2010 was the year that Internet radio finally became a household word – although to many that word may have been “Pandora“. Pandora’s popularity on iPhone and other smartphones really took hold this year, listening became more commonplace and many other stations benefitted as well. Apple‘s introduction of iPad created more excitement for Internet radio apps, and car manufacturers got into the game as well. Here’s a synopsis of key stories from the second half of the year…
August – In August Bridge Ratings gave us more interesting data on Internet radio’s audience, using Nielsen’s PRIZM lifestyle groupings to establish listening patterns among certain lifestyle groups. Not surprisingly, it’s the young, urban, educated and trend setting groups that are fueling adoption of Internet radio in the US.
September – September brought some interesting data on mobile music listening. According to eMarketer, 21.7 million listen to mobile music now and that number will grow to more than 52 million by 2014. comScore had the number even higher, with info showing that 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices during the 3 month average period ending in July, 2010 and close to 34 million (14.5%) of them listened to music on them.
October – In October I wrote that Pandora had recently announced that they had 65 million registered users, a number that increased 8% in three months. In the same post I noted recent words from Pandora’s Tim Westergren who pointed out that all of Internet radio is just 3% of radio listening right now while 90% is to broadcast radio. That, says Westergren, is where Pandora’s growth will come from.
November – In November Clear Channel announced a new partnership with Toyota to put their iheartradio streaming platform in cars, a first for broadcasters moving to work with car manufacturers to create streaming radio opportunities for their platforms in ways similar to Pandora/Ford. Live365 rolled out a new platform Athena 365, targeting women, and RadioTime put their tuner on Google TV.
December – In December we learned, from Coleman Insights, that some folks just prefer to listen online – of the 17% of the population that is streaming monthly, 48% say they don’t listen to any over the air radio. The report emphasized that listeners are not shunning AM/FM radio as much as choosing a preferred platform for listening, making it critical that broadcasters view all of their distribution technologies as equally important. There are indications that that is the case – BRS Media reported that more than 75% of broadcasters who featured Christmas music were doing so online.
In addition to lots of positive news and momentum, the industry as a whole began to shape up this year. RAIN Summits, the premiere educational and networking events for the industry, hosted several excellent events including a sold out event at the Radio Show in September. More people, more professionalism, more buzz – all good things for our burgeoning business.
Thanks for reading Audio4cast this year, I wish you a profitable and healthy 2011!
In a savvy and innovative move, RadioTime has optimized their Internet radio portal called TuneIn for Google TV. This news comes as the most recent in a list of placements and partnerships that position RadioTime as a key portal to Internet radio listening. That list includes deals with device and automotive manufacturers as well as apps for smartphone mobile listening.
TuneIn Radio features RadioTime’s new Song Search technology, which allows users to quickly and easily search the directory of over 50,000 AM/FM and Internet-only radio stations for specific songs, artists, programs and stations. The TuneIn Radio home page automatically displays a user’s local AM/FM stations, and provides links to search the entire directory by selections such as “Music,” “Talk,” and “Sports,” as well as an enormous library of podcasts.
Users who create a free account on RadioTime.com can link their presets to their Google TV accounts, and save and access presets on Google TV, RadioTime.com and the TuneIn Radio mobile apps.
“Before the Internet, before television, there was radio, and the medium has remained a primary source of news, sports and music for 100 years,” said Bill Moore, CEO, RadioTime. “Seeing TuneIn Radio in Google TV Spotlight next to websites from such well-known content providers as CNN and Vimeo is extremely gratifying and validates all the hard work our team has put in to bringing the TuneIn Radio experience to Google TV.”
RadioTime continues to come up with excellent manuvers to build traffic through their portal that make them more and more essential to both listeners and content providers. It seems to be working – particularly in the US where their traffic rank on Alexa has them at 1569. May they thrive…