This isn’t that surprising, especially given the rise of smartphones, but a new study finds that 13 to 35 year-olds are spending as much time listening to streaming music as they are to AM/FM radio. A study done by The NPD Group found that in the fourth quarter of 2012, streaming services like Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio accounted for about about 23% of music listening among that age group. That’s a 6% increase from 2011. AM and FM radio accounted for 24% of listening in the fourth quarter of 2012, which is 2% less than it was the previous year.
Of those 13-35 year-olds listening to streaming music, the majority of them, 39%, are listening to Pandora. Spotify only comes in 3rd, with 9%. That’s behind iHeartRadio. While iHeartRadio is a product of radio conglomerate Clear Channel, non-CC stations, like WSOU for example, are on there. After that, things drop off, with 3% listening to Grooveshark and 2% listening to Slacker, Pandora One, TuneIn, Last.fm and Xbox Music. Below radio and streaming services are digital music files (15%), on-demand services (14%), CDs (9%), and satellite radio (5%). Of course, older listeners still listen to traditional radio, with 41% of listeners 36 and older listening to AM/FM as opposed to listening to internet radio 13% of the time.
Russ Crupnick from NPD, the company that did the survey, attributes the change to the proliferation of smartphones, or “mobility and connectivity,” as he puts it. It should be noted that while radio is still slightly higher than online streaming, given that iHeartRadio has a relatively significant share of online listening, there are still a relatively high number of people listening to terrestrial radio, albeit via their phones. But if the trend from 2011 to 2012 continues as it likely will, look for streaming services to surpass radio amongst younger listeners next year.