AndoMedia presented a preview of new metrics at RAIN Summit East last week. In keeping with the format of the Summit, Patrick Reynolds of Ando gave us a few snapshots of data. The online listening audience measured by AndoMedia grew from 204 Million in May of 2009 to 234 Million in August of 2009 – and according to Reynolds, that growth was attributable to increased listening, not to increased number of stations being measured. After the presentation he also told me that number does not include Pandora’s audience, which would surely have an impact.
The average Internet radio listener streams nine sessions per week, and 77% of listeners stream every week. I particularly like that last stat. An enormous percentage of Twitter users signed up, tweeted a few times, and have yet to return to the medium. Twitter retains only about 40% of its users from one month to the next. The fact that streaming audio is keeping ¾ of its audience active on a weekly basis is very promising for continued growth.
Ando is about to make significant changes to its measurement, and Reynolds talked a little about some of the new terms they will be using. Replacing Average Quarter Hour will be the term Average Open Sessions, which will count all sessions of at least a minute in length. This unit is closer to the actual data they are collecting and requires less manipulation. It’s also more in keeping with terms used in other digital media metrics.
According to Reynolds the changes have been blessed by MRC, the board they are working with for accreditation of Webcast Metrics. He promises a new ranker soon, following a four month hiatus while they worked through some of these transitions.
Time Magazine has published a list of 50 Best Websites, which will provide me with several hours of surfing. Without checking out any of the ones I haven’t heard of, I am delighted to see Delicious sitting at #3, although I would have put it at number one. Delicious, a social bookmarking site owned by Yahoo, is the one place on the web I visit everyday and could not live without. I use it to organize things I read, sites I visit, and all information that I find on the web. I frequently bookmark articles there for the Articles I’m Reading section of Audio4cast.
Another site that I use a lot, Flickr, is also on the list. I use this one to get images for my blog, but it’s also a great place to share pics. Twitter, Google, Facebook and Skype, all indispensable to my online self, made the list as well.
Pandora, Spotify, Musicovery and Last.fm represent Internet radio on the list. Pandora and Last.fm are “near twin radio killers” according to Time, while Musicovery is “a music-streaming site with a mood-ring interface that works like a soundboard for adjusting your robot DJ’s musical taste….(with an interface) so radically different from Pandora and Last.fm that it seems like it was beamed from an ultra-sophisticated, über-arty future utopia. ” Spotify, according to Time, is the holy grail, celestial jukebox that will stream any song you want and pay the royalties for you. Given that you can’t listen in the US yet, it might be just a little early for them to appear on this list, but it’s definitely trendy to talk about them.
It’s a great list. Unfortunately, they forgot Audio4cast, but there’s always next year….
By Michael Schmitt
In reading and covering radio and Internet news for RAIN: The Radio and Internet Newsletter, I’ve come across a lot of frustration over my generation. Generation Y, The Millenials, the Echo Boomers, whatever you want to call us, we’re radio-less, meaning, we never grew up with a cherished radio station, never rushed home from school to hear a radio program or hear what new hits are playing. But as I have a foot in both camps, and spend my days writing about radio’s transition into the digital medium, maybe I can offer some youthful perspective on how to best target the new generation. Here’s how one new 20-something sees it:
– We know what we want
Whether it’s through the Internet, friends, magazines, or whatever, we’ve discovered what genres and artists we like. Music discovery has shifted from radio to the Internet. I can find new artists on my own online. I know when new albums are coming out and I know what songs I like on that album. I don’t need singles to tell me what songs to like and I don’t need radio to inform me about new music. Perhaps most importantly, I’ll take music advice from my friend Elizabeth (or even from Twitter pal @christinajacobs) over some DJ any day, thank you very much.
— We know where to find better jukeboxes
If all a radio station offers is a continuous line of songs, broken here and there by commercial breaks or DJ chatter, I’m not interested. I have at least half a dozen other choices for jukebox-like playback, all of which cater specifically to me. I’m referring of course to Pandora, Last.fm, Imeem, iTunes’ Genius playlist creator and more. Heck, there’s even just the “Random” button on my iPod. Many of these allow me to continually shape my radio station as well, helping it adapt to my ever-changing likes and dislikes.
— We want more, please
This doesn’t mean that all we want out of music is a jukebox though. Far from it. Frankly, I’m tired of my Pandora channels. I want more. Remember how I said we know what we want? We also want more of it. Satisfy us. Give us something we can’t get from our iPods, our Torrent sites, our Pandora jukeboxes.
Here’s what radio can offer
Use your contacts and talent to create content I can’t get elsewhere. Interviews, in-studio performances, unreleased B-sides. Anything that goes beyond the album and gives fans of artists more of what they crave. I’ll tune in. And if you do it well, I’ll come back for more.
I was driving home late one night and — as I had forgotten to bring a CD along — was seeing what the radio had to offer. I came across an interesting interview with an artist, discussing how she had customized her Gibson guitar since getting it ten years ago. I was hooked. She turned out to be a blues artist – a genre I frankly can’t stand – but I listened to the whole interview and her in-studio performance. I actually sat in the car in my driveway until the segment concluded. Content like that is unique, interesting and attractive to music fans—no matter what generation they belong to.