American Media Services Survey Shows Popularity of Internet Radio, Even as Regular Radio Continues Holding Its Audience

April 11, 2009
  • Nearly half of homes now have wireless internet service
  • Internet connections in vehicles may be the next frontier for wireless service
  • About half say in-store advertisements along with music would make shopping easier

CHARLESTON, SC – April 11, 2009 – Internet-only radio is rapidly gaining acceptance as another way to listen to music, according to a national survey that American Media Services released today..

The latest AMS Radio Index shows that more than a quarter (27 percent) of Americans say they have listened to Internet-only radio on an Internet site. This includes nearly half (47 percent) of young adults 18-24 and about a third (34 percent) 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 January 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, said Edward F. Seeger, AMS chairman. 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 WiFi, or wireless internet service, the AMS survey found. Home WiFi service increased from 37 percent in the September 2008 survey to 48 percent in the current survey.

And 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 September 2008 AMS survey to 46 percent in the latest AMS Radio Index.
  • Among those who have listened to Internet-only radio, nearly half (46 percent) expect to listen to it in the future on an Internet connection in their vehicles, and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) 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, nearly half (48 percent) say they would be prompted to listen to it if they had an Internet connection in their vehicle.

Generally, they prefer to have access to Internet-only radio at no charge. However, nearly a quarter (23 percent) said they are willing to pay a monthly subscription charge of $8 or less to listen commercial-free.

Other key findings of the latest AMS Radio Index include the following:

  • Nearly six out of 10 (59 percent) say they notice music while shopping either always or most of the time.
  • About half (51 percent) say hearing brief advertisements for special offers in the store or ads for other area stores would make their shopping experience easier.
  • Men and women were equally disposed towards in-store ads.  Age mattered more than gender: 72 percent of those 18-24 and 60 percent of those 25-34 said in-store ads would make their shopping experience easier.

About the survey

The national poll was conducted for AMS by OmniTel, the weekly omnibus survey of GfK Custom Research North America of Princeton, N.J. The telephone survey of 1,005 Americans adults was conducted during the weekend of March 27-29, 2009. The survey is considered accurate within plus or minus 3 percentage points. [Go to to see survey results.]

About American Media Services

American Media Services is a full-service radio brokerage, engineering and developmental engineering firm, and its developmental division leads the country in successfully implementing station upgrades by moving them into larger markets, dramatically increasing their value. Since its founding in 1997, AMS has increased the value of 22 stations across the country by $212.6 million, with a corresponding increase in population served of some 25 million. More than $200 million in proposed rulemakings are currently pending before the FCC. In December 2006 AMS launched an affiliate company, American Media Services-Internet LLC, to assist radio station owners and operators on setting up and managing streaming radio sites. For additional information, please visit