Research: Nielsen Surveys Out Of Touch With Podcasts, Internet Media Use

Sep 10th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, iPods & Portable Media Players, Podcasting Research, Podcasting Statistics

Research from Australian radio network Austereo shows that radio listeners’ attention is moving from traditional radio to podcasts and other mobile audio content. Companies that track media use, like Nielsen Media Research, haven’t caught up with people’s changing use of technology and are significantly misrepresenting media consumption, as a result.

Highlights of Austereo’s research:

  • Austereo estimates that “radio” use is up by about 20%, if new audio technologies are included. Nielsen’s current tracking methods show radio use declining.
  • People listen to Internet radio, on the average, for two hours and 42 minutes a week; on mobiles for one hour and 41 minutes a week; and via podcasts for 54 minutes per week. That’s on top of the 20 hours and 46 minutes spent listening to traditional radio.

“Even if only three hours were added on to the current 20 hours of listening to radio that is captured in Nielsen’s diaries, it would suggest that radio stations brands could in fact be getting more listening today than in the peak years of 2000,” Austereo claims.

According to Commercial Radio Australia, radio podcasting increased 500 per cent in the year to June 2007. Austereo has seen a dramatic increase in podcast use, which has reached about 730,000 downloads per month, up from about 500,000 12 months ago and 50,000 the year before.

While Austereo’s research shows the growing importance of tracking podcasts and other Internet media, its focus is on “radio” offerings, which could provide an incomplete picture of current audio consumption. Other surveys have suggested that: Internet media use is replacing traditional media; portable media users, some of the most demographically attractive listeners, are listening to less radio; and podcasts are stealing radio listeners.

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