On-demand media revolution begins

From a new survey by the Arbitron ratings company and Edison Media Research (as reportd by The Washington Post):

Four formats — news-talk, adult contemporary, pop hits and black-oriented — account for more than half of all radio listening in the nation. For more than a generation, the radio industry has attributed this to listeners, saying they demand that narrow focus. But the on-demand media revolution has revealed that argument to be little more than corporate spin.

About half of Americans age 55 or older have bought “Me Media” devices, such as TiVo and iPods, that put the consumer in the control booth, but according to a new survey by the Arbitron ratings company and Edison Media Research, about 90 percent of everyone younger than 55 is already on board.

The iPod, Apple’s digital music player, is more like the transistor radio than any other gadget in media history, in that it is making a powerful entrance into the American home mainly through the teen market.

The percentage of people who say they “love” their iPod (35 percent) or their satellite radio (40 percent) versus those who “love” over-the-air radio (19 percent).

But the study says there’s still time for radio to respond: Only 20 percent of Americans own an iPod, subscribe to satellite radio or listen to Internet radio, whereas 95 percent of the country regularly listens to radio.

Like Norm said, “It’s an on-demand world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underpants.” Or something like that.

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