2010 was a very good year for Internet radio. As the year draws to a close I thought it would be worthwhile to review my posts for the past year and highlight some of the things that made it so.
January – There’s always a lot of talk about CES in January and this year a lot of the buzz was about Internet radio. Sony, Ford, Pioneer and other manufacturers were eager to talk about the ways they are integrating streaming radio capabilities into everything from tabletop radios to cars, and Pandora was in the thick of these announcements. Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told WSJ.com “Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing, Now, “they’re beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing.”
February – In February Bridge Ratings released a new study that pegged listening to Internet radio at 60 million weekly listeners in the US. The study cautioned broadcasters to do more than simply stream a simulcast of their over the air programming though, or risk losing listeners to online stations that are providing interesting interactive channels with fewer commercials.
March – In March Pandora announced that based on their calculations of the royalties they paid against all performance royalties paid to SoundExchange, they could claim 44% of all US listening to Internet radio as theirs.
May – The Radio Advertising Bureau released new revenue data reporting that digital revenues grew 18% in first quarter of 2010, after growing 13% overall in 2009. RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley remarked “Radio’s digital platforms are experiencing the greatest growth and are reflective of the dollar shift from media to marketing by many of today’s advertisers.” Later the same month, BIA/Kelsey predicted that digital revenues will grow to 30% of radio’s number by 2015 and hit $46.5 billion.
June – With the wild popularity of World Cup Soccer came a new streaming audio record set by ESPNRadio. ESPNRadio’s streaming coverage of the US match against Algeria brought them their biggest audience ever – the broadcast peaked at 180,000 listeners, according to AndoMedia and was nearly double their previous record, set on June 18th during the US versus Slovenia match.
Stay tuned for the second half of the year recap later this week..