Reports Music

Radio Is Streaming’s Next Frontier How Streaming Will Disrupt Radio Like It Did Retail

Report by Mark Mulligan
Cover image for Radio Is Streaming’s Next Frontier
Synopsis PDF Excel PowerPoint

The 20,000 Foot View: Streaming’s first achievement was becoming a long-term successor to retail, now it has its sights set on doing the same to radio. Even though the revenue per user is much smaller, the addressable market is far higher. Streaming’s post-radio strategy has the potential to be much more far reaching and impactful than subscriptions have been in terms of audience impact at scale. Radio companies are just beginning to wake up to the magnitude of the threat, but in the main underestimate it because traditional radio measurement methodologies underplay the extent of change taking place.

Key Findings

  • Radio is losing teens to streaming: XXX of XXX year olds stream for free, compared to XXX that listen to radio
  • Radio audiences are getting smaller: radio listener penetration in the US, Canada, Australia and UK fell to XXX in XXX 2017 from XXX in XXX 2016
  • Radio audiences are also older: XXX are aged XXX plus, compared to XXX for streaming
  • Radio suffers from brand fragmentation, with the average WAU penetration for the top radio brand just XXX compared to XXX for Spotify
  • Free streaming penetration is steady in mature markets but with a clear younger audience bias
  • After holding back the Spotify tide for years, Pandora’s user base is now in decline, as is Sirius XM’s
  • Curated playlist penetration is stable at XXX in XXX 2017, with a young audience spread
  • Curated playlist brands are the equivalent of radio channels, but none have more than XXX total population penetration 
  • Deezer has the highest share of its users using curated playlists XXX while Amazon has the highest share using user-generated playlists XXX most engaged radio listeners are the most likely to adopt streaming: XXX of weekly radio listeners use free streaming
  • Radio companies need to create something that is neither what radio nor streaming currently offer

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Afternoon Acoustic, Amazon, Amazon Prime Music, Apple, Apple Music,  BBC, Capital, Deep Focus, Deezer, Echo, Global, Google Play Music, Heart, iHeart, iHeart Media, Intense Studying, Liberty Media, Mixcloud, Napster, Peaceful Piano, Radio XXX Radio XXX Rap Caviar, Rhapsody, Pandora, Sirius XM, Slacker, Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal, Vevo, YouTube

*Note: As a supplement to this report, an additional seven slides are included in the Powerpoint published alongside this report.

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