AndoMedia has (finally) released audience data for May, June, July, August and September 2009, now called the Internet Audio Top 20. The long wait for new rankers was a result of an overhaul to the ratings. Substantial changes include moving to a one-minute listening session as qualifier for measurement instead of the old five minute rule; and new metrics such as Session Starts, Average Active Sessions, and Average Time Spent Listening to replace Average Quarter Hour and Cume. From the press release, here are the definitions of each term:
- Session Starts is defined as “The number of streams of one minute or more that are started within a time period.”
- Average Active Sessions is defined as “The average number of streams of one minute or more that are active within a time period.”
- Average Time Spent Listening is defined as “The average number of hours for each session lasting more than one minute within a time period.”
There’s no sign of Targetspot’s network in this ranker, although they announced in April that they would begin using Ando’s measurement, consolidating the industry on one audience measurement platform. Katz’ Online Network is the only sales network reflected in these new rankers.
NPR’s digital platform is diverse and often sets the standard for ways that broadcast stations can expand content online. As evidence of that, this week they debuted the new album by Norah Jones. Debuting this album as part of their “Exclusive First Listen Series”, NPR offers a huge value proposition to listeners who can go online and listen to Norah Jones new album The Fall song by song, or in its entirety.
The album, by Grammy award winning Jones, features songs written by Ryan Adams, Jesse Harris and other noteworthy musicians. It will be released on Blue Note Records on November 17th, which means that for two weeks you can hear it exclusively on NPR. Previous albums debuted in this series include Bjork, Moby, Regina Spektor and Leonard Cohen. A pretty diverse bunch for a brand that used to be primarily associated with news or classical music.
I’m listening to Norah’s album now and loving it. The start of the album was preceded by a preroll for Bose. Apparently, NPR is not shying away from an ad supported model online…
A Nielsen analysis of a media use study conducted by the Council for Research Excellence found that that 90% of consumers listen to some form of audio media per day. Three quarters of that listening is to broadcast radio.
Unfortunately, the study decided to group broadcast and satellite radio listeners into one group and call them radio listeners, (to the benefit of that group), which I find a little misleading. Internet radio doesn’t have its own group, it ends up partly in “portable audio”, along with mp3s and ipods, and partly in “mobile phones.” So the groupings were definitely made in favor of broadcast radio and not in favor of Internet radio. That said, there’s some interesting stuff about Internet radio usage if you look beyond the groupings.
According to the report: “Audio streamed to a computer or laptop was highest among those with incomes above $100,000(16.3%), persons aged 35-54 (13.5%), and those with two or more children in the home (13.2%)….7% of all audio media exposure throughout the day was to streaming audio, [other than on mobile devices] with listening split relatively evenly between home (52.7%) and work (48.8%).”
Buried deep in the actual study I found this graph, which shows Internet radio’s reach on a daily basis to be 9.3% of all adults, and 11% if you add in the mobile audio stuff.
Joining the parade of predictions that online radio revenue will grow in 2010, SNL Kagan predicts that by 2013 online radio revenue will account for nearly 5% of radio’s overall number. Kagan’s announcement, published as part of SNL Kagan’s Broadcaster Investor Service, expects 12% growth this year, with radio’s online revenues tallying $441 million (up from $394 million last year).
Beyond that, SNL Kagan projects an annual online revenue growth rate of 20% in 2010 to $530 million. As the market matures, growth is expected to level off through 2013, rising to $827 million, or 4.7%, of total radio revenues by the end of the five-year period. That compares to 2.0% in 2008 and a projected 2.7% of total radio revenues in 2009.
The decline in broadcast radio revenues has helped to spur the growth of online radio dollars, according to the report. Out of necessity, stations looked to develop online initiatives with websites, streaming and mobile applications to replace traditional ad dollars and increase sales.
The report is focused strictly on broadcasters and appears to refer only to online revenue growth for broadcast stations. Pure online stations such as Pandora, AccuRadio whose revenues would be completely online do not appear to be part of this report.
A new study by brand strategy firm Cone Inc. reveals that 80% of new media users interact with brands online, the majority doing so on a weekly basis. What’s more, consumers tended to have a more positive opinion of brands that interacted with them in new media, and were more tolerant of marketing messages accompanying that interaction.
“Consumers haven’t yet been exhausted by brand oversaturation in the new media space,” says Mike Hollywood, Cone’s director of new media. “There is still an opportunity for forward-thinking companies to establish a presence and earn a competitive advantage. Based on the growth of user interactions with companies, countless purchase decisions are being influenced by new media. It’s imperative to get on board now that the train has left the station.”
Relative to this news, the IAB, the online ad association, has just released some new recommendations for making online ads more effective. Their advice: keep it simple. Assume that you have a very short amount of time to influence the viewer/listener, and make your point quickly and effectively.
While these recommendations do not apply specifically to Internet radio, there’s good reason to take the advice that’s given and abandon any thoughts of running :60s on streaming stations. Even :30s are probably too long.
More advertisers are beginning to use Internet radio, according to several reports 2010 will be a banner year. It’s important, particularly for advertisers who are transitioning to online radio from broadcast radio, that they use different creative messaging to reach Internet radio’s online audience. Ideally, ads will include an interactive call to action: click the banner, send a text, visit a website, become a (facebook) fan. That’s what consumers want and expect. Sellers must be responsible and advise their clients: shorter messages with ways for consumers to interact are the keys. And for goodness sakes, forget the 800 number…