As eMarketer recently reported, internet radio is in the midst of tremendous change. Its young, highly engaged audience is expected to double over the next four years thanks to smartphone streaming and in-car Wi-Fi. More access means more diversity, allowing listeners to personalize playlists and consume content across platforms. As an example, Pandora allows registered users to create personalized stations around a favorite artist, song or composer. This registration information, coupled with content affinity and consumption patterns opens up a great opportunity for marketers to target this audience with increased precision and relevance. Sounds great, but does it work? Just as with other highly engaged online audiences, the answer thus far appears to be yes. And apparently, the result has compounding effect.
A recent “Internet Radio Advertising & Impact Study” (Apr 2011) shows that internet radio users are more engaged in the online medium overall (not surprising), but that online ad recall and response rates double when combined with internet radio use. And lest our broadcast brethren feel scorned, this study also revealed a 3.5x difference in ad response between broadcast radio-only listeners and those who listen to both broadcast and internet radio.
I think this sounds like a great testing ground for marketers while the industry solves some of its scale issues. What do you think?