A NY Times article yesterday provides a nice summary of the ongoing attempt of iHeartRadio to grow its reputation as an Internet radio portal and compete with TuneIn, an independant company that has been in the business of offering a universal directory with links to Internet radio streams, and making it easier to listen to Internet radio with apps and software directories for device and car manufacturers.
While iHeartRadio has 12 million registered users (that would be those who have ever registered to use the service once), TuneIn has 40 million monthly users. As a frame of reference, Pandora recently said they have 150 million registered users and 49 million used the service in the last 30 days – so roughly one-third of their registered user base are monthly listeners. That would put iHeartRadio’s monthly users at around 4 million.
The NY Times article provides a good, if oversimplified, summary of the two services, depicting them as similar in offerings and battling it out to be THE Internet radio aggregator. In fact, it would be better for services and listeners, if there were more than two aggregators offering access to every service out there, making it as easy as possible to listen. And stations, broadcasters and pureplays, should work with all of them. After all, easy access is supposed to be what the Internet is all about, isn’t it?
CBS RADIO has signed a non-exclusive deal with tunein, giving tunein listeners access to news, sports and talk content on more than 40 CBS RADIO stations. This news flies in the face of several exclusive deals recently leveraged by Clear Channel on its iHeartRadio platform, where some major broadcasters were signing away their rights to work with multiple online portals to engage listeners, and instead agreeing that the online online portal they would work with would be iHeartRadio.
“We have always believed in the value of great local content, and this agreement validates the demand we know exists for our original programming while at the same time creates a new revenue source for the company,” said Ezra Kucharz, President, CBS Local Digital Media. “By forging relationships with premiere distribution services such as tunein, CBS RADIO will significantly grow its audiences by exposing our content to new listeners.”
The CBS RADIO deal make a lot of sense, although it’s disappointing that only talk radio content is included. This may be due to tunein’s global appeal – CBS Radio restricts streaming of its music stations to the US. tunein has a suite of very popular mobile apps as well as deals with many devices and automakers, high rankings on iTunes for its popular app. According to Alexa, it’s one of the most popular websites in the US and world, ranking just above the top 1000. That’s a lot of potential listeners…
In the new world of metered mobile data plans, Onavo has developed an app that is very useful in helping folks keep track of their usage and even select apps that use data efficiently. You can download their app onto your smartphone which compresses the data that your apps use.
Onavo recently published data on music apps – focused on which apps were most popular among Onavo users, and which apps are most efficient. Turns out that TuneIn‘s app is the most widely used with 6.6% of IPhone users per month. TuneIn is also very efficient, ranking below other popular apps in terms of data usage.
TuneIn is a music app that serves as a directory for more than 50,000 radio stations, both terrestrial and online. They have one of the most popular music apps on iTunes. (They used to be RadioTime.)
But where is Pandora, you might be asking, and that is a good question. In terms of app users they rank second, right behind TuneIn with 5.8% of Onavo iPhone users. But in terms of data usage they’re much thirstier, using almost 3 times the amount of data.
It’s not clear to me from the chart that they have factored in the possibility that Pandora listeners are listening longer as a reason why they are using up lots more data. This would be a good thing to know. But it’s a fun chart from an interesting company who’s got an interesting view on the industry..