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Half of U.S. young adults have listened to Internet radio

Internet-only radio is rapidly gaining acceptance as another way to listen to music, according to a national survey that American Media Services released yesterday.

The latest AMS Radio Index shows that 27 percent of Americans say they have listened to Internet-only radio on an Internet site. This includes 47 percent of young adults 18-24 and about a third of those under the age of 50.

But even as new media, such as Internet-only radio, continue to gain in popularity, regular radio is maintaining its audience. In the latest AMS survey, 73 percent said they are listening to the radio about the same as or more than they did five years ago. Dating back to the initial AMS Radio Index in Jan. 2006, the number saying they’re listening to the radio as much or more than five years earlier has remained remarkably steady.

“Our latest survey shows the continued vibrancy of radio,” AMS Chairman Edward F. Seeger said. “Online radio is an increasingly important medium. Regular radio is holding its own. The two media offer choices that are compatible and complementary of each other.”

The way of receiving online radio is also rapidly changing. Nearly half the homes in America now have Wi-Fi, or wireless Internet service, the AMS survey found. Home Wi-Fi service increased from 37 percent in the Sept. 2008 survey to 48 percent in the current survey.

In the wireless world, vehicles could be the next frontier – for both Internet connections and audience growth for Internet-only radio. There is an increasing desire among Americans to have Internet service in their vehicle. The number expressing interest in having this service in their vehicle has increased from 37 percent in the Sept. 2008 AMS survey to 46 percent in the latest AMS Radio Index.

Among those who have listened to Internet-only radio, 46 percent expect to listen to it in the future on an Internet connection in their vehicles, and nearly three-quarters say they would listen to Internet-only radio more if their vehicle had an Internet connection. Even among those who have never listened to Internet-only radio, 48 percent say they would be prompted to listen to it if they had an Internet connection in their vehicle.

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