Mobile is changing the way we do things, and smartphones are changing the way we do mobile. Smartphone ownership has tripled since 2009 – close to a third of Americans 12+ own a smartphone.
What’s really interesting to note is what smartphoners are doing with their devices. According to the new Arbitron/Edison Infinite Dial Study, 40% browse the Internet several times a day or more. 14% play games. 8% watch video. 8% listen to Pandora. While the most popular activity remains talking on the phone, texting is gaining fast, and other activites are growing.
Folks are looking for ways to use their smartphones and platforms that are well suited are the big winners. 27% of smartphoners use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, a number that jumped 34% in a year. Sites and activities that are well positioned in the mobile game are winning audience big time: Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Twitter.
The media landscape is changing. Mobile, and in particular smartphone usage is revolutionizing media delivery, use and expectations. And the pace of change is phenomenal. Are you thinking about ways to make mobile happen for your platform?
Radio is not in decline, it’s expanding, and that represents an enormous opportunity, according to Arbitron‘s SVP Paul Krasinski. Krasinski and SVP Bill Rose presented results of their recently updated Infinite Dial Study at RAIN Summit West last week and encouraged broadcasters to recognize the opportunity that digital distribution offers.
With 86% of the 12+ population connected to broadband and one-third of consumers owning a smartphone, it’s a different world. Embracing the fact that radio’s audience is distributed beyond the broadcast is key to future success. Access to audio has changed, has radio changed? asked Krasinski.
Online radio’s audience is expanding, with 89 million listening last month. And 89% of those listeners listen to both broadcast and online radio. Krasinski urged the crowd to alter their view of “audience” and see it across all of radio’s channels. In that regard, the audience is growing. With that growth comes a responsibility to offer great content to listeners.
A key component for radio will be developing innovative solutions for advertisers that enable them to use and measure the effectiveness across these distributed channels. Over the past few months we’ve heard hints that Arbitron is planning to step back into streaming measurement and while they have not announced anything yet, it sounds like it will be a product that enables stations to aggregate audiences from distributed channels. While their PPM product does measure streaming now, it only measures such for stations that simulcast 100% of the time, meaning that stations that sell streaming ads separately from over the air ads don’t qualify. Whether this will change is unclear.
The streaming audience measurement game is stepping up its pace – with the recent accreditation of Webcast Metrics and Arbitron beginning to talk about new plans for the space, more and better options are available to stations, which is bound to be good for the industry.
22% of the 12+ US population listens to Online radio weekly, according to updated Infinite Dial information presented today by Arbitron. That translates to about 57 million Americans. It’s twice the number that were listening five years ago, in fact, that number has doubled twice in ten years.
Time spent listening expanded as well, average time spent listening to online audio in a week is now close to ten hours, up from 8 a year ago.
Arbitron’s Bill Rose started the presentation by reminding everyone that Arbitron and Edison Research have been releasing studies about Internet radio since 1998 – this is their 19th such study. It’s by far the most comprehensive history of listening patterns to Internet radio. Since it began, it’s expanded to cover usage of lots of online media including video, social platforms and more.
Arbitron’s Bill Rose and Paul Krasinski will provide more insight into the new Infinite Dial 2011 at RAIN Summit West on Monday April 11th in Las Vegas. For more information on that, you can click here. To read or download the study, go here.
Streaming music platforms are getting a lot of attention lately. Pandora’s been growing its audience at an impressive rate, MOG, rdio and others are getting funding, former radio personalities are showing up on Internet radio, and lots of folks are talking about it.
It’s a groundswell that started, like many do, as a teeny tiny trend that many folks said would never take off. Back in 2003 when I started Net Radio Sales (now Katz360), the other guys were starting RL Radio (now Targetspot). Arbitron was shutting down its streaming measurement platform (called Measurecast). And revenue was tough to come by.
That’s not the case anymore. Investment money is flowing into online music platforms, and Pandora recently announced a plan for an IPO to raise $100 million. Audiences are growing fast. Targetspot recently told Inside Radio that their revenues were up 75% over last year. The future looks bright and getting brighter.
But all of this seems to have thrown radio broadcasters off of their game. Instead of focusing on their core competencies, they can’t take their eyes off of Pandora or Slacker, or another streaming music platform. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to like about those platforms. They can deliver unique personalized streams and targeted ads to registered listeners, and that’s a great thing.
But they aren’t a replacement for broadcast radio. They’re not local and their not personable. They’re not…human.
In developing their online streaming presence, Radio broadcasters should focus on the human aspects of their programming. Concentrate on talent, news, and excellent programming. Not programming for the highest cume, but for the happiest and most engaged listeners. Interact with those listeners in meaningful ways, and give them ways to interact with the station and each other. Create fun and interesting blogs, side channels, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages that listeners can love. And please, register those users.
Stop thinking about what Pandora is and trying to be that, instead think about what they aren’t and play that card…
NOTE: I made a major error in this analysis, failing to see that the Ando chart represents total listening hours in a week (in millions), not average time spent listening per week. My apologies and thanks to Larry Johnson of Paragon Media Strategies for bringing it to my attention. I then looked around to see if I could provide any data comparing TSL of broadcast to TSL of Internet radio. It turns out that AndoMedia’s monthly rankers provide TSL per session, but not TSL per week, which is what Arbitron makes available in its Radio Today Study.
Listeners to broadcast radio spend about 15 hours per week listening, according to Arbitron‘s 2009 Radio Today Study.
Most Internet radio stations measured by AndoMedia see listeners average sessions lasting 1-2 hours, although that does not factor in how many sessions they are logging per week and so cannot be compared to the data above.
Although it’s remarkably close in time spent listening to both platforms, that listening takes place in very different locations, with most online listening occurring at home and work, and most broadcast listening taking place in the car, followed by home, other, and work.
A new release of information on digital audio listening from RAJAR, the official source for radio audience measurement in the UK, shows that Brits are not as active as consumers in the US when it comes to listening to online radio and podcasts.
According to the new data, 31% of UK adults have ever listened to online radio, in sharp contrast to the 52% of the 12+ population here in the US that have listened. Granted, the US study (Arbitron’s Infinite Dial 2010) counts the 12-17 population and the RAJAR study does not, but that cell accounts for only 10% of the total weekly listening so does not make up the difference.
Listening to online radio in the UK can include live streaming as well as “Time Shifted” listening where listeners can use “Listen Again” services to record some radio programming and listen to it at a different time. This behavior is prohibited, or at least discouraged by copyright law in the US.
Brits also listen less to podcasts than Americans – according to the new MIDAS6, 23% of adults have ever listened to podcasts whereas The Infinite Dial Study of US listening behaviors says 23% have ever listened. Again, I don’t think the 12-17 age group that’s taken into consideration by the US study and not by the UK one is making the difference.
I’m wondering of course why this is, but I’m not offering any solid reasons at this point I’m just watching and thinking about it. I suspect that UK radio blogger James Cridland might have a few as well…
Arbitron has unveiled a new phase in their PPM technology which extends measurement onto a wireless platform. Called the PPM 360, it lays the foundation for the development of future applications for the patented, proprietary PPM technology on multiple consumer devices.
“This innovative approach further liberates audience measurement from the home and enables media, brands and marketers to follow the mobile consumer more closely – which is particularly important for brands appealing to younger demographics,” said William Kerr, President and CEO, Arbitron. “This platform is designed to be an integrated component to our existing radio services and drive future innovation for media measurement.”
The Arbitron Portable People Meter technology tracks consumers’ exposure to media and entertainment, including broadcast, cable and satellite television; terrestrial, satellite and online radio as well as cinema advertising and many types of place-based digital media.
Arbitron has had the capability to detect streaming listening all along with their PPM technology. Thusfar, they have chosen to only use that technology to measure listening to broadcast stations who are adhering to a 100% simulcast rule (and are therefore not monetizing their online ads except as add-ons to broadcast campaigns). It’s basically sidelined Arbitron as a viable option for streaming radio audience measurement.
Arbitron used to measure Internet radio station audiences, first with their own server based technology, then with the acquisition of Measurecast. They eventually shuttered Measurecast and opted for a partnership with comScore, using comScore data and producing audience estimates that were panel based and inadequate for measuring most individual stations.
The PPM 360 press release hints at an interest in extending audience measurement more seriously to new media, and with their already existing capabilities, streaming radio audience measurement is a natural place for Arbitron to head. I’m staying tuned…
Arbitron publishes an annual report Radio Today that provides an interesting snapshot of radio listening in the US. For the first time, the 2009 report includes streaming stations in its list of National Format Shares and Station Counts.
48% of all FM stations are streaming their programming while only 10% of those stations are rebroadcasting it on HD. 32% of AM stations are streaming, less than 4% are distributing it on HD. Of the stations that are also producing additional HD multicast channels (537 in all), 46% are also streaming that programming on side channels.
Classical stations are most likely to stream their programming – 82% of classical stations are streaming. After that, Contemporary Christian, CHR, Alternative and AAA formats are most likely to be streamed. Interestingly, only 52% of news/talk stations and 48% of talk/personality stations are streaming. Those stations don’t have to pay per performance music royalties, which keeps some broadcasters from streaming, so it’s surprising that they’re not distributing their content online.
You can download the study here.
According to the newly released Infinite Dial study, listening to Internet radio didn’t increase much from 2009 to 2010. Last year’s study pegged the audience at 69 million, this year it’s 70 million, both netting a 27 share of the population.
That’s because broadband is nearly ubiquitous, says the study. As organic growth of broadband has nearly stopped, growth for online mediums such as online radio, podcasting and online video have slowed.
The audience is 55% male, 45% female and tends to be employed, educated, and have higher incomes. They like the interactive options that online radio offers, along with variety and fewer commercials. When asked to name an online only station, Pandora was the clear winner. Pandora is has taken the brand position for online radio. (See my post here about Pandora becoming the Kleenex of Online radio).
The study found that more people listen to online only brands than AM/FM streams. This should be a clear impetus to AM/FM broadcasters to offer more and different options in their online streams. According to this information, listeners are turning online to find offerings that are different than what they can hear on their AM/FM radios. To compete, broadcasters must expand their offerings to include side channels and options that give listeners ways to control and interact with the streams.
Last week, Arbitron and Edison Research released their updated yearly survey of radio and associated digital platforms, The Infinite Dial. It’s an extremely comprehensive study that has over the years become the benchmark of the continued redistribution of radio’s audience onto alternative digital audio platforms.
For the first time, this year’s study finds the Internet surpassing TV as the most essential medium for those surveyed. 42% of those surveyed stated that the Internet is most essential to their life, compared to TV (39%), radio (14%), and newspapers (5%). The number of people that claimed the Internet more than doubled from a year ago. But even though the headline for this data point is that the Internet beats TV as most essential for the first time, it was not TV that lost a lot of ground – only 3% fewer people claimed TV than last year. Radio and newspapers were the big losers, each losing close to 50% of the share they had a year ago when respondents were asked this question.
In part, this trend identifies a shift to online listening. More and more Americans are listening to online radio and are also relying first on the Internet for music discovery. Another first this year – among 12-24 year olds, the Internet is now the place they turn first to hear new music. 62% of 12-24 year olds go online to hear new music, a number that has doubled in the past year, while just 32% turn to radio first. While radio still wins that data point with respondents of all ages, it lost a lot of ground in one year. My guess is that by next year the Internet will be the first source of new music for all ages in this study.
These are conclusions that more sharply than ever identify that radio’s audience is rapidly and relentlessly moving online. This year’s study pegs Internet radio ‘s monthly audience at 70 million – 27% of the population.