The Impact of Streaming Influence


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In 2019 Xtra Insights conducted a major research project across eight countries around the Asia-Pacific region. The study confirmed both passion for, and time spent listening to radio tends to increase with age. While the results proved positive for radio, we were driven to explore the findings further. With the exponential growth of streaming services paired with the continual advancement to internet accessibility and technology in general, we delved deeper into the influence of streaming services with the younger end. Specifically, we set out to address the question, “are today’s under 25’s likely to continue to consistently consume streaming options as they grow older, having been raised with an abundance of easily accessible audio and video streaming platforms?”

With that in mind, Xtra Insights identified several key influencing factors dubbed ‘Streaming Influences’. Streaming Influence is determined by three primary elements, each of which contributes to the degree of overall streaming influence. These include:

We suggest amongst todays under 25s the Streaming Influence is 100% when each of the above three elements are satisfied to their full potential.

To further contextualise these Streaming Influences, this article will focus on two key radio listener types: Streamers and Radio Loyalists. Although recent research has uncovered numerous distinct radio listener types, Streamers and Radio Loyalists will be the focus of this article, as these groups tend to be more extreme in their listening habits, falling on the opposite ends of the spectrum to each other.    

Streamers and Radio Loyalists are characterised by their time spent listening (TSL) to both radio and streaming services. As the name suggests, Streamers tend to have higher streaming TSL, tuning in for 1 or more hours each day, but less than 1 hour of daily radio listening. Radio Loyalists are mirror opposites, listening to radio for 1 hour or more each day, and less than an hour of daily streaming time.

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Despite the common misconception that young people don’t listen to radio anymore, casting doubt on radio’s future, the reality is that often a critical part of the story is missing. While streaming is generally stronger than radio with today’s under 25s due to the higher degree of streaming influence, it is not to say that radio has no future with this group. In fact, according to the graph below when you look at 18-24 year old’s, a group that often falls within the 100% Streaming Influence, their predisposition to streaming drops by almost half compared to those under 18, while Radio Loyalists grow significantly.

Against the backdrop of the Streaming Influence, our findings confirmed that radio will continue to be a popular medium with today’s under 25’s as they grow older. The reason these young people are not consuming radio as heavily as their older counterparts is more to do with their life stage, and less to do with the rise of streaming.

While radio cannot sit back and expect their future is assured, it must instead remain vigilant and relevant by providing compelling content and capitalising on its unique strengths to ensure its long-term success.

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