.7 to 2.35 hours per day).

And by this time next year, on-line pure play time spent will have surpassed broadcast radio's on-line simulcast TSL.

And if broadcast radio streaming content remains more or less the same as it is, we project this trend will continue on out to at least 2017 with a large gap favoring pure play internet listening.

Could it be that listeners are looking for more from a simulcast version of AM/FM radio?

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Choosing what listeners can hear, where and when they hear it is a key to on-line radio's appeal.

Could the variety that listeners get from on-demand streaming sources also be the determining factor now as an alternative to programming they have no control over?

What solutions can broadcast radio offer to slow or reverse this attrition?

This will become clarified when Bridge Ratings releases its full fall analysis due before the end of the year.


Sample: 3900 on-line radio listeners who consume at least 1 hour of AM/FM simulcast or on-demand pure play radio per week. 100% of sample listened to both types of streaming service. National sample compiled through random digital dial, internet self-administered questionnaires and in-person interviews. Margin of error is +/- 1.6%.

Bridge Ratings is a California-based company which has been observing and measuring media consumption behavior since 2002. Its clients include broadcast radio, internet radio, investment firms and legal entities with an interest in the media sector.

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