The Growth of Online Radio


Streaming radio isn’t a strange new thing, but its recent surge in popularity has surprised more than a few people. Only three years ago internet radio was barely an afterthought, we all knew it was there, but it wasn’t making much of an impact, then Spotify came along and the flood gates opened.

With the ability to stream music, podcasts and any other media from your phone, radio’s audience is no longer limited to the captive rush hour drivers in their cars, anyone with a phone or sitting at their computer is a potential target. The accessibility of online radio is its major draw card, with 95% of all online radio listeners tuning in on their mobiles.

Online radio is also far cheaper to produce, with no requirement to pay for airtime. The accessibility and low cost has led to a huge growth in the options listeners have available to them and SME Radio is just one example of the ever increasing options.

The cost of radio production used to be prohibitive for highly specialised radio stations like SME Radio, but with a growing audience, and increasing the speed of the internet and technology growth, radio is getting easier and ever more popular. This enables SME Radio to focus on providing broadcasting that targets the small and medium entrepreneur.

Online radio is growing at a huge rate, with worldwide audiences forecasted to grow from the 2015 numbers of 160 million to 183 million in 2018. The time spent listening to online radio is also predicted to soon outweigh traditional radio; with Accustream forecasting listening hour growth rates to range from 20-30% over the next two years. Revenue growth from online advertising and subscriptions is set also to boom, with an analysis by BIA/Kelsey suggesting the U.S. ad revenue will grow to $4.01 billion by 2017, an increase of almost $2 billion over 2014 numbers. While the revenue growth numbers are for the U.S. market, Australia is experience a similar demand for online radio.

As traditional radio steadily moves online, SME Radio is focused on providing our growing listener base with the highly targeted programming that the upwards trend in online radio allow us to produce.

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