Mobile was the fastest growing segment of streaming audio consumption in the March 2013 ranker just released by Triton Digital. Mobile listening accounted for 56% of all audio consumption in March 2012. According to the report, we have crossed the threshold where over half of all listening is consumed on mobile devices.
In March 2013, Pandora began capping mobile listening at 40 hours per month. As a result, we see a 3% drop in mobile listening for Pandora during the Monday through Sunday 6:00am to midnight daypart from March to February. During the same time period, we see a 23% increase in Pureplay mobile listening and a 5% increase in listening to AM/FM streams.
Slacker meanwhile picked up 18% during the February to March period, which could be a result of the capping by Pandora. In mid February Slacker launched a new interface with more personalized tuning options, as well as a tv ad campaign aimed directly at Pandora, which was timed perfectly with Pandora’s decision to cap mobile listening at 40 hours per month.
RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter points out that “While Pandora did slip 4% overall from February, its AAS is still 39% more than 12 months ago. Among broadcast streamers, Univision had a strong March (up 22%), as did the NPR Member Stations group (up 16%).” Read more of their analysis here.
While these numbers refer to US listening, streaming audio measurement, as well as Mobile streaming strategies, will be panel topics at our upcoming RAIN Summit Europe in Brussels two weeks from today. Hope to see you there!
Last week Pandora announced a significant milestone when they reached 200 million registered listeners. The fact that the number of registered listeners leapt from 100 million to 200 million in two years makes it still more impressive. Remember, Pandora’s user base is largely in the US, although they have recently expanded to a few other places such as Australia.
During a presentation last week at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, hundreds in the audience got a first look at updated trends in Infinite Dial 2013. Arbitron SVP Bill Rose and Edison Research President Larry Rosin offered some stats on Pandora, which has an impressive brand awareness recognition rate of 69% among adults 12+ in the US, a number that grew 10% since last year’s study. iHeartradio showed impressive brand awareness in the new study as well, with 45% brand recognition, a jump of almost 15% since last year.
The study also reported that close to half of the folks surveyed had downloaded the Pandora app onto their cellphone. This fact reveals the steam engine driving both the growth in audience and brand awareness for industry leader Pandora – their amazing success with mobile apps. As usage of smartphones and tablets has soared, Pandora’s been right out there in front, gaining front page status on those devices. 21% of cell phone owners now saying they have used their phone to listen to a stream in their car, yet another indication of the growing importance of mobile devices.
We’ll be discussing mobile devices, connected cars and a lot more again on May 23 in Brussels at RAIN Summit Europe. Have you registered? Hope to see you there!
Forty Five percent of Americans now listen to online radio occasionally, at least once a month, according to the newly updated Infinite Dial Study by Arbitron and Edison Research. That translates to 120 million Americans, and it’s a number that grew 6% over last year. The weekly number – Americans that listened to online radio weekly – grew 4% to 33% and roughly 86 million.
What’s more, those weekly listeners reported spending an average of 12 hours a week listening to radio online. Arbitron defines online radio as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to audio content available only on the Internet – a definition that I concur with, since I think that’s how consumers define it.
But here’s the big news of the study: Consumers reported spending more than two hours more listening online than they did a year ago! Weekly listeners spend an average of 12 hours a week listening to online radio, versus close to ten hours last year.
The Infinite Dial Study is the best comprehensive snapshot of the growth of online listening. Arbitron and Edison Research have been updating this yearly study for more than ten years, providing the industry with cold hard data chronicling the growth of listening online. Arbitron VP Bill Rose and Edison Research President Larry Rosin will present their study at the upcoming RAIN Summit West on this Sunday April 7th. Hope to see you there!
eMarketer says that this will be the year that smartphone usage in the US will cross the 50% threshold, meaning that half of all mobile users will be using smartphones. Standing at the front of the line of services that benefit from this massive shift to online mobile access are Pandora and Twitter. These two platforms have as many, or in the case of Pandora, more users accessing them via mobile than via desktop.
Late last year comScore released a beta report of their Media Metrix Multi-platform measurement report, which merges usage data via web, smartphone and tablet into one number. providing an excellent snapshot of a service’s user base. It then assigns a multi-platform ranking that can be compared to the standard Media Metrix ranking. Sites with a higher multi-platform ranking are the ones that have lots of mobile users.
Google is number one on both rankers, and the top ten sites don’t shift much, meaning that they maintain their user base when mobile usage is factored in. But Pandora benefits greatly from this multi platform measurement approach – their rank moves from 61 to 23. No other site on the top 30 enjoys such significant lift from adding in mobile to the ranker.
This morning’s Inside Radio reports that Hubbard owned WTOP will no longer insert ads in its streams, opting instead to simulcast 100% of its broadcast programming online. This is a decision made earlier this year by small market broadcasting group Saga Communications, who at the time blamed imperfect ad insertion technology for its decision.
The biggest reason that a broadcast company would opt to simulcast 100% of its programming rather than inserting different ads into its stream would be that Arbitron will only measure the online audience and the on-air audience as one if the station simulcasts the exact same thing on the stream as it broadcasts. There’s nothing wrong with Arbitron’s thinking in this regard – it would be flawed for them to represent the two audiences (streamed and broadcast) as one if the programming were not completely identical. That would be misleading to advertisers who might look at the combined audience number and conclude that their commercials achieved that reach when they had not.
WTOP is up front about the reason for its move. Inside Radio quotes SVP/GM Joel Oxley : “Since WTOP is now a simulcast, those listeners can now be added to our Arbitron ratings,” he says. “For WTOP even a slight move up in ratings can mean a significant rise in revenue.” For the top billing radio station in the country, that can make a big difference.
This move by WTOP signals a growing interest by broadcasters in blending their audiences into one to create ratings uniformity. It’s a clear decision to sell the audience as one, rather than two separate audiences. It makes sense in some ways, but there are problems as well. Ads created for over the air listeners often have a call to action like “Call this number” while ads that are streamed should have an online call to action. As well, streaming ads have more targeting and tracking capabilities than broadcast ads do. But times are tough and revenues are down. Broadcasters, like everyone else, are forced to take a hard look at their options and in a case like this prefer the one that promises a more immediate uptick for revenue.
Triton Digital and Alan Burns and Associates recently released a new study Radio Tomorrow which focuses on listener attitudes and behavior with a focus on future prospects for the medium. It’s a dense study with a lot of interesting questions in it. For example,
25% of those asked stream music on a smartphone daily from AM/FM, Pandora and other sources, and the number climbs to almost 40% weekly. Pandora alone claims 11% daily and 15% weekly in terms of people using it, per the study.
Some of the news in the study is predictable: young people listen to radio less, want more control of their stations.
Some of it is less so – for example, the study found that 44% of listeners would be more likely to buy a phone if it had an FM chip in it. And of the nearly 20% who have internet access in their cars, many still listen to AM/FM (70%).
When asked if there is a medium that feels like a friend, 50% named RADIO. And they find radio ads more trustworthy and less annoying.
If you haven’t taken a look at this study you should. There’s meaningful takeaways for anyone programming a station, online or not…
Tablet and smartphone usage is on the rise, and some good news is that ad response rates are strong on those devices as well. A new survey out from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day,” is an in-depth research report that reveals how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by device, time of day, and location.
It turns out that folks like to use their tablet to listen to music while reading the paper – 74% of tablet users said they listen to music while reading printed material. Given the large portion of audio streaming that is taking place on mobile devices, understanding how and when consumers react to mobile ads is critical. According to the report:
- There is a strong degree of ad interaction among tablet users, with nearly half (47%) saying that they engage with ads on that device more than once a week
- One in four (25%) smartphone users also said that they interact with ads at that same frequency
- Once these mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80% smartphone users, 89% tablet users)
Ad interaction is higher on tablets than on smartphones – 77% of users interact with ads whilst using a tablet compared to only 53% on smartphones.
Audio content is big and getting bigger on mobile devices. This new study from IAB is dense with information that should help audio content platforms understand best ways to monetize that content.
Triton released new audience data this week and the most interesting thing on the ranker is the fact that Clear Channel’s streaming platform is beginning to pick up steam, with stats growing 7% from April to May.
As RAIN points out in their analysis yesterday afternoon, Pandora‘s number grew about 4% from April to May, which could be an indicator of slowing in terms of their exponential growth. With more than a billion session starts and close to a million active sessions during the month, their market share is massive. Clear Channel’s growing active session number is approaching just 15% of Pandora’s number.
One thing that can continue to drive Clear Channel’s growth is their ability to brand iHeartRadio throughout their media empire. The deals that they have signed with other broadcast companies also drive listener registration for the iHeartRadio platform. Once registered, those listeners to Cox, Greater Media, Cumulus, or other partner stations in the platform, can easily be converted to listeners to iHeartRadio. Recently introduced features such as artist curated channels, personalized listening options, and social offerings are helping to drive both sampling and listening to iHeartRadio.
Here’s the ranker:
Early stages of adoption of a new technology are often driven by young males, something that has been true of streaming audio, according to Mark Mulligan, former vp and research director at Jupiter/Forrester Research and now independent advisor to the music industry. Mulligan recently posted an analysis of streaming audio listening based on data from EMI’s Global Consumer Insight data, an 850,000 interview dataset.
54% of streaming music users are male and 46% are female globally, with more users in Norway, Spain, Sweden and France than anywhere else. On average, 32% of the population streams music, which is exactly the penetration of usage in the US. While streaming music reaches close to 50% of 16 to 24 year olds, it also reaches 33% of 35 to 54 year olds and 23% of 55 to 64 year olds.
Mulligan created a nifty infographic that provides an overview of his analysis:
If you’re a regular reader you know that I’m a Mary Meeker fan. In her latest presentation Meeker, one of the smartest people on the planet when it comes to mobile trends, said that the mobile opportunity continues to be huge. IPhone’s impressive game-changing adoption rate has been dwarfed by that of IPad and Androids, and despite the tremendous pace, smartphone adoption has a huge remaining upside.
Mobile traffic now accounts for 10% of the Internet. Up from 1% in late 2009. And despite all the negative things you may have heard about mobile monetization, Mobile Commerce accounts for 8% of eCommerce, with spending practically keeping pace with time spent with the medium.
Unfortunately, as you have probably also heard, average revenue per user for mobile is not keeping pace with desktop stats. Meeker uses Pandora, along with Zynga and Tencent as examples and actually Pandora is doing a pretty good job of monetizing mobile ad revenue, compared with some of the others. (Personally I think it’s all about the user experience – those ads on Words With Friends are so annoying!)
Actually, what has happened is that mobile activity has helped boost clicks, which is driving down the cost per click. For now. The good news is that mobile monetization will catch up. In fact Meeker says that in 1 – 3 years it will surpass desktop.