Radio Remains at Core of Consumers' Media Habits

Arbitron and Edison Research have released their 20th joint study called The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms. The complete study is available from either company's website (,

RAB's research team dug deep into the data. Two of the most interesting findings: Those individuals who are heavy Internet users are also above-average radio users, and consumers' time with digital media is not coming totally from traditional time with media is increasing. Findings include mobile as a driving force for online radio's continued upward trajectory. Here are a few of the mobile highlights:

  • Forty-four percent of all Americans age 12 and over own a smartphone, representing half of all cell phone owners.

  • Six in ten (61 percent) own a portable digital media device such as a smartphone, portable MP3 player or tablet; 40 percent own an Apple device (iPod/iPhone/iPad).

  • Americans age 45 and older represent the largest percentage increase in social media usage in the past year, now up to 38 percent (from 31 percent in 2011), while the heaviest social media users are younger demographics with 12-24-year-olds over 80 percent.

  • Seventeen percent of all cell phone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo system; this is an increase of more than 50% in the past year when only 11 percent had ever done so.

  • Heavy radio and heavy Internet users are more likely to be employed than heavy TV or heavy print users.

Know that radio remains at the core of consumers' media consumption habits, and digital continues to be an expansion opportunity for radio.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB

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