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Dashboard Integration Panel Includes Execs From Ford, Pioneer, Pandora at RAIN Summit Orlando

Innovative technology for connective cars continues, this week Pioneer Electronics debuted a new line-up of in-dash receivers that offer bluetooth and usb connectivity for Androids and iPhones. These affordable, aftermarket products make it even easier for consumers to connect and listen to streaming audio in their car, featuring Siri technology for voice commands, simplified Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming, enhanced  playback compatibility, and Pandora internet radio.

“The smartphone has become a part of most consumers’ lifestyles and a source of both entertainment and communication,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “Pioneer’s new CD receivers provide various means for integrating a variety of smartphones into the vehicle.”

At prices starting at $90. That sounds like a pretty affordable price point to me.

Pandora continues to lead the pack of services that come integrated into the new offerings, they recently announced that they are now integrated with more than 100 car models and 23 manufacturers. That doesn’t mean other services are unavailable – just that Pandora is front and center as the featured service in the car. Mazda recently integrated Pandora into its 2014 Mazda6, incorporating voice commands that make listening while driving very easy and fun.

Pioneer Electronics Ted Cardenas and Pandora’s Director of Automotive Business Development Geoff Snyder will join a panel discussion at RAIN Summit Orlando on Dashboard Integration. Other panelists include Ford’s Global Lead, Business Development and Partner Management Scott Burnell, Slacker SVP Steve Cotter, and TuneIn VP Kevin Straley.

RAIN Summit Orlando takes place Tuesday September 17 starting at noon and finishing with a cocktail reception in the evening. Register here, and use the code Audio4cast to save a few bucks. I hope to see you there!

 

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Pandora Reports First Profits

Pandora reported its first profits last week of $638,000 on revenues of $75 million for its third quarter of this year. This beats most analyst’s expectations and dashes last year’s losses for the same period of $1.77 million.

Pandora streamed 2.1 billion hours of programmimg -twice the numbers of last year same quarter. According to Chief Executive Officer Joe Kennedy, About half of Pandora’s $66 million in third-quarter advertising sales came from mobile users, a “triple-digit” increase from a year ago.

“Rapid growth of 104% year-over-year in listener hours and record Internet radio market share growth to 66% illustrates the strong demand for personalized radio,” stated Joe Kennedy, Chairman, President & CEO of Pandora. “Our growing scale and powerful, multi-product advertising platform is enabling Pandora to increasingly penetrate areas that were once solely served by terrestrial radio. Our momentum in transforming the radio industry is stronger than ever.”

For third quarter of fiscal 2012, total revenue was $75.0 million, a 99% year-over-year increase. Advertising revenue was $66.0 million, a 102% year-over-year increase. Subscription and other revenue was $9.0 million, an 80% year-over-year increase.

This news came a week after the Radio Advertising Bureau released third quarter revenues reporting $190 million in digital revenues for US based radio broadcasters in addition to modest growth in spot revenues.

Digital Revenues Becoming More Important To Radio

Broadcasters saw relief from declining spot revenues by selling more digital in the second quarter, according to new figures reported by the Radio Advertising Bureau. Digital revenues, including activity generated by websites, Internet/web streaming and HD Radio including HD2 and HD3 stations, was up 18% over the previous year’s second quarter. Those digital revenues are up 19% over last year.

Overall, spot revenues meanwhile are down – by 1% versus second quarter 2010, and flat for the year. There’s a stronger decline in national spot sales, with national radio rep Katz reporting a decline of nearly 3% in second quarter sales over a year ago separately last week.

Meanwhile, Katz 360, the digital sales arm of the Katz Media Group, has launched Katz 360 Local Media, a new online display advertising vehicle that offers advertisers premium placements on radio, television and newspaper publisher sites. That division will sell an aggregated network of nearly 50 million unique monthly visitors and one billion page views, according to July’s Comscore report.

Putting more focus on digital in general and mobile in particular is exactly what Borrell Associates recommends. Their latest report projects mobile audio ad spending will reach $667 million by 2016 — up from $161 million in 2011, with the bulk of that spending coming from local advertisers. Borrell thinks that radio has been missing the boat when it comes to using their local market knowledge and sales forces to capitalize on digital and mobile ad sales opportunities.

It Was A Very Good Year For Internet Radio

2010 New Year Dawn

Image by Big Jobs via Flickr

2010 was a very good year for Internet radio. As the year draws to a close I thought it would be worthwhile to review my posts for the past year and highlight some of the things that made it so.

January – There’s always a lot of talk about CES in January and this year a lot of the buzz was about Internet radio. Sony, Ford, Pioneer and other manufacturers were eager to talk about the ways they are integrating streaming radio capabilities into everything from tabletop radios to cars, and Pandora was in the thick of these announcements. Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told WSJ.com “Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing, Now, “they’re beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing.”

February – In February Bridge Ratings released a new study that pegged listening to Internet radio at 60 million weekly listeners in the US. The study cautioned broadcasters to do more than simply stream a simulcast of their over the air programming though, or risk losing listeners to online stations that are providing interesting interactive channels with fewer commercials.

March – In March Pandora announced that based on their calculations of the royalties they paid against all performance royalties paid to SoundExchange, they could claim 44% of all US listening to Internet radio as theirs.

April – Apple began selling iPads and Pandora, AccuRadio and CBSRadio were first to release new apps designed to grow their mobile audience.

May – The Radio Advertising Bureau released new revenue data reporting that digital revenues grew 18% in first quarter of 2010, after growing 13% overall in 2009. RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley remarked “Radio’s digital platforms are experiencing the greatest growth and are reflective of the dollar shift from media to marketing by many of today’s advertisers.” Later the same month, BIA/Kelsey predicted that digital revenues will grow to 30% of radio’s number by 2015 and hit $46.5 billion.

JuneWith the wild popularity of World Cup Soccer came a new streaming audio record set by ESPNRadio. ESPNRadio’s streaming coverage of the US match against Algeria brought them their biggest audience ever – the broadcast peaked at 180,000 listeners, according to AndoMedia and was nearly double their previous record, set on June 18th during the US versus Slovenia match.

Stay tuned for the second half of the year recap later this week..

Study: More Youth Listen to Pandora than all other Internet streams combined

There was a lot of great content at the Radio Show produced by RAB and NAB last week in DC, not the least of which was the sold out RAIN Summit which took place the afternoon before the Radio Show actually started, as an official partner event of the show. You can read RAIN’s coverage of the event here.

One excellent presentation during the Radio Show was Edison Research‘s American Youth Study 2010, which is “a significant survey of the media and technology habits of America’s 12-24 year-olds, and represents a sequel to a study originally conducted by Edison in 2000.” Sponsored by publication Radio-Info, the study looks at the media use behaviors of 12-24 year olds, and updates the behaviors of the demographic originally studied in 2000 – 22-34 year olds.

Some of the findings, bulleted:

  • Radio continues to be the medium most often used for music discovery, with 51% of 12-24 year-olds reporting that they “frequently” find out about new music by listening to the radio. Other significant sources include friends (46%), YouTube (31%) and social networking sites (16%).
  • 20% of 12-24s have listened to Pandora in the last month, with 13% indicating usage in the past week. By comparison, 6% of 12-24s indicated they have listened to online streams from terrestrial AM/FM stations in the past week.
  • More than four in five 12-24s own a mobile phone in 2010 (up from only 29% in 2000). 40% have used their phones to listen to music stored on their phones.

The American Youth Study 2010 by Edison Research

Digital Dollars For Radio Up Again

Radio revenue posted a 6% gain over a year ago, the largest year over year gain posted since third quarter of 2000, nearly a decade ago. The gain was made by national spot and digital revenue categories. Digital revenue as defined by the RAB, who released the report, includes all revenue derived from radio websites, and includes streaming. The report includes only AM/FM broadcasters and does not reflect revenue for the overall Internet radio category.

While the growth for national spot revenue was a huge comeback for radio from the 10% decline of last year, the digital category shows enormous positive momentum, growing at an even more rapid pace than it grew last year.

Last year, the digital revenue category was the only revenue category that showed growth for radio, with an annual rate of +13% over 2008. In the year end report for 2009, RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley remarked “Radio’s digital platforms are experiencing the greatest growth and are reflective of the dollar shift from media to marketing by many of today’s advertisers,”

Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. hit $5.9 billion for the first quarter of 2010, representing a 7.5 percent increase over the same period in 2009. While digital dollars for Radio are growing faster than the entire digital spend, Radio’s 480 Million in digital dollars remains a small segment of that pie.

Digital Dollars Continue To Grow For Broadcasters

The Radio Advertising Bureau recently released 09 year end and fourth quarter revenue analysis showing that digital platforms were the only revenue category that grew last year. As opposed to Local and National spot, Network and Off-air revenue categories, Digital inventory produced $480 million in 2009, representing a 13% increase in digital revenue.

This is not a strictly streaming number, instead it represents all revenue derived from a station’s website, including activity generated by the websites, internet/web streaming and HD Radio including HD2 and HD3 stations. The report acknowledges that radio’s digital platform continues to provide listeners more choice and deliver additional options for advertisers who, according to the report “increasingly recognize Radio’s loyal audiences who tune in via multiple audio devices such iPods, HD, mobile apps, etc.” Specifically, the analysis points out that Radio’s opt-in communities, ability to drive website traffic, and and branded online opportunities provide additional revenue builders for the industry.

In addition to providing the only growth category for last year, digital revenue is becoming an increasingly significant portion of the revenue solution for broadcasters. In 2009 it represented 6.5% of total revenue (it’s not broken out from all off-air revenue for 2008). Media strategy firm BIA/Kelsey has projected that digital revenues will grow to 30% of radio’s number by 2015 and hit $46.5 billion.

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