5/6/13: Jacobs presents insight into radio listeners' tech usage

Paul Maloney
May 6, 2013 - 1:00pm

Jacobs Media released the results of this year's TechSurvey 9 today -- their study of the habits and adoption of technology by radio listeners. Jacobs, for what it calls the "largest technology survey ever conducted for radio," examined how "Baby Boomers" plus "Gen's X, Y, and Z" across twelve radio formats use Internet streaming, social media, mobile technology, and more.

The TechSurvey 9 "Media Usage Pyramid 2013" (below) shows that 45% of Jacobs' respondents are now weekly Internet radio listeners. Interestingly, this is the same percentage Arbitron and Edison Research (in their Infinite Dial 2013 study) found as monthly Net radio users. Their weekly reach was just 33%. Keep in mind that The Infinite Dial examined a wider base of study subjects. See more in RAIN here.

Fully 20% of those studied are weekly Pandora listeners -- but Jacobs points out nearly a third of Pandora listeners are getting annoyed by commercials (that number was 20% last year).

This year, 11% of TechSurvey respondents own a "digital dash" system like Ford Sync in their cars. More than half of those surveyed can connect iPods or smartphones to their car's dash (62% of Gen Y).

In the press release, Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs says his "takeaway" is "radio’s ability to uniquely connect with consumers on their preferred platforms is the secret sauce for future success in the digital space." Likely a thought Jacobs will explain in more detail during the six webinars the team will present on the study (each focusing on a different radio format group). Details and registration are here. See more graphs from the study, including a larger version of the "Media Usage Pyramid," here.

Paul Maloney
May 6, 2013 - 1:00pm

Digital Music News today revisits the topic of radio broadcast groups forging licensing deals with small record companies that effectively discount streaming fees for a small revenue share for on-air play.

Clear Channel is the largest radio operator engaged in these deals, with label groups like Big Machine, Glassnote, and more. Other broadcasters with similar deals include Entercom and Beasley.

While the terms of these deals aren't public, Digital Music News writes, "In return for getting royalties for airplay, rumoured to be around 1% of revenue, the labels agree to bypass SoundExchange and so cut their online royalty rates to what's rumoured to be around 3% of revenue." [Most AM/FM radio stations pay nothing to use sound recordings on-air. This year most broadcasters will pay $0.0022 per song, per listener for songs streamed online. See more in our royalties round-up under "Commercial Broadcasters" here.]

If it's true radio sees the end of free broadcast use of sound recordings coming, broadcasters might be trying to stay ahead of government regulators by voluntarily entering deals, rather than waiting for the Copyright Royalty Board to set a less favorable rate (see "Internet radio"), as the article suggests.

"The reason (Clear Channel would agree to these terms) must be to drive down the overall royalty rates it has to pay," Digital Music News reasons.

After the news source gets its customary digs against Pandora and Clear Channel in, it points out that while these deals do give recording copyright owners (labels) a bit of a royalty for on-air play (for which they're legally entitled to nothing under current U.S. law), they may not be ideal for performers. For one, there's no guarantee of a consistent rate from deal-to-deal.

And record companies have an extra incentive to forge these agreements: unlike SoundExchange payments, labels aren't legally required to share them with performers.

Industry legal expert David Oxenford has some excellent analysis of these deals in Broadcast Law Blog here.

Read more in Digital Music News here.

Paul Maloney
May 6, 2013 - 1:00pm

Online news source VentureBeat says it came across an SEC filing that reveals a company called Feed Media has just raised $1.1 million dollars. The man behind Feed Media is Blip.fm and "people-powered" online radio Fuzz, Jeff Yasuda (see more in RAIN here).

Yasuda confirmed to VentureBeat that Feed Media owns "a handful of media properties," including Blip.fm ("a Twitter for streaming music") and Fuzz. As we reported at its beta launch, Fuzz allows users to create their own Internet radio stations for others to enjoy from their own personal music playlists.

There aren't really any details of what Feed Media will be, exactly, but VentureBeat posited this: "A music-based focus would make sense since it already has some licensing deals in place for Fuzz that could translate over to other music properties... Still, investors are willing to sink some serious cash into it, which is enough to keep us interested." You can read more of VentureBeat's coverage here.