Online Radio Surging as Terrestrial and Satellite Remain Strong


A new survey of all forms of radio reveals that online radio has surged in popularity, but satellite radio and AM/FM radio are still growing, though at a lower rate.

The study reveals that more than half of those aged over 12 years have listened to online radio over the last month and that more of those listeners are using mobile devices to receive their favorite radio stations. The numbers almost doubled from 2014 to 2015, with 53 percent saying they have listened to radio online.

Still, traditional, terrestrial radio remains the most popular form of radio, with 91 percent over 12 saying they had listened to over-the-air radio in the week before the survey was taken. This result is essentially unchanged from the 2013 survey.

Satellite radio has also grown since 2013 with XM subscribers up 7 percent.

Ad revenue for AM/FM was down, but at 3 percent, that is only slightly lower than 2013’s numbers. At 9 percent, revenue from digital posted gains. Off-air advertising was up 16 percent.

But Internet-based radio continues to show major growth.

“As smartphone listening grows, so too does Web-based listening in cars,” the article said. “As of January 2015, more than a third of U.S. adult cellphone owners (35%) have listened to online radio in the car. That is substantially more than the 21% who did so in 2013, and nearly six times the number (6%) who had done so in 2010.”

News/talk/information is still one of the most popular radio formats and earned 11 percent of listeners. This is second only to country music.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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