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:
The latest Webcast Metrics audience reports are out for August 2011, and the lineup of stations on the ranker remains pretty much the same. Pandora sits atop with nearly half a million session starts. Below them, CBSRadio’s network of streams has 58 million session starts and Clear Channel’s group of streams has 54 million. Citadel, Slacker, Entercom, Cox, ESPNRadio, Cox, Digitally Imported and EMF round out the list of top ten streaming networks. Cumulus is in the 11th position – look for that group to combine with Citadel in the coming months now that the Cumulus purchase of Citadel is done.
This month, for variety I have decided to look at session starts and tsl instead of AAS. Pandora is holding steady at a tsl of .80 – meaning that was the average duration of the nearly 500 million session starts that they saw last month. Pandora’s tsl is shorter than Clear Channel’s and CBSRadio’s, though not by a lot. Slacker’s is .69. Topping the ranker in terms of length of listening session are Salem, Hubbard and AccuRadio.
At The Radio Show last month, RAB president Jeff Haley remarked in his opening speech that Pandora’s audience claims aren’t fair because they’re not using a cume number that represents unique listeners. That numbers of sessions, duration of sessions and tsl don’t tell the story of how many individuals the platform is reaching. This is a valid point – Webcast Metrics rankers do provide data useful for comparing the services against each other and for determining impression based advertising values, but the data does not give an accurate picture of the number of unique individuals that a station reaches.
Determining uniques shouldn’t be a difficult data point for server based audience measurement, although I’m thinking that each device a person listens on would have to be a unique. That could then be factored by the average number of devices a person uses if a buyer wanted to get a truer representation of the station’s cume.
I’m all for transparency and this seems like a good point to pursue. Here’s the ranker:
Six percent of automotive aftermarket car radios sold this year will be Internet radio capable, according to the Consumer Electronic Association. That number will increase to 14% by 2015 based on projections from the CEA.
In sync with that trend, Ford will no longer put cd players in the dash of their cars, opting instead for their connected dash approach, according to Digital Music News. ”In-car entertainment technology is moving digital more rapidly than almost any other element of the vehicle experience,” said Sheryl Connelly, global trends and futuring manager at Ford Motor Company. ”The in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology.”
The automotive aftermarket is hot for Internet radio, and most notably, Pandora enabled devices. Seattle-based Car Toys’ Jim Warren said, “Pandora products are selling through quite well. Typically, the Pandora feature is packaged in with other step up features so it is difficult to isolate the impact of the feature by itself. Regardless, we love seeing our suppliers adding step up features that connect the smartphone to aftermarket car audio.”
This year has seen a lot of interest by automotive aftermarket companies in introducing Internet radios. Alpine says that 60% of their 2011 radios have Internet radio features. Pioneer, Kenwood, Livio Radio and other manufacturers have introduced devices as well. ”When we first started selling Internet radio products in 2008, we were cold calling customers and the main question we had to answer was “What’s Internet Radio?” Now customers are calling our office and asking us what products we have that can add Internet Radio to their cars.” says Jake Sigal, Founder of Livio Radio.
No doubt Pandora’s big brand helps to create the kind of buzz that sells these radios. Functionality that leaves the listening choices to the listener will be important to the industry as a whole. I look at the way that Sirius and XM drove the success of satellite radio’s expansion into cars and wonder who – other than Pandora and to some degree Clear Channel – is driving online radio’s automotive future?
2010 was the year that Internet radio finally became a household word – although to many that word may have been “Pandora“. Pandora’s popularity on iPhone and other smartphones really took hold this year, listening became more commonplace and many other stations benefitted as well. Apple‘s introduction of iPad created more excitement for Internet radio apps, and car manufacturers got into the game as well. Here’s a synopsis of key stories from the second half of the year…
August – In August Bridge Ratings gave us more interesting data on Internet radio’s audience, using Nielsen’s PRIZM lifestyle groupings to establish listening patterns among certain lifestyle groups. Not surprisingly, it’s the young, urban, educated and trend setting groups that are fueling adoption of Internet radio in the US.
September – September brought some interesting data on mobile music listening. According to eMarketer, 21.7 million listen to mobile music now and that number will grow to more than 52 million by 2014. comScore had the number even higher, with info showing that 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices during the 3 month average period ending in July, 2010 and close to 34 million (14.5%) of them listened to music on them.
October – In October I wrote that Pandora had recently announced that they had 65 million registered users, a number that increased 8% in three months. In the same post I noted recent words from Pandora’s Tim Westergren who pointed out that all of Internet radio is just 3% of radio listening right now while 90% is to broadcast radio. That, says Westergren, is where Pandora’s growth will come from.
November – In November Clear Channel announced a new partnership with Toyota to put their iheartradio streaming platform in cars, a first for broadcasters moving to work with car manufacturers to create streaming radio opportunities for their platforms in ways similar to Pandora/Ford. Live365 rolled out a new platform Athena 365, targeting women, and RadioTime put their tuner on Google TV.
December – In December we learned, from Coleman Insights, that some folks just prefer to listen online – of the 17% of the population that is streaming monthly, 48% say they don’t listen to any over the air radio. The report emphasized that listeners are not shunning AM/FM radio as much as choosing a preferred platform for listening, making it critical that broadcasters view all of their distribution technologies as equally important. There are indications that that is the case – BRS Media reported that more than 75% of broadcasters who featured Christmas music were doing so online.
In addition to lots of positive news and momentum, the industry as a whole began to shape up this year. RAIN Summits, the premiere educational and networking events for the industry, hosted several excellent events including a sold out event at the Radio Show in September. More people, more professionalism, more buzz – all good things for our burgeoning business.
Thanks for reading Audio4cast this year, I wish you a profitable and healthy 2011!
After a hiatus of a month or so and quickly on the heels of the release of August rankers, AndoMedia has released Webcast Metrics Internet radio audience data for September for its measured stations. Again, some data is missing due to a “log processing error.”
Average Active Sessions data is intact for all stations on the ranker. Pandora continues to lead the pack with now over 400,000 Average Active Sessions during the Monday-Sunday 6a-mid daypart. CBSRadio, including AOL and Yahoo’s streaming radio platforms, is next with Clear Channel following. Other broadcasters with streaming platforms that make the top ten are ESPNRadio, Entercom, Cox, Citadel, Cumulus and EMF. Slacker is the only online only brand that keeps Pandora company in the top ten.
Bonneville, at #15 on the ranker, has the highest Average Time Spent Listening of over three and a half hours per session.
Katz Online Network continues to be the only sales network represented on the ranker. Here’s the snapshot, you can see the entire press release here.
While broadcasters gathered in DC last week, digital folks were in NYC at the Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s annual MIXX Conference, part of Ad Week in that city. (It’s a shame that the two events are at the same time.) During their event, the IAB released its “Digital Audio Advertising Overview” Platform Status Report, a first ever effort by that organization to define the digital audio space and make it easier for digital advertisers to understand it.
The document “defines the digital audio category and provides a snapshot of the marketplace audience size and demographics as well as outlining the players in the market, the vehicles currently used to deliver content and advertising formats, and some of the most important metrics for measuring success.” It’s a white paper that provides a nice overview of Internet radio in terms of audience and measurement, ad opportunities and standards. While the report calls itself an overview of the digital audio space, in fact it concentrates solely on Internet radio – I saw no references to podcasting, on demand streaming, HD, or any other types of what I consider to be audio of the digital variety.
The paper provides research from Nielsen, Bridge Ratings, AndoMedia as well as Edison Research/Arbitron’s comprehensive annual Infinite Dial Study to define the market size, provide listening data and identify the ad units typically available. It also lists major advertisers such as Chevrolet, Ford, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, American Express and Home Depot (the list is longer), and includes a case study of OnStar on the Katz Online Network as well as Pandora.
With this white paper the IAB, the main ad association for the digital market, is finally acknowledging digital audio as a digital ad option for advertisers, so it’s a great thing. With all due respect to those involved, it’s long overdue. While there is little that’s new in the report, it’s all pulled together very succinctly into a credible presentation that sellers can use to educate advertisers. It should be particularly useful with digital ad agencies who have been slow to spend on Internet radio. Having the IAB stamp of approval means a lot.
Congrats to Brian Benedik of Katz360 and Andy Lipset of TargetSpot, co-chairs of the IAB’s digital audio committee, and the companies that are on the committee: AndoMedia, Google, Clear Channel Radio, Comcast, comScore, Cox Cross Media, ESPN, Pandora Media, and others. Hats off for a job well done.
You can download the report here.
AndoMedia has released May Webcast Metrics audience data for the stations and networks that it measures.
In their press release, AndoMedia states that most stations saw 1 to 2% declines in listening for the month from April stats. Actually, Clear Channel and CBSRADIO saw much greater declines than that – over 10% of their domestic numbers. This *could* be explained in part by the fact that – as my friend Kurt Hanson figured out – most streams have higher listening on weekdays than weekends or holidays. April was 73% weekdays; May was only 65% weekdays. This, says Hanson, accounts for 5% of the drop. The rest, he continues, could be an indicator that “listening to simulcasts of terrestrial stations online does not seem to be growing in 2010.”
Pandora continues to grow its audience: its domestic-only AAS grew very slightly, but the service gained almost 14.5 million session starts. This may indicate that a lot of folks are visiting but not necessarily staying with Pandora for very long, which wouldn’t be too surprising based on the enormous buzz and sampling that they are getting via iPhone apps and such.
The press release and ranker are here..
AndoMedia has released its monthly ranker of listening estimates to Internet radio platforms that are measured by Webcast Metrics, which uses a proprietary platform to track audience data and convert it to audience metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers.
For Domestic total week listening, Pandora’s audience continues to rank first, followed by CBSRadio’s online radio platform, which includes all its streaming broadcast stations as well as AOL and Yahoo Launchcast (but does not include CBSRadio-owned Last.fm). Clear Channel, Citadel, Entercom, Cox, EMF, ESPN and Radio One round out the top ten online radio platforms on the domestic ranker which counts only verified US based listening.
The All Streams ranker, which counts all listening to an online group or station’s streams, shows some stations that are not providing location verified listening data. Big online brands Digitally Imported, 977Music, 1.fm and AccuRadio push some broadcaster based platforms out of the top ten in this ranker.
AndoMedia points out that this month the average number of listening sessions, sessions started and time spent listening all increased. More info and the actual rankers are available here.
CBSRadio moved last week to block international streaming access to its radio streams, including AOL Radio and Yahoo Radio streams, but not including Last.fm. According to Inside Radio, “CBS Radio VP of communications Karen Mateo says its streams ‘are designed for and promoted to the U.S. market which is where the majority of our audience comes from. These changes will allow us to focus on and grow our audiences in the U.S.”
Apparently, this news was met with protest, which first appeared on discussion boards at Radio-Info, by listeners in other countries who enjoy access to CBSRadio streams. However, the decision makes some fiscal sense – streaming costs as well as streaming royalties are expensive, and CBS sales efforts are concentrated exclusively on US advertisers, who aren’t interested in paying for impressions delivered to listeners outside the US.
Other groups have made similar decisions – Clear Channel currently blocks access outside the US for its streams, and Pandora also limits access. But Cox’s VP of Digital Gregg Lindahl told Inside Radio that they consider their overseas streams to be a service to soldiers whom their stations hear from all the time.
Geo IP targeting capabilities have made it possible for buyers to understand what percentage of a station’s audience is non-domestic, and to elect not to purchase those impressions. Without a way to monetize the audience, it’s tough to justify delivering the content. AndoMedia recently began releasing streaming audience data in both domestic and total audience rankers, showing what percentage of a station’s audience is domestic versus international.
There’s an alternative for stations that want to continue to provide streaming access to listeners outside the US. Adswizz, a Belgium based company that provides a platform for display, video and audio ad-serving and ad management to radio stations, also has an ad exchange network that enables stations to sell those impressions. “Adswizz is indeed an alternative and we would certainly like to sell their international inventory in Europe using our exchange network”, says Patrick Roger, VP Global Sales and Marketing, Adswizz.
In fact, they’re already selling campaigns for some US based web-only properties that have such impressions. This solution, or one that finds advertisers who are specifically interested in sponsoring access to listeners outside the US, are two alternatives that would make more friends than enemies, extend a company’s platform, brand and audience, and provide some extra revenue as well…
Broadcasters are selling more and more ads across multi media platforms – according to a report in Inside Radio last week, about 80% of Clear Channel’s on-air advertisers now include a digital component — streaming or otherwise — in their buys. That’s good news for the industry that needs to expand content distribution to multiple channels and learn to manage and monetize ad inventory on all of them.
Marketron, the leading provider of inventory management software for radio stations, is rolling out a new application that significantly improves radio’s ability to sell and manage comprehensive cross-media advertising campaigns. Marketron’s new Revenue Builder enables better inventory management across media platforms, which will definitely spur sales growth.
Cox Radio will install Marketron Revenue Builder across its entire group of 86 radio stations. “Cox has a very successful digital strategy,” states Neil Johnston, CFO of Cox Media. “Marketron Revenue Builder gives our local stations a great advantage and an opportunity to increase sales, streamline processes and provide an unlimited array of services to our advertisers.” Cox has always had a sophisticated interactive platform and approach to sales, they were one of the first groups to stream all of their stations.
Marketron Revenue Builder is a market-changing application for radio groups. Some radio organizations have done a great job selling their digital assets but are challenged by complex and labor-intensive processes at the operational level. Revenue Builder enables stations to track and manage cross platform inventory from sales through billing in the same way they manage their broadcast business. Any radio company competing for online dollars should consider this solution.