A new eMarketer study estimates there will be 159.8 million digital radio listeners by the end of 2014, and will grow to 183.4 million in 2018. Digital radio listeners are now at mass-market proportions, representing just over half of the population and two thirds of internet users. But digital radios's path forward is not without potential pitfalls including issues of scale and pricing challenges, according to the report.
US digital music listening hours will also increase, according to an AccuStream Research study which preedicted average monthly hours would reach 6.70 billion in 2016, up from 4.22 billion in 2014.
Accirding to eMarketer, as the US digital radio landscape matures, several trends are emerging:
- Strong demand for two dominant listening modes: personal stations that serve songs based on users’ preferences, existing digital music collections and prior listening activity, and digital extensions of over-the-air stations
- A shift toward nondesktop devices, such as smartphones, tablets, in-car systems and other consumer electronics embedded with digital radio apps
- A mix of monetization models that ranges from free access on an ad-supported basis to premium tiers that cost up to $10 per month for ad-free, unlimited listening