Electronic dance music, EDM, is getting a lot of buzz lately. Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio launched an EDM channel called Evolution in November with quite a bit of fanfare, including mixes curated by famous DJ’s like Pete Tong and a party in NYC hosted by Afrojack, another world famous EDM style DJ. Evolution quickly became the most popular online only channel on iHeartRadio. Next Clear Channel flipped its new station in Boston, WHBA, to the format.
As still more evidence of the popularity of the format, Billboard decided last week to start a new Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.
But EDM is not a new radio format, nor is it newly popular. It’s been a huge hit online for years, as stations like Digitally Imported know. DI.fm is the biggest electronic music station in the world, with more than 50 channels and more than a million listeners, according to Ari Shohat, Founder of the station. He says that EDM is a very broad category of music and the new stations and chart are focusing on the pop acts. One of the first Internet radio stations, DI launched in 1999 and plays “addictive electronic music” and offers listeners the long tail, with 50 channels of everything from House and Hardcore to Techno and Trance.
DI has had a large listener base for a long time. The new wave of more mass appeal stations online and on-air, as well as the new attention to the format from Billboard are benefitting from a format that has been alive and well online for a long time. EDM may be the first format to actually take hold online and then move on-air, but it probably won’t be the last..
RAIN Summit West 2011, the largest gathering of Internet radio people and information, will take place on Monday April 11th at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas. This will be the 9th annual event, each year it gets bigger and better, growing in scope and size along with the marketplace. (As a disclaimer I’ll tell you that I’m very involved in organizing it.)
One of the scheduled panels will be a discussion of the future of music, featuring some really smart entrepreneurs in the streaming music space. Michael Robertson, Founder of MP3Tunes is one of streaming music’s true pioneers, having founded MP3.com and sold it to Universal/Vivendi will be on that panel. He will be joined by David Hyman, Founder of on-demand subscription streaming service MOG. Hyman’s past lives include CEO of Gracenote. Eric Johnson is the COO of Wolfgang’s Vault, one of my favorite online streaming places. Ari Shohat‘s Digitally Imported is one of the most listened to online stations, and he’s a sharp entrepreneur as well. The panel will be moderated by TAG Strategic’s Ted Cohen, a past record company executive and well known digital music consultant.
Need more reasons to attend? You can review the full agenda here. To save 20% on standard registration, go here and use the code AUDIO4CAST20. If you’re a broadcaster or webcaster, you don’t even need to use that discount, there’s a special rate of $79 for you. Including lunch and cocktails!
RAIN Summit West is a really great opportunity to meet people, get information and expand your expertise. See you there!
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 a new ranker for June 2010 which resolves an ongoing issue that had prevented some key online only (or pureplay) stations from being presented in their domestic ranker. Digitally Imported, 977Music, and 1.fm had previously shown up in the All Streams ranker, but due to some technical measurement issues AndoMedia was unable to report on their US only streams. This month those stations debut in the US based streams report as well, joining AccuRadio and Pandora for a total of five online stations in the listing of the top streaming stations or networks measured by AndoMedia.
Pandora, which sits prominently atop the ranker with more than three times the average number of streams per minute (AAS) than the next platform (which happens to be CBS Radio, including AOL and Yahoo’s streaming radio platforms). Thanks to Pandora, listening to online only stations exceeds listening to broadcast streams on the top twenty domestic ranker as well.
Another highlight from this monthly ranker is ESPNRadio’s number, which reflects a huge increase thanks to massive listening to streams of World Cup matches. The average number of domestic streams for that service leapt from 10,103 to 16,758.
Will consumers pay for online content they get now for free? That’s a question that Nielsen recently asked 27,000 consumers in 52 countries – and the answer was a resounding “maybe”. After 85% declared that they prefer getting their content for free, survey participants went on to indicate which content they would – or already have – paid for.
In fact, about a third of those surveyed indicated that they have or would be willing to pay for radio (music), and about a quarter for radio (news). 27 or 28% indicated they would or have already paid for podcasts.
Caveats are that they don’t want to see ads if they’re paying for the content, and they expect the content to be “better” than what they were getting for free. Men were more tolerant than women of the idea of advertising, and residents of North American countries were least tolerant globally of the idea of advertising within paid content.
It’s an interesting study in the ongoing debate of best ways to monetize online content. Applied specifically, this information would encourage online stations to create unique channels of audio content that they can charge for, and cultivate customers for that content from within their larger audience base.
Some online stations have been doing this – for $36 a year you can listen to Pandora’s Pandora One, which gives listeners a special desktop app, ad free listening, higher quality audio, and other special features. Digitally Imported offers a similar premium package for $5.95 a month, and Radioio offers an “audiophile subscription” that includes their 52 basic channels plus 20 channels only available to subscribers, along with ad free and better quality streaming.
AndoMedia has (finally) released audience data for May, June, July, August and September 2009, now called the Internet Audio Top 20. The long wait for new rankers was a result of an overhaul to the ratings. Substantial changes include moving to a one-minute listening session as qualifier for measurement instead of the old five minute rule; and new metrics such as Session Starts, Average Active Sessions, and Average Time Spent Listening to replace Average Quarter Hour and Cume. From the press release, here are the definitions of each term:
- Session Starts is defined as “The number of streams of one minute or more that are started within a time period.”
- Average Active Sessions is defined as “The average number of streams of one minute or more that are active within a time period.”
- Average Time Spent Listening is defined as “The average number of hours for each session lasting more than one minute within a time period.”
There’s no sign of Targetspot’s network in this ranker, although they announced in April that they would begin using Ando’s measurement, consolidating the industry on one audience measurement platform. Katz’ Online Network is the only sales network reflected in these new rankers.
Last week, “Pureplay” webcasters and Sound Exchange came to agreement on royalty rates for the use of sound recordings by Internet Radio stations for the period from 2006-2010. The deal, and analysis of it’s benefits, have been well summarized by David Oxenford (the attorney that represented the webcasters) here, and by Kurt Hanson, Publisher of RAIN: The Radio and Internet Newsletter on his blog.
As Hanson explains, the deal benefits “webcasters who … who have aspirations of earning more than $1.25 million in revenues per year — but are not wholly-owned divisions of multi-billion-dollar companies (e.g., AOL & Yahoo and CBS & other terrestrial broadcast groups). Those webcasters, and some of the known parties in the group, are Pandora, AccuRadio, Digitally Imported and Radioio.
Like the deal negotiated by broadcasters with Sound Exchange earlier this year, this agreement saves these webcasters from further costly CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) negotiations, establishes performance royalty rates that are lower than the rates established by the CRB, and gives smaller webcasters fixed percentage of revenue rates until they hit annual revenue marks somewhere over a million per year.
While there are critics, there’s no doubt that this deal benefits the certain group that participated in the negotiations, giving them relief from CRB-established rates. Congrats to David Oxenford, Kurt Hanson, Joe Kennedy, Ari Shohat, Mike Roe, and others who participated in the negotiations – I know from previous experience that it’s a long and frustrating process. More importantly, it’s a very expensive process – other webcasters that benefit from this option owe thanks and perhaps more to the companies that stepped up to get it done.