Category Archives: Research

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:

Meeker on Mobile Monetization

If you’re a regular reader you know that I’m a Mary Meeker fan. In her latest presentation Meeker, one of the smartest people on the planet when it comes to mobile trends, said that the mobile opportunity continues to be huge. IPhone’s impressive game-changing adoption rate has been dwarfed by that of IPad and Androids, and despite the tremendous pace, smartphone adoption has a huge remaining upside.

Mobile traffic now accounts for 10% of the Internet. Up from 1% in late 2009. And despite all the negative things you may have heard about mobile monetization, Mobile Commerce accounts for 8% of eCommerce, with spending practically keeping pace with time spent with the medium.

Unfortunately, as you have probably also heard, average revenue per user for mobile is not keeping pace with desktop stats. Meeker uses Pandora, along with Zynga and Tencent as examples and actually Pandora is doing a pretty good job of monetizing mobile ad revenue, compared with some of the others. (Personally I think it’s all about the user experience – those ads on Words With Friends are so annoying!)

Actually, what has happened is that mobile activity has helped boost clicks, which is driving down the cost per click. For now. The good news is that mobile monetization will catch up. In fact Meeker says that in 1 – 3 years it will surpass desktop.

Triton’s Webcast Metrics Makes It Easier For Buyers To Compare, Invest In Streaming

Triton Digital recently announced that they will add standard radio measurement AQH, or Average Quarter Hour, to the ratings metrics offered by their Webcast Metrics server based audience measurement service. In addition to the MRC-accredited audio metric of Average Active Sessions (AAS), customers subscribing to the new Local Reports feature inside of its Webcast Metrics® product will receive Average Quarter-Hour Rating (AQH Rating) by market – the same metrics typically used when measuring analog radio stations.

This is actually a return to previous practices for Webcast Metrics – the service originally offered ratings in terms of AQH and Cume, metrics used by traditional radio stations to discuss the size of their audience. Webcast Metrics later began using the AAS term instead. Now subscribers will have access to both terms. This will make it much easier to offer side by side ratings between on-air and online listening to services. That’s what advertisers want to see.

“Seeing internet audio in the same terms as traditional radio gives a holistic sense of the audio market, making it easier for buyers to make informed decisions when purchasing ad space,” said Lauren Russo SVP and Director, Audio & Promotions at Horizon Media. “We are excited to see how the ability to provide such a direct comparison will impact advertisers’ views on the value of streaming.” Triton will provide the data to third parties such as advertisers at the request of subscribing stations and platforms.

This is a good decision by Triton Digital, one that is meaningful for the Internet radio marketplace in terms of stimulating revenue. While there are some in the industry that may be in favor of keeping everything separate and magnifying the differences between on-air and online listening, it’s all audio in one form or another. Facilitating the use of data so that advertisers can more easily evaluate and invest in the space is a good thing. This decision by Triton is a step in that direction. Hats off..

Internet Radio Ads Net High Response Rates

Targetspot has updated its yearly study of Internet radio listeners. The newly released information was first presented at RAIN Summit West by Targetspot CEO Eyal Goldwerger. Today, the company made the whitepaper more widely available on its website.

The benchmark study, done by Parks Associates and with the support of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, was first released at last year’s RAIN Summit West. Results of this year’s update show increased listening, particularly to mobile devices, along with increased social activity and response to audio ads.

The findings are all good – the audience is growing, taking Internet radio with them on mobile devices and sharing it with friends on social platforms. Listeners are interacting with their stations, and that’s having a very positive impact on advertising as well. Ad recall and response rates increased 11% since last year, with 58% recalling having seen or heard an Internet Radio ad within the last 30 days compared to 52% in 2011. Of those listeners, 44% responded to an Internet Radio ad in one way or another compared to 40% in 2011, a 10% increase versus last year.

International Streams On Triton’s Webcast Metrics

Triton Digital has released March data ranking the platforms, groups and single channel stations that subscribe to their service. Very little has changed on the domestic side — Pandora continues to grow its audience, with 1.3 million average active sessions and over 6 million session starts in March. Clear Channel’s iHeartradio is ranked second, with a small fraction of that listening – a quarter of a million active sessions and 1.3 million session starts.

What’s catching my eye this time around is the All Streams ranker, which has begun to include broadcasting companies outside the US. Prisa Radio is a spanish broadcast group based in Madrid that shows up fourth on the All Streams all week ranker, right below CBSRADIO. They own more than 1200 radio stations and have 27 million listeners, primarily in Europe, South and Central America.

Sky Radio Group is another international player on the Triton All Streams ranker, showing up ranked tenth. They are based in the Netherlands and own stations in Germany as well.

Pandora Panderings in the News

It’s been a strong news week for Pandora, which is not unusual – the service has a great strategy for maintaining visibility in the media. That’s good for their brand and all of Internet radio by-the-way.

They recently released some new data from a study done by The Media Audit surveying 54,000 people in Los Angeles about their radio listening affinities. As reported in the LA Times, “Pandora beat out local stations such as KIIS-FM, KNX-AM4, KROQ-FM5 and KOST-FM in the survey of 54,000 adults who were asked in the biennial phone poll, in October, what stations they had listened to in the previous week.” In fact, “The research group estimated that 1.9-million people in Los Angeles listened to Pandora between September and October of 2011. The No. 2 station, KIIS-FM, garnered 1.4-million listeners in the same time frame, according to the survey.”

This caused the Huffington Post to headline an article with the proclamation that Pandora is the Number One Radio Station in LA. I’m sure the folks at Pandora were very happy about that.

Meanwhile, Inside Radio, a publication owned by Clear Channel which owns Pandora competitor iHeartRadio, was busy covering a story about more research on Pandora’s listeners. Mark Kassoff and Company, a radio programming research company, surveyed 1,177 Pandora listeners, asking them just what they like so much about the service. Their  conclusion? Pandora listeners are control freaks. And that’s the headline that Inside Radio chose for their coverage of the info.

Now, despite the headline, the Kassoff data is actually pretty good – revealing to those that read past the opening sentence that people like the personalizable options that Pandora gives to listeners. Kassoff goes on to examine in his survey the ways that Pandora and FM are different, and encourage broadcasters to focus on those differences. Which is a great conclusion for his study..

Targetspot Study Says 42% Listen Online

Digital audio is not a trend it’s a behavior. So said Targetspot CEO Eyal Goldwerger during his research update at RAIN Summit West this week. With 42% of the population listening, listening online is a firmly established behavior – one that grew 8% since last year.

Goldwerger presented a lot of great stats during his brief ten minute research update at the Summit – where he updated a research study originally presented last year by Targetspot. The audience is 54% male and 46% female. 51% are married, 22% have a household income of $100k +, and 64% own their own home.

What’s more – 80% of all listeners spend 1 – 3 hours per day listening online.

The numbers presented by Targetspot are remarkably and reassuringly similar to those recently presented by Arbitron/Edison Research in an update to their Infinite Dial Study, where 39% of the 12+ population was found to be listening monthly to online radio and 29% are listening weekly.

NPR Will Use Triton’s Audience, Ad Measurement Tools

NPR Digital has teamed up with Triton Digital to offer new services to member stations. The new tools will include audience measurement and sponsor management tools that are intended to help stations grow their digital sponsorship revenue by more effectively presenting listeners with audio sponsorship messages, while at the same time providing measurement of audience and sponsorship impact.

Bob Kempf, Vice President of NPR Digital Services, (and an old friend – hi Bob!), says “these new tools will help stations to better identify and quantify the rapidly growing number of listeners that are accessing their programming through online streaming, and to translate that into metrics that are meaningful to potential sponsors.”

Triton’s Webcast Metrics will provide the audience measurement piece and Ad-Injector ad insertion will enable the corporate sponsorship tools. Combined, these tools will provide NPR stations with the ability to coordinate, measure and confirm corporate sponsorship campaigns in a similar way to ad campaigns.

This seems like a natural for NPR, rounding up their network of stations online for measurement of audience and sponsor campaigns – so much so that I’m kind of wondering what took them so long – my guess there is that it smelled a little too much like commercial station behavior and that kept them away for a while.


Radio’s Growing Online Revenues at a Double Digit Pace

Local radio stations grew online revenue at a 15% pace in 2011. Total industry online revenues were $439 million, according to a new report by BIA Kelsey. 

According to BIA Kelsey, radio’s ability to create and sell local content, combined with the ability to cross promote on and off air, has “has given broadcast stations the opportunity to expand their position in their local markets from solely an over-the-air media source to a local media company that can provide access to local audiences in different, effective ways for their advertiser clients.”

In fact, local content assets, sold by a trained local sales team, are the combined forces that will enable local radio stations to grow online revenue to $767 million by 2016. BIA Kelsey predicts a steady 11.8% growth rate 2012 – 2016.


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