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Demand for Linear Audio Has Been on the Decline

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According to Edison Research, on demand listening has exceeded what is referred to as linear audio. bulletin news

Edison Research studies and analyzes trends in podcasting and various forms of streaming.

Linear audio is defined as audio that is presented to an audience. Examples of linear audio include online broadcasting, satellite radio and the like.

On demand audio is defined as that which listeners choose as in choosing podcasts and/or music audio.

During the past several years, even before iTunes discontinued its internet radio listings, the number of concurrent listeners of all the channels of APs Radio has been declining.

According to a number of observers, the explanation is readily discerned.

Older models of radio, whether platforms were found on the internet or were found in terrestrial radio, were presented in the context of audio and/or music presented to the listener.

For example, in general, with few exceptions, listeners had to wait before hearing a favored song.

Today and for the past so many years, listeners have had the option of selecting songs they wanted to hear at any time.

Mobile devices and self-created playlists have become ever more common during the past fifteen years.

Another example can be found at Youtube, where almost any song ever recorded could be found.

Songs selected can be heard anytime.

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As a function of time, over the past so many years, the line representing listening audience for linear audio has been decreasing, while the line representing listening audience for on demand audio and material has been increasing.

Recently those two lines crossed, indicating that, according to trends projected, the number of listeners of on demand audio will increase, while the number of listeners of linear audio will decrease.

PPL-UK, which provides music licenses for the digital transmission of music, defines linear audio in much the same way.

In 2006, when APS Radio (Radio Orenovscotia) was only a year old through its listing at iTunes’ internet radio directory and at Real Player’s internet radio directory, it could get as many as a few hundred concurrent listeners at any given moment.

Sixteen years ago Youtube was used much less as a platform for music.

For its part, Edison Research issued this statement, which is consistent with experience:

Edison Research graph concerning listening trends over time.

“The growth of podcast listening is part of the reason for this change. Once people got used to the ability to choose a specific song or playlist, and of course skip songs – it became hard for many to go back to the ‘lean back’ experience of listening to radio or linear streams.”

The graph presented is instructive.

For example, whereas in 2015 the number representing linear audio was 60 and the number of representing on demand audio was 31, in 2023, the line representing linear audio was 49.7 and the line representing on demand audio was 50.3.

Even so, Edison Research indicated that linear audio is not likely to reach zero on that graph, but the line representing audience numbers of linear audio will decline over time, as confirmed by APS Radio’s experience.

Years before, the growing popularity of Pandora, for example, from 2007 and beyond was one of the reasons internet radio, as it had existed since 1999, already was experiencing a decline in the number of listeners.

But the dawn of podcasting and beyond has accelerated that trajectory.

As trends indicated movement away from terrestrial radio to internet radio and internet-based entities, other and newer trends indicated that more and more people were opting for entertainment they themselves could select and schedule.

In terms of the unvarnished reality, there no longer was a reason for an audience to wait for a desired song to be played.

Regardless that a number of internet radio entities present music in terms of decent audio quality and with few or no commercial interruptions, more and more people are opting to listen songs and material when they desire and on the basis of convenience.

In terms of cable tv and satellite tv, the same trends are happening in those media, too.

More and more people are streaming and selecting movies and programs they want to watch when it is preferable and desirable for them to do so.

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