Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Public Radio Listeners Are Shifting Gears

In their newly updated survey of public radio listeners, Jacobs Media reports that listening to radio is growing, but listening to broadcast radio is declining. While public radio listeners who spent an hour or more a day listening to AM/FM declined 2%, those who listened weekly or more to Internet radio increased 16%. Now 87% of public radio listeners listen daily to AM/FM and 46% listen weekly online. 6% listen to HD Radio, a number that fell 3% in the past year.

Half of public radio listeners connect a smartphone or mp3 device in their cars to listen and nearly 10% of public radio listeners own cars with connected dashboards. 41% of public radio listeners say they do most of their listening to AM/FM in their cars.

As I was reading this study I was thinking about all the growth in listening that is going on these days. There are so many ways to get great audio content, and so many ways to listen. In a way it seems odd to keep focusing on WHICH technology listeners are using to access the content. It’s necessary and interesting of course, mainly because we are witnessing a major shift – away from listening via AM/FM exclusively. Many broadcasters are still trying to come to grips with that shift, and studies like this are helping them understand. It’s not HOW they listen that matters…

Not Quite As Good As Being There

The last weekend in July, which marks the middle of summer in my mind, is Newport Folk Festival weekend. This year the festival was sold out and the lineup was amazing. Jackson Browne, Wilco, Iron and Wine, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Patty Griffin, and so many more. If the music suits you, there’s no better place on the planet to hear it than Fort Adams State Park, overlooking Newport, its bridges and ocean.

Wilco Live at Newport Folk Festival/NPR

The last time I went it was too hot, and a little uncomfortable, but the listening was awesome. This weekend was mostly cloudy which was probably just about perfect, except for the brief downpours here and there.

Anyway, one of the great things about streaming is that all the concerts are already online courtesy of NPR Music. So you can enjoy a little piece of midsummer music today…


Pandora Is Giving Agencies What They Want

The most recent ratings related press release from Pandora arrived this week, touting that “National audience metrics for June 2012 show that among the adult 18-49 demographic (demo), Pandora has a weekly cume of 25,333,249” – up 6% from March Webcast Metrics audience data. But here’s the big news, straight from the announcement:

The June 2012 Triton Webcast Metrics ratings rank Pandora as the largest adult 18-49 radio network in the U.S. when compared to radio networks in the Arbitron June 2012 RADAR 113 report.”

Pandora now provides monthly AQH and Cume ratings in three key demos in the top ten markets, something which has gone a long way in helping them gain favor with ad agencies. Pandora Chief Revenue Officer John Trimble said, ” These metrics are helping the radio advertising industry make informed buying decisions between terrestrial and internet radio.”

silver platter

You got that right. Starcom Executive Vice President of Local Activation Kevin Gallagher said, “It’s no secret that an increasing amount of audio is consumed online. With Triton Webcast Metrics ratings, we will be able to compare, as well as combine, audience delivery within the entire audio ecosystem. It’s important to provide advertisers with a holistic view of the entire radio audience to help them understand the internet radio opportunity and value proposition.”

It’s what the agencies want, numbers that make it easy to compare, analyze and make informed buying decisions. Pandora’s offering it on a silver platter and the agencies are eating it up..




Dashboard Developments For Streaming Innovators

Both Livio and TuneIn are announcing deals related to connected dashboards this week. For the first time, TuneIn announces a dashboard deal thatEnglish: The Tesla Model S is an all-electric ... makes the service available without using a smartphone to connect. TuneIn is providing more than 70,000 stations from the popular service directly to Tesla Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan.

Livio meanwhile sent over an interesting notice that they are working with a group called Genivi, a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform. Automobile manufacturers and their suppliers are beginning to use the GENIVI platform as a common framework for their products and services. Their aim, they say, is to accelerate in-dash innovation by creating standards that everyone can conform to.

“Joining GENIVI was an easy decision.  GENIVI’s goals are complementary to our current strategy for connecting apps to cars and what we believe is the right way for the industry to move forward,” said Livio founder and CEO Jake Sigal.

Something Smells Rotten In More Than Denmark



ICANN Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may be familiar with BRS Media, the small and innovative domain company that licenses the .FM and .AM extensions. I’ve written about them before – the Founder and CEO George Bundy is a smart and sharp guy. He was way out in front when he started his business, and we sometimes chuckle about the early 2000s when both he and I were already engaged with Internet radio related businesses and we thought the whole thing was about to take off. We were just a little early..

For the past year or so Bundy has been really excited about his new top level domain application with ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) for the .RADIO extension. He thought the prospects were looking really good and he was readying his plans for a successful launch if his application was approved. But a few months ago it was announced that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was also applying for the .radio extension. I don’t know much about ICANN or their application approval process, but this sounded like some serious competition.

But now a new twist has arisen – one that smells a little funny. The EBU has joined ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

“As a Top Level Domain Registry for 15 years and a New TLD Applicant we are extremely concerned by reports that the European Broadcasting Union has been accepted to the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee. The EBU is an applicant for the contested string for the Industry specific term .RADIO,” remarked George T. Bundy, Chairman & CEO of BRS Media Inc. “No other GAC Members or Observers are a direct applicant for a generic Industry specific string like .RADIO that is contested. This will give the EBU an undue advantage, ‘where it carries commercial activities’ as noted in their other application, as well as, against all other contenders for the .RADIO string.”

BRS Media has suggested that the EBU withdraw its application for the .radio top level domain, since it has an unfair advantage by way of its new influence as a member of the advisory board for the organization that makes the selections. Although I’m admittedly a novice in knowing a thing about ICANN or top level domain assignments, it sure sounds like a reasonable request to me. But I’m guessing there’s only one reason that the EBU wanted on to that advisory board in the first place, and they may not be so willing to see it that way. In which case it’s important that ICANN, a private non-profit corporation, maintain its reputation by making sure its processes are fair and impartial.

This is so clearly impartial that I’m thinking someone just wasn’t thinking clearly about it all when it happened. Why would either ICANN or EBU want to appear so blatantly slanted? Bundy’s right – there’s no other way to make sure it’s a fair process than to take the EBU out of the running for .RADIO .


Women Like Listening Online



Women like streaming music on the Internet, and are doing it more than they were a year ago, according to a new study by Alan Burns and Associates. The new study focuses on women’s usage and attitudes toward radio, among women 15-54 who listen to Adult Contemporary and Top 40 formats. The findings tell the story of the on-going shift online. Indicators of that trend include listening to streaming music up 15.8% over a year ago, and nearly 40% in total agreement with the statement that “Radio is kind of old, online music is hot now.”

On a daily basis more than one out of four women who listen to radio listen online – either to customized streams or streams of a radio station. 70% listen to radio on a radio. Which is a majority, but a long way from what that number used to be. In fact, in the last year, the percentage of women who listen to radio on a radio on a weekly basis dropped 8% – from 95% to 87%.

Women are shifting their listening online. Listening to radio is growing – but listening via AM/FM is not…


It’s Not Audio, It’s Not Radio, It’s Mobile

Tablet and smartphone usage is on the rise, and some good news is that ad response rates are strong on those devices as well. A new survey out from the Interactive Advertising Bureau“Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day,” is an in-depth research report that reveals how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by device, time of day, and location.

It turns out that folks like to use their tablet to listen to music while reading the paper – 74% of tablet users said they listen to music while reading printed material. Given the large portion of audio streaming that is taking place on mobile devices, understanding how and when consumers react to mobile ads is critical. According to the report:

  • There is a strong degree of ad interaction among tablet users, with nearly half (47%) saying that they engage with ads on that device more than once a week
  • One in four (25%) smartphone users also said that they interact with ads at that same frequency
  • Once these mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80% smartphone users, 89% tablet users)

Ad interaction is higher on tablets than on smartphones – 77% of users interact with ads whilst using a tablet compared to only 53% on smartphones.

Audio content is big and getting bigger on mobile devices. This new study from IAB is dense with information that should help audio content platforms understand best ways to monetize that content.

The Best Internet Radio Stations

Entries are now being accepted for the RAIN Internet Radio Awards. The third annual awards will recognize excellence in online radio in four categories which have been defined to give all stations, big and small, broadcaster and pureplay, a chance.

  • Best Overall Online Radio Service
  • Best Streaming Broadcast Station
  • Best Overall Digital Strategy
  • Best Single-Stream Webcaster

The RAIN Internet radio awards are the awards for our industry, designed to search for and celebrate excellence. Winners get bragging rights for a year.

The awards will be presented on Tuesday September 18th at RAIN Summit Dallas, and while you do not have to be present to win, we certainly hope you will be there.

You can enter the RAIN Internet radio awards for free by simply answering a few questions about your station.

Celebrate innovation and excellence by entering the awards today. For more information click here.

iHeartRadio’s Audience Is Growing

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:

Global Streaming Music Trends

Early stages of adoption of a new technology are often driven by young males, something that has been true of streaming audio, according to Mark Mulligan, former vp and research director at Jupiter/Forrester Research and now independent advisor to the music industry. Mulligan recently posted an analysis of streaming audio listening based on data from EMI’s Global Consumer Insight data, an 850,000 interview dataset.

54% of streaming music users are male and 46% are female globally, with more users in Norway, Spain, Sweden and France than anywhere else. On average, 32% of the population streams music, which is exactly the penetration of usage in the US. While streaming music reaches close to 50% of 16 to 24 year olds, it also reaches 33% of 35 to 54 year olds and 23% of 55 to 64 year olds.

Mulligan created a nifty infographic that provides an overview of his analysis:

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