Official: Internet radio gains popularity

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A new survey out today has suggested that listening to radio online has become “mainstream”.

Statistics show more than 8 million people in the UK listen to web-based radio services every week and nearly 2 million download podcasts on a weekly basis.

The audience research body RAJAR has published the survey showing more than 12 million people listening to online radio and 8.1 million listening every week either through live streaming or “listen again” services.

The research also found that 75% of users do not listen to less live radio as a result of listening again online, with 50% tuning into new shows as a result.

The same was true of podcasting, with one-fifth of respondents saying they now listen to more live radio and nearly one-third saying they listen to new radio shows after sampling them via podcasts.

Only 8% of those surveyed said they listened to less radio because of the availability of podcasts.

Of the 4.3 million who have downloaded podcasts, around 1.87 million people listen to at least one podcast each week.

“This survey is very much a toe in the water,” said the Rajar research director, Paul Kennedy.

“Although we already knew that listen again, personalised online radio and podcasting had many advocates, we knew nothing of their standing in the mainstream.

“This survey tells us and our subscribers, who are actively involved in these areas, more about them.”

Out of Asian radio stations available in the UK, only the BBC Asian Network and Sunrise Radio offer a “Listen Again” feature. The BBC Asian Network also provides a weekly Podcast on selected shows.

Club Asia will become the UK’s first Asian commercial radio station to offer a Podcast facility later this year.

Sabras Radio in the Midlands is also set to launch a “Listen Again” feature via its website in the coming weeks.

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