Jacobs Media has updated its annual Tech Survey, which is a study of the media habits of core radio users. It’s a study that has 9 years under its belt now, so it’s a great chance to take a look at trends.
In the big picture of how media stack up in terms of usage, there’s been a pretty big shift, with people using AM/FM an hour or more a day dropping below 90% into fourth place behind TV since the release of last year’s results. AM/FM fell 3% in a year, which is a shift that is hard to ignore. Meanwhile, usage of Internet radio weekly or more jumped 7% year to year to 45%. Last year’s survey results assigned 18% of Internet radio’s 38% to Pandora, but this year’s results don’t offer specifics on Pandora’s share.
One of the salient takeaways from this study is that listeners are connecting with radio across a more diverse set of technologies. Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs says it’s about “radio’s ability to uniquely connect with consumers on their preferred platform.” This survey of radio users is telling us loud and clear that they want to be able to access content across a diverse offering of media and devices.
In the Internet radio game, Pandora’s the one to beat. So says Jacobs Media’s new Tech Survey of 26,000 rock radio listeners in the US. According to Fred Jacobs, President of Jacobs Media, Pandora is “a threat to terrestrial radio.”
The study finds that within the pool of surveyed people who listen to Internet radio, 37% tune in Pandora. 43% of Pandora listeners are tuning in more often, meaning the service has momentum as well (15% are listening less). More than half of Pandora listeners like it more than terrestrial radio while only 5% like it less.
While many Pandora listeners had no complaints (37%), some listeners did. Gripes about the service included not allowing them to skip enough songs (hardly a complaint that terrestrial stations can take to heart). But one out of every five listeners also misses hearing real people and local info – something that terrestrial stations should take note of.
Pandora is emerging as the leader in the online music game in much the same way that Facebook and YouTube have dominated their spaces, says Jacobs. It’s true – at least in the US, which is the only place that listeners can hear Pandora. In other parts of the world, services like Spotify have had lots of time to build their brands. Facebook and YouTube both have global audiences.
With the new Facebook Open Graph feature, lots more listeners will be hearing about Pandora – earlier this week I noted that their integration into Facebook will be much bigger than the iPhone was for helping them to build awareness. But Facebook’s 400 million users are spread out all over the world. I’m guessing it won’t take long for Pandora to open up streams to folks in other parts of the world as well.
So what does this all mean for streaming broadcasters and smaller online stations? In addition to building their brand, Pandora is building awareness and fondness for Internet radio and connected listening. They’ve done more to build audience for Internet radio than anyone else, both on a desktop and even more so on mobile devices. They’re the face of Internet radio – as I said early and say often, they are the Kleenex of the industry. There’s plenty of ways for other services to focus on their audience and develop best ways to give them what they want. As a brand leader, Pandora is a good service. Others should sharpen their swords and aspire to make their offerings as popular with their own audiences…
Paul and Fred Jacobs are research and marketing gurus and owners of Jacobs Media. Recently, in addition to making names for themselves as consultants to public radio and rock radio stations, they’ve become experts in iPhones and custom apps for smartphones.
The two businesses are all about marketing. It’s still about about the audience, according to Paul Jacobs. Apps are more than a way to connect to a station’s stream, they create an engagement point with listeners. Apps are really a strategic marketing tool that enables a station to open up its brand to a mobile audience.
JacAPPS created the recently launched app for WEEI in Boston, and according to Jacobs, it’s the most robust and complex app that they have built, featuring content, scores and headlines, blogs, podcasts, and of course, a streaming player.
The jacAPPS radio app features artist and title information, one click stream access and an alarm clock function along with background/foreground play, station controls, and a rotating background panel that stations can easily control to create sponsorship opportunities. They’ve built about 140 apps for radio stations so far — for companies like Greater Media, Lincoln Financial, Entercom, Cox, NPR and EMF. They’re also working with some international companies.
In these days of little revenue growth, the app business has taken off for the Jacobs guys. Mobile strategy, more listeners, new revenue stream — and an average jacAPP costs $2k to $5k. Which makes me wonder what anyone is waiting for…
Boston sports fans have a new way to stay connected with their Sox and Pats, not to mention Celts and Bruins, with WEEI’s new iPhone app. Tim Murphy, Vice President/General Manager of WEEI.com says the new app gives fans a full 360-degree Boston sports experience right in the palm of their hands.
The application, designed by WEEI in partnership with jacAPPS, the mobile division of Jacobs Media, is the most complete sports radio and news application available for the iPhone. All content from WEEI Radio and WEEI.com is available in this application, including popular features like LIVE streaming, On Demand Audio, live local scores, WEEI.com blogs & columns featuring news and commentary from WEEI.com’s world-class team of journalists.
Impressive features include the ability to listen to live WEEI audio, while scrolling through news, scores and stories. Most iPhone streaming applications do not allow for multi-tasking on the device while streaming. On demand audio and video and a live streaming feature that allows the user to jump back 10 minutes and replay the audio are other standout features of this app.
“WEEI has been leading the digital shift in Boston Sports media since we made our initial upgrades in content and design back in August 2008,” Murphy said. “We’re convinced this new cutting-edge iPhone application will help us continue to dominate in the digital space.” Fans of Boston sports that do not have iPhones can still access WEEI streaming audio on their mobile device through Entercom’s partnership with Flycast.
WEEI’s a big station for Entercom, and they have diligently invested in tools and talent to enhance and expand their digital footprint with sports fans in Boston. An iPhone app makes a lot of sense as yet another way to brand and connect with their audience.