A newly released study done by Targetcast, a communications firm, has some good and bad news for broadcast radio. The good: Adults 18 to 64 were found to still consider radio to be an important touchpoint for new music discovery. The not-so-good: 18 to 24 year olds were likely to indicate that radio is not so relevant to them.
Released study findings show that consumers indicate that several traditional media including newspapers, magazines and, to a lesser degree, radio, will need to change the most in the coming years. Newspapers led the pack of media needing to change, with nearly 60% of consumers surveyed identifying this medium as the one that will need to change the most – compared to 30% for magazines and 20% for radio.
Another notable discovery from the research: Men are more likely than women to replace radio with digital alternatives such as mp3 players or Internet stations, while women are more likely to stick with their favorite radio stations.
The bottom line should be taken as a shot across the bow by broadcast radio: “41% of those surveyed indicate that radio is still relevant in today’s media environment. According to respondents, radio provides a great venue to discover new music that cannot be experienced elsewhere. Maybe somewhat surprising, respondents overall prefer to listen to music through the radio station vs. Internet stations or on their mp3 player. ” However, within that overall conclusion there are several key demographics that are indicating a willingness to transfer their affinity to digital music sources including personal devices such as Internet radio, ipods, iphones and other multi-media devices.
Katz Online Network and Ando Media announced that they’ve reached an agreement that will allow all national sales agents in the digital audio space to utilize Webcast Metrics for audience measurement. Webcast Metrics is Ando Media’s server based audience measurement platform. Prior to this announcement, Katz Online Network had been the exclusive media representation firm using Webcast Metrics. This announcement clears the way for other firms to subscribe to Webcast Metrics for audience measurement.
Currently, some online radio rep companies use comScore Arbitron and some use Webcast Metrics. Until recently, ComScore Arbitron’s biggest subscribing stations were AOL and Yahoo, but with CBSRadio taking both of those entities into their online network, they moved to the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform which CBSRadio was already using. Clear Channel recently selected Webcast Metrics for audience measurement as well. Targetspot represents CBSRadio’s entire online radio network, while Katz Online also represents the streaming broadcast stations in its network. But Targetspot is not a subscriber to Webcast Metrics. Now, Katz has opened up their exclusive deal with Ando Media to allow them and other media rep companies access to the audience measurement platform they believe should become the standard.
Katz Online’s Brian Benedik says “This will enable the industry to move toward adopting a standard methodology for online radio audience measurement. No doubt, buyers would welcome an industry standard.” Agencies and buyers should welcome the ability to compare all stations within one measurement platform – this could very well stimulate additional spending from national advertisers.
UPDATE: Ando Media’s Bob Maccini confirms that Targetspot will indeed subscribe to Webcast Metrics and use it for audience measurement of its network.
Arbitron recently posted October and November audience reports for seven online radio networks on its website. In November, Arbitron reports that the cume of the entities that they measure is close to 8.5 million on a weekly, Monday to Sunday, 6am to midnight daypart.
The Targetspot Internet Radio Network is the largest measured network on the report with a weekly cume of 5.5 million and nearly 450,000 AQH. That network includes 4 of the other, smaller networks on the report: CBSRadio, Yahoo/Launchcast, Live365, and a small RL Select sub-network. CBSRadio ranks second on the report as a standalone – including the AOLRadio audience which was absorbed into that network during 2008. A newcomer to this report, ReplaceAds, takes third place on this ranker, with a cume of 2.2 million, and Clear Channel’s Online Music and Radio network has a cume of close to 1.6 million.
Arbitron’s online audience measurement is obtained from web research company’s comScore’s panel data, which Arbitron licenses, utilizes and rebrands as its online radio product. The service measures only subscribing entities, which makes it impossible to draw any conclusions about the total Internet radio listening universe.
According to a new study of radio listenership released by American Media Services, Internet radio’s audience is growing. The percentage of respondents who had listened to Internet radio in the past week was 39% up from 23% six months ago. Another 23% of the respondents had listened in the past month. That’s 62% combined who have listened to Internet radio in the last month.
The majority of respondents listened to Internet-only stations as opposed to stations playing the same thing as on the radio. When asked what would make them want to listen to Internet radio more, the top 3 items mentioned were more music, fewer commercials, and greater selection. This would be an indicator to stations that a diverse offering of music could serve to broaden their reach. Broadcasters looking for they key to success online would be wise to offer streams that expand and extend their brand while offering something different than what is available on the broadcast station.
Like so many internet based media offerings, Internet radio will succeed as a “long tail” medium, where listeners are dispersed among a wide variety of channels.