Monthly Archives: October, 2011

Internet Radio’s Listeners Are Engaged

Targetspot has released a new whitepaper that examines the behavior of digital audio listeners with regard to discovering new music, giving and receiving musical recommendations, and music purchasing.

The paper points out that Internet radio listeners are an engaged bunch, 80% listen 1-3 hours a day. What’s more, 73% listen to more than one station a day and 46% often check out the name of the song or artist playing. 

Other indicators of the level of engagement with new music that Internet radio listeners have include:

  • 69% of Internet radio listeners have decided to purchase a song as a result of hearing it on an Internet radio station.
  • 42% rate songs on Internet radio stations
  • 38% recommend songs, artists or stations
  • 32% check out what others are listening to online
  • 57% search for new music
  • 28% click on ads
  • 32% buy songs online
  • 22% buy albums online
This information is pulled from a study that Targetspot debuted at RAIN Summit West last April Digital Audio Usage Trends. That study looked at 1000 18+ adults who used radio at least once a month.


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Rhapsody Buys, Extinguishes Napster

Rhapsody will acquire Napster from Best Buy and perhaps that will – once and for all – kill off the most notorious company name in online music. I for one am glad to see it go. Napster was launched in 1999 by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker to promote illegal online sharing of music in the form of mp3’s. It was shut down in 2001, declared bankruptcy in 2002, was reborn as a commercial venture in 2003 and purchased by Best Buy in 2008. I always thought that was one of the worst decisions to buy a brand that a company ever made.

Now Rhapsody, in an effort to stay alive and compete with newer on-demand services like Spotify, will migrate Napster subscribers over to the Rhapsody platform where they will enjoy subscription based on-demand streaming, along with the ability to build playlists for offline listening, a feature that Rhapsody introduced earlier this year. Reportedly, Napster subscribers who were paying a cheaper, $5 a month fee will have to upgrade to Rhapsody’s $10 a month subscriber fee.

Rhapsody has 800,000 subscribers, about 15 million songs, and has been in business for about ten years. While they’re not huge, they are the largest on-demand subscription service. Best Buy paid $122 million for Napster in 2008 and will get a minority stake in Rhapsody in the transaction.

Napster openly and defiantly promoted illegal music sharing and caused a lot of animosity between labels and services, not to mention contributing to the “music is free on the Internet” mentality that is still pervasive today. There’s a real satisfaction in seeing one of the oldest names in online music finally put the brazen bull that caused so much damage out to pasture..

iHeartRadio Habla Español

After relaunching iheartradio amid a huge star studded live concert event in Las Vegas, Clear Channel announced this week that Univision‘s 45 streaming channels will soon be listening choices on their new station. The New iHeartRadio offers more than 800 broadcast radio and digital-only stations from 150 cities plus the ability to create custom radio stations based on artists.

The addition of Univision programming signals the “first third party distribution relationship for iheartradio” and will provide Spanish language radio programming that is a nice supplement to existing offerings.It’s a nice fit for both companies and not entirely surprising given the fact that Clear Channel and Univision have traded shares and shared investors over the years.   A few months ago, Slacker added several channels designed to attract Spanish speaking listeners. It’s a smart move – new 2010 census data shows that Hispanics are the second largest group in the US, at more than 50 million and 16.3% of the population. It’s grown 43% since the 2000 survey and is the fastest growing sector of the population.

So does this signal the possibility that iheartradio will head in the direction of becoming a universal portal for Internet radio? Consistent with that idea is the fact that Clear Channel stations are not available in leading Internet radio resource Tunein. Tunein is a universal portal that offers listeners easy access to lots of stations, searchable by music genre, geographic location and more. They build tuners for many devices – both tabletop and automotive and have a popular mobile app as well.

Certainly Clear Channel has big things in store for iheartradio. The streaming platform is now integrated into facebook with facebook registration required in order to listen. With the $10 million they spent on the promotion in Las Vegas to relaunch the iheartradio brand, Clear Channel is certainly behaving like a company that thinks there’s a future in online radio..

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