Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016 8:58 AM EST

Radio’s Digital Stream Listening Climbs 31%.


As if media watchers needed yet another sign of mobile’s explosive growth—devices are now the most popular way to digitally stream radio. In April, mobile listening accounted for 76.2% of all streaming—an all-time high—during Mon.-Fri., from 6am-8pm, according to new data from Triton Digital’s April streaming report.

“Today’s listeners aren’t tied to a desktop or stationary device. The mobile device has become the transistor radio of yesteryear,” said Rob Favre, Triton Digital’s chief compliance officer.

Overall, streaming is up 15.5% for the M-F, 6am-8pm daypart, compared to a year ago, while listening is also up 13.4% for the M-Sun 6am-midnight daypart. Broadcast radio stations are enjoying strong growth for their digital streaming, with listening up 31% compared to a year ago; pureplay listening grew 12.3%.

“Listeners are brand loyal, and don’t care about the transmission medium,” Favre noted. “The growth in broadcast streams indicates a shift in how listeners consume the brand.”

When studying fastest-growing measures, AccuRadio continues to lead streaming services in year-over-year numbers at 85% growth (Mon.-Sun. 6a-12m, domestic AAS), followed by Spotify (44%), Radio One/Interactive One (43%), iHeartRadio (34%), New York Public Radio (22%), NPR member stations (14%), Greater Media (9%) and Hubbard Radio 9%.

Among all streaming services, Pandora was No. 1 in average active sessions in April for Triton’s domestic rankers during the M-F, 6am-8pm daypart, while Spotify ranked second. Among radio broadcasters, iHeart Radio was first (No. 3 overall) with 454,490 AASs, followed by Cumulus (59,010 AASs); CBS Radio (56, 246); NPR Member Stations (51,985); ESPN Radio (25,653); Entercom (25,248); Univision (23,213); and EMF (21,908). Several other radio companies ranked in the top 20, including Greater Media, Townsquare Media, Salem Communications, Hubbard, Radio One, Bonneville International and Beasley Broadcasting.

Terrestrial broadcasters also boasted some the longest tune-in sessions, including Townsquare at 1 hour and 35 minutes spent listening, along with Hubbard (an average 1 hour and 3 minutes) and Radio One (1 hour and 4 minutes), all during M-F, 6am-8 pm. In contrast, Spotify users averaged 37 minutes per session, while Pandora averaged 1 hour per session.

Among formats, urban adult contemporary posted the largest monthly gain in April, with streaming up 9.4% from March 2016, while CHR listening jumped 8.3% and country increased 5%. Other formats posting growth included sports, urban contemporary, regional Mexican, oldies and classic rock. On the opposite end, news/talk listening fell off 6.7% in April, compared to the month before, while Christian AC dipped 4.5%, hot AC was off 3.5% and jazz/smooth AC slipped 1.9%.

Streaming was on the upswing in nine of the top 20 markets, including Dallas (+6.1%) New York (+2.7%) and Seattle (+5.2%), but listening levels dropped most significantly in Boston (-3.4%); San Francisco (-5.1%), Houston (-4.5%) and Miami (-6.2%).