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Hub Report: Radio 'An Important Factor,' Especially With Streaming In The Mix.

Results of an online survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers with ages ranging from 16 to 74 show that nine in 10 have an AM/FM radio, with three in 10 saying they stream AM/FM stations.

The survey was conducted last November by Hub Entertainment Research for its recent report titled “Can You Hear Me Now?” which focuses on the role of audio content and devices in the entertainment ecosystem.

“Radio, whether over the air or streaming simulcasts, remains a popular medium,” Hub's report says. “Radio listening, particularly in cars, is still an important factor in the media mix, particularly if streaming options are included.”

Hub's report also notes that half of all consumers surveyed have satellite radio capability – although not all actually use it – and one-quarter listen to satellite radio streaming simulcasts, a significant portion of which say they never listen to regular over-the-air broadcasts.

On the podcast side, Hub's findings emphasize their link to television, where a third (32%) of the sample reports listening to an official TV show-related podcast, a fan-produced podcast about a TV show, or a podcast featuring actors or the creative team of a TV show. Among podcast listeners, half say they would be more interested in watching a new TV show based on one of their favorites, and 47% say their listening to podcasts had helped them discover a new TV show in the past.

Additionally, nine in ten podcast listeners (92%) say that podcasts associated with a TV series help them maintain their interest between seasons. It also works for shows no longer in production. Among listeners to TV-related podcasts about older TV shows, 85% agree a podcast can prompt them to search out and rewatch an older series.

Hub says the implication from the data is that whether to extend engagement between seasons or as a source of tested IP for development, podcasts are important for content distributors and creators.

Looking at all streaming audio, Hub's survey shows nearly eight in 10 consumers use a streaming music service, close to seven in 10 use a podcast service, and four in 10 use an audiobook service. Hub's data shows Spotify with a wide lead over Apple and Pandora in streaming music and a tick ahead in podcasts, and Amazon/Audible the clear leader in audiobooks, while overall Spotify has a slight lead over Amazon/Audible and Google/YouTube.

Even as apps allow listeners to consume audio wherever they want, most listening is done in the home, with the biggest exception being in-car use. “If there was any doubt audio streaming was mainstream, it’s put to rest,” the report says. “One way or another, Americans stream to their ears as well as their eyes.”

Hub's “Can You Hear Me Now?” report can be downloaded HERE.

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