Digital revenues will continue to be the bright spot in radio’s future, according to new projections issued by BIA/Kelsey. Radio’s online/digital revenues will grow to $479 million in 2011, up from $405 million in 2010. The five-year outlook indicates radio’s online/digital revenues will reach $758 million by 2015, representing a 13.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
In particular, the report mentions the integration of digital and traditional assets, which is giving stations opportunities to attract advertisers through online, social media and mobile channels and drive on-air audiences online.
While radio revenues have seen sluggish growth of only 1.2% this year, the digital/online segment has grown 15% over last year and is projected to finish the year at $479 billion.
Clear Channel’s iHeartradio showed a surge in audience for October following the relaunch of the streaming platform with a 10 million dollar promotional budget that included a two day live and streamed concert in Las Vegas. Newly released audience data from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform shows that iHeartradio gained 15% in the number of average active sessions from September to October’s 106,733, after gaining 10% in September, the month during which the relaunch of iHeartradio took place.
Meanwhile, Pandora‘s audience continued to surge as well, growing 7.5% to more than 800,000 Average Active Sessions Monday – Sunday 6am – mid in October.
CBS Radio‘s streaming audience fell again, after losing AOL Radio which migrated to Slacker in August. The AAS for CBS Radio dropped 14% during October. Slacker consequently saw their AAS grow by 18%. The Cumulus group of streaming stations is looking strong on the ranker as a result of their purchase of Citadel since the last release, however, their 45,489 AAS is actually lower than the combined Cumulus and Citadel numbers from September by about 4%.
WNYC debuts on the report, although we do not know if that’s a result of audience growth or that they are new to the measurement platform. Triton’s Webcast Metrics is server based measurement Other groups such as Cox, Entercom and others were pretty stable in the month to month report.
Pandora reported its first profits last week of $638,000 on revenues of $75 million for its third quarter of this year. This beats most analyst’s expectations and dashes last year’s losses for the same period of $1.77 million.
Pandora streamed 2.1 billion hours of programmimg -twice the numbers of last year same quarter. According to Chief Executive Officer Joe Kennedy, About half of Pandora’s $66 million in third-quarter advertising sales came from mobile users, a “triple-digit” increase from a year ago.
“Rapid growth of 104% year-over-year in listener hours and record Internet radio market share growth to 66% illustrates the strong demand for personalized radio,” stated Joe Kennedy, Chairman, President & CEO of Pandora. “Our growing scale and powerful, multi-product advertising platform is enabling Pandora to increasingly penetrate areas that were once solely served by terrestrial radio. Our momentum in transforming the radio industry is stronger than ever.”
For third quarter of fiscal 2012, total revenue was $75.0 million, a 99% year-over-year increase. Advertising revenue was $66.0 million, a 102% year-over-year increase. Subscription and other revenue was $9.0 million, an 80% year-over-year increase.
This news came a week after the Radio Advertising Bureau released third quarter revenues reporting $190 million in digital revenues for US based radio broadcasters in addition to modest growth in spot revenues.
Turntable.fm’s founder Seth Goldstein is a sharp guy who’s had his hand in more than one brilliant startup. He was an original investor in del.icio.us which was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, he started socialmedia.com, and he’s “Entrepreneur in residence” at Fred Wilson‘s investment firm Flatiron Partners (which recently invested in Turntable.fm).
If you think that resume describes him as an insightful person with an interesting perspective, you might like this video of an interview with him at Billboard’s Future of Sound Conference.
In their typically savvy way, Pandora has implemented a strategy for taking political ad dollars. Taking the listener registration information that they already have on every listener, they have created a turnkey way for political candidates’ campaigns to deliver their messages to custom voter zones. The service also offers rich media attributes, enabling campaigns to utilize display and video components in addition to audio.
Once again, Pandora is aggressively going after broadcast radio dollars with this strategy. Chief Revenue Officer John Trimble said, “With the 2012 political campaign season in full swing, advertisers realize that personalized, internet radio is a powerful platform to reach a desired set of voters. Pandora’s new targeting features maximize effectiveness of ad spend that has historically been wasted reaching voters outside of election districts. Political, national and local advertisers all benefit from our scale, precision targeting and personalization to reach a passionate and engaged audience on Pandora.”
Pandora gathers zip code data at account registration and a back-end system maps that information into specific regions, making it easier for a campaign to maximize effectiveness. These new features add on to the previously available targeting parameters of age, gender, zip code, time of day, music genre, seeded artist, interaction, mobile and first impression.
Political ad spending has been climbing for years and – thanks to the elimination of campaign spending caps – will be higher than ever for 2012. In 2008, the last presidential election year, political ad spending was $2 billion, last year, without a presidential election it reached $2.3 billion.
While Pandora can offer a nicely targeted ad campaign within precise voter zones, one thing candidates will not get from Pandora is the FCC mandated political rate card. Radio broadcasters are required under FCC regulations to provide all political candidates with a fixed rate at the lowest available rate on their stations. Pandora and other Internet radio stations are not beholden to such rules.
Google Music is open for business, according to their blog. Google‘s cloud music project, launched last May as Music Beta, has morphed into a larger platform that includes cloud based syncing and listening as well as a music download store. Google Music enables listeners to sync their music collection across multiple devices, maintain playlists, and purchase songs for download to listen to on your Android mobile device.
The new Google Music store offers more than 13 million tracks from artists on Universal, Sony, EMI, and the global independent rights agency Merlin as well as over 1,000 prominent independent label. The deal with Universal was just announced yesterday and enables Google Music to offer access to 80% of music available today. Only Warner Music Group is holding out at this point.
Another interesting feature of Google Music is something called The Artist Hub, which allows any musician with the rights to upload music, create an artist’s page, set pricing and sell their music.
This isn’t the first time that Google has launched a platform called Google Music. The last iteration before Music Beta was a platform that included partnerships with lots of other services. This one is clearly positioned to compete with iTunes, with cloud elements that allow syncing. In fact, it sounds like this service uses cloud storage for syncing more than streaming, which will distinguish it from the likes of Rhapsody, Spotify and others. Apple is reportedly readying their cloud based entry as well.
In the new world of metered mobile data plans, Onavo has developed an app that is very useful in helping folks keep track of their usage and even select apps that use data efficiently. You can download their app onto your smartphone which compresses the data that your apps use.
Onavo recently published data on music apps – focused on which apps were most popular among Onavo users, and which apps are most efficient. Turns out that TuneIn‘s app is the most widely used with 6.6% of IPhone users per month. TuneIn is also very efficient, ranking below other popular apps in terms of data usage.
TuneIn is a music app that serves as a directory for more than 50,000 radio stations, both terrestrial and online. They have one of the most popular music apps on iTunes. (They used to be RadioTime.)
But where is Pandora, you might be asking, and that is a good question. In terms of app users they rank second, right behind TuneIn with 5.8% of Onavo iPhone users. But in terms of data usage they’re much thirstier, using almost 3 times the amount of data.
It’s not clear to me from the chart that they have factored in the possibility that Pandora listeners are listening longer as a reason why they are using up lots more data. This would be a good thing to know. But it’s a fun chart from an interesting company who’s got an interesting view on the industry..
NARM, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, and research firm NPD Group have released a study showing that AM and FM radio are still very relevant to consumers in discovering new music. Traditional radio was the most popular way that respondents discovered new music in this study, while online radio and web videos were very important as well.
The purpose of the study was to better understand listening, new music discovery and purchasing behaviors among music consumers. The study found – not surprisingly – that younger music consumers are more actively interested in discovering new music. They use the widest variety of sources to find it, including radio, video, streaming and movies and they are more committed to ownership of the new music.
Older music consumers are less adventurous and more satisfied with traditional means of music discovery. They have lighter listening habits, and lower interest in digital sources of music discovery.
The study write up also states that “free online radio, video sites like YouTube and Vevo, and other emerging forms of influence are more likely to cause listeners to continue to stream songs, rather than buy them.” However, it makes no claims about the impact – positive or negative – that radio has on song and album sales. Yeah, I’m thinking this statement should have come with a little bit more substantiation in the form of data..
When facebook introduced its music discovery platform with a list of streaming partners at its f8 developers conference in September, we knew there would be some big winners among the partnering services. Now, from a post on facebook’s own developer blog we learn that since that announcement on September 22nd, facebook users have shared songs 1.5 billion times using those services integrated apps.
Facebook wanted to integrate music sharing and discovery and make it a more meaningful part of the facebook experience. It’s certainly been that for their partner services, which have experienced growth ranging from doubling their active users to increasing their user base 2 – 10 times.
Here’s a list of highlights, pulled from the post, of the growth some of the services have seen:
- Spotify: Already one of the defining social music apps on the web, they expanded to the US this summer and added well over 4 million new users since f8.
- Earbits: Y Combinator-funded startup built by a team of musicians saw a 1350 percent increase in the number of users becoming fans of the band they’re listening to.
- MOG: Their uniquely social business model has led to a 246 percent growth in Facebook users since f8.
- Rdio: Their strong social ecosystem has expanded with a 30x increase in new user registrations from Facebook.
- Slacker: Available across mobile, TV, auto and web, Slacker saw a more than 11x increase in monthly active users in the month following f8.
- Deezer: Based in France, they’ve added more than 10,000 users per day since finalizing their Open Graph integration.
Consumers want Internet radio in their dashboard. 64% of consumers would listen everyday if they had access to streaming music sites in their cars, according to a newly released study sponsored by Harman, the premiere audio system brand. The only thing they want access to more than streaming music in their car is real time traffic, and being connected to a home computer, news, and the Internet were attractive options as well.
All of this from a new study, Driving the Connected Computer, that examined the technologies that consumers want in their cars. Voice controls are highly desirable, 70% of those said they would prefer voice controls that make a car easier to use.
The overwhelming takeaway is that consumers consider it essential to stay connected in their cars. “Staying connected in the car is essential to success,” is the way one survey participant put it. The survey consisted of interviews with Adults 18+ who own a car, make buying decisions and already own several tech products such as a smartphone, mp3 player, etc.. Voice controls, Internet connectivity, and tools that enable productivity are the hot buttons for these consumers.