Triton Digital has released its monthly top 20 report for December 2011, based on its measurement of streaming platforms that subscribe to its Webcast Metrics service.
I’m weary of the microscopic monthly analysis of this data, so I decided to take a look at what has happened to the general space in a year.
- Pandora continues to completely dominate the measured pack. From January 2011 to December 2011 they grew their AAS (Average Active Sessions) by 88%. Session starts grew by less, meaning they did a pretty good job of holding on to their listeners. Their Time Spent was down, but only slightly from .83 to .75.
- Slacker was the big winner in terms of share of growth, they increased the size of their AAS by nearly 93%. The numbers are much smaller though, Slacker ended the year with an AAS of 50,767, in part thanks to the addition of AOL‘s streaming audience to its network. Slacker’s growing their audience and their tsl — gaining listeners and getting them to listen longer.
- Clear Channel’s online platform is iHeartRadio, although on the ranker it appears as Clear Channel. Their online audience grew as well, but not as much as you might expect given all the promotion. AAS is up by 48%. TSL down from 1.15 to .63 – more listeners spending less time listening.
- CBSRadio’s online platform suffered the loss of AOL’s streaming audience when they moved to Slacker. Their online audience dropped nearly 40% last year.
- ESPNRadio.com started the year on a big high of 17000, the largest standalone streaming number. At the end of the year they were still the biggest, although their number is down to 13,959 in December. It is possible given their singular focus on sports that January’s exciting football playoffs factor into that, I’m not sure.
Got more observations? Chime in! Here are the rankers I took my observations from:
Triton has released Webcast Metrics listening data for stations on its platform for September. The numbers reported show Pandora’s Average Active Sessions up by about 75,000 over a full week daypart while Clear Channel’s iHeartradio gained about 8,000 in the same daypart. While Pandora’s raw number gain in AAS is much bigger than iheartradio’s, the two services each gained approximately 10% in the most recent ranker.
This is the first time that Clear Channel’s streaming audience has grown at the same pace as Pandora’s, and it came in the month of a major relaunch of iHeartradio, complete with a two day star studded live and streamed concert that reportedly cost the company $10 million. Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman has invested a lot of time and money in iheartradio, and these numbers indicate that it paid off in terms of increased traffic and listening. The report also shows that iHeartradio averaged 11 million more session starts than the month before – a handsome 20% increase.
The monthly report also shows CBSRadio losing audience, with an AAS that dropped from 97,712 to 93,448 – at least in part due to the loss of AOL Radio‘s audience. This trend should be countered by CBSRadio’s recent move to purchase Metrolyrics, one of the most trafficked music sites on the web.
Fred Wilson apparently thinks it’s a good year to invest in streaming audio and has announced investments in two companies this week as an indication of this. His company Union Square Ventures just is heading up an $8 million funding round for digital audio advertising company TargetSpot. Other investors in that group include CBSRadio, Bain Capital Ventures and Milestone Venture Partners. It’s not Union Square‘s first money in Targetspot, nor for CBSRadio or Bain.
Wilson’s Union Square Ventures also announced an investment in Berlin based Soundcloud, which bills itself as the YouTube for audio. According to Soundcloud founder Alexander Lyung, the site had a million registered users last spring and 2.6 million by the end of the year, so it’s growing pretty fast.
“There has not been a wildly popular open audio sharing platform with simple APIs like YouTube and Vimeo in video, Facebook and Flickr in photos, Blogger and WordPress in long form text, and Twitter in short form text/link sharing.” says Wilson in his blog. “We think SoundCloud is on its way to becoming that wildly popular open platform for audio expression and sharing on the web and mobile devices. A few months ago, Union Square Ventures… invested in SoundCloud and I have joined the Board.”
Wilson is a guy that likes his music. He puts songs he likes on his daily blog, along with quotes and pictures. He also has a radio station you can stream, fredwilson.fm . Mostly, I think he’s a guy that thinks a lot about music and the Internet, and right now he’s thinking it’s a good investment…
It’s been a while since AndoMedia released a monthly Webcast Metrics ranker, so I had been wondering what was up. Apparently, there were problems in the land of Ando last month and the result is a ranker for August that is missing some information:
Due to an error in Log Processing we are unable to provide accurate statistics on certain metrics for certain clients. These fields are marked Not Available (N/A). We apologize for the inconvenience.
Hmmm. I guess that’s why the press release came out after 4:30 on a friday afternoon…
AndoMedia has released May Webcast Metrics audience data for the stations and networks that it measures.
In their press release, AndoMedia states that most stations saw 1 to 2% declines in listening for the month from April stats. Actually, Clear Channel and CBSRADIO saw much greater declines than that – over 10% of their domestic numbers. This *could* be explained in part by the fact that – as my friend Kurt Hanson figured out – most streams have higher listening on weekdays than weekends or holidays. April was 73% weekdays; May was only 65% weekdays. This, says Hanson, accounts for 5% of the drop. The rest, he continues, could be an indicator that “listening to simulcasts of terrestrial stations online does not seem to be growing in 2010.”
Pandora continues to grow its audience: its domestic-only AAS grew very slightly, but the service gained almost 14.5 million session starts. This may indicate that a lot of folks are visiting but not necessarily staying with Pandora for very long, which wouldn’t be too surprising based on the enormous buzz and sampling that they are getting via iPhone apps and such.
The press release and ranker are here..
In the UK radio listening is booming. Radio listening in the UK has reached an all time high of 46.5 million adults, or 90.6% of the UK population (15+), according to new data released by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research).
Last week CBS owned Last.fm announced that they would stop streaming songs on demand. They’ll also stop hosting videos for on demand streaming. Instead, according to the Last.fm blog, they’ll focus on connecting listeners to services that provide “jukebox-in-the-sky” on demand services, such as Spotify, MOG, and Hype Machine for songs, and VEVO for video.
Last.fm will also continue its personalized radio station streaming services, which provide listeners with the ability to interact, but not request specific songs.
This seems to be another step in CBSRadio’s 2010 journey to profitability in the streaming space. After a few years of streaming everything everywhere, this year CBSRadio is fine tuning its streaming business model and brand identity. Not long ago, CBSRadio began blocking its non-US listeners from streaming in order to control streaming and royalty expenses.
This move last week indicates that CBSRadio intends to focus on what it has determined are Last.fm’s core competencies. “Our scrobbling data shows that, for some time now, people have been using multiple music services and devices, then coming back to their Last.fm profiles to answer the question “what should I hear next?” and to see / show off all their listening united in one place.”
Some recent research has shown that free on demand streaming services are bad for online music sales. Here in the US, the record companies have blocked Spotify from entering the market with their free on demand service by refusing to license it. Instead, Spotify will likely turn to a monthly subscription model like MOG.
The new vision for Last.fm is perhaps even broader than it was: “our vision is for Last.fm to efficiently connect any user to ALL of the relevant streaming options in their country for every track we know about, as well as being able to personalise listening preferences Last.fm-wide.”
This seems to me like a smart move for Last.fm. CBSRadio has identified the best strength of Last.fm in that it connects listeners around and about music. They can do that, provide channel streaming services, and leave the tricky on-demand stuff to other services. It’s actually what Google Music is doing with Pandora and a few other services, except that Last.fm will be providing its own streaming option as well. Which Google Music is not doing (yet).
AndoMedia has released its monthly ranker of listening estimates to Internet radio platforms that are measured by Webcast Metrics, which uses a proprietary platform to track audience data and convert it to audience metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers.
For Domestic total week listening, Pandora’s audience continues to rank first, followed by CBSRadio’s online radio platform, which includes all its streaming broadcast stations as well as AOL and Yahoo Launchcast (but does not include CBSRadio-owned Last.fm). Clear Channel, Citadel, Entercom, Cox, EMF, ESPN and Radio One round out the top ten online radio platforms on the domestic ranker which counts only verified US based listening.
The All Streams ranker, which counts all listening to an online group or station’s streams, shows some stations that are not providing location verified listening data. Big online brands Digitally Imported, 977Music, 1.fm and AccuRadio push some broadcaster based platforms out of the top ten in this ranker.
AndoMedia points out that this month the average number of listening sessions, sessions started and time spent listening all increased. More info and the actual rankers are available here.
If you spent the weekend in a cave you might be unaware that Apple’s new iPad hit stores on saturday and sold 700k units on day one. Some Internet radio stations got a jump on releasing their iPad streaming apps.
AccuRadio announced the release of their new app on friday afternoon, before the device even hit the stores. At the time of the AccuRadio app’s debut in the iTunes App Store on Friday afternoon, AccuRadio was one of only three U.S. webcasters that had music-focused, iPad-optimized apps available in the store, the others being Pandora and CBS.
“AccuRadio is designed for mainstream adults who don’t have the time or patience to spend a lot of time building their own radio channels,” AccuRadio Founder Kurt Hanson explained. “Consumers using AccuRadio can launch a great-sounding channel of music with just a couple of clicks of a mouse – or, in the case of the iPad, taps of their finger — and then have the optionof personalization.”
Meanwhile, CBS Interactive Music Group announced a new app called The Radio.com which provides access to CBS RADIO’s over the air, HD multicast and digital only stations, along with more than 400 stations from leading online radio providers, including 150 plus from Yahoo! Music. Features of the app include Last.fm’s “scrobbling” technology which enables listeners to personalize and share their song preferences and playlists.
Pandora’s CTO Tom Conrad describes Pandora’s iPad app as magical. In his blog post Conrad says “just tap the Pandora icon and let the music play while you read about the bands and music you discover. Pass it back and forth with a friend and share your discoveries. My hope is that it can play the same role that the album cover did when I was a kid…”
Kudos to these three Internet radio platforms for getting out in front with great apps that will feature Internet radio on the new iPad. It’s a great way for them to showcase their platforms and reach a new, highly engaged group of listeners. Along the way, they’re growing Internet radio’s audience as well…
Newly released data from comScore puts Internet radio rep Targetspot’s network at the top of the “Entertainment-Radio” category for the month of February. Targetspot reps all of CBSRadio’s Internet radio sites which include AOL Radio and Launchcast as well as CBSRadio’s broadcast stations’ streams. In addition, Targetspot sells streaming audio ads on Slacker, MySpace Music and GOOM Radio.
It’s no surprise that their reach is large and their rank in comScore shows that is indeed the case. A Targetspot press release touts the info, saying “the company reaches more than 64% of the Entertainment-Radio category and 14% of the total Internet audience.”
It’s good to finally have some data to quantify the extent of Targetspot’s network reach. It’s important however, to understand what this comScore data is telling us, and what it is not. This ranker measures the number of persons that visit a website, not the number of listeners to a stream. The “Entertainment-Radio” category compares networks with websites in that category, and tracks traffic to those websites. comScore’s data is a useful tool for selling website impressions such as display banners.
So while it is good information, it’s data that is not about the number of listeners that a station has, and it’s information that is difficult to use to sell or purchase audio ads. It’s not as good as it would be if we could finally see the Targetspot network measured in AndoMedia’s Webcast Metrics report – which is a report that contains data about listeners to streams rather than visitors to websites.
This is Targetspot’s first inclusion in the report, which also measures Clear Channel Online, Pandora, Westwood One, and ReplaceAds’ network. Targetspot aggregates more than 29 million unique site visitors within its network.
The following chart shows the adjusted comScore data from the top five companies in the Entertainment-Radio expanded category report ranked by largest audience:
Total Unique % Rank Name Visitors (000) Reach ----- ---------------------------------------------- -------------- ----- 1 TargetSpot - Adjusted Reach* 29,452 64% 2 WestWood One Partner Sites -potential reach 27,430 59% 3 ReplaceAds - potential reach 18,638 40% 4 PANDORA.com 12,556 27% 5 Clear Channel Online 9,164 20% * Based on adjusted numbers released by comScore on 3/10/10