6/19/13: Arbitron eliminates simulcast requirement for out-of-market streaming

Paul Maloney
June 19, 2013 - 12:50pm

Arbitron alerted its clients today that, at the request of the radio advisory council, it is eliminating the "simulcast" requirement for streaming outside a station's home Metro and DMA for those stations that include streaming audience in "total line reporting" (TLR).

The new rule says a station need only stream a 100% simulcast (all content, including commercials) in its home Metro and DMA. The new policy allows the station to stream any content it likes outside its home Metro/DMA.

Previously, Arbitron required stations that wanted to include streaming listeners in TLR audience to stream exactly what went out over the air, including local advertising. This meant a potential waste of ad inventory that could have been used more effectively. A listener three states away would hear the same ad for Pete's Pizza on 10th and Main a local listener heard.

Beginning last month Arbitron began allowing stations to substitute ads to streaming listeners outside a station's metro, but only with ads from the same advertiser, and still be eligible for TLR (see RAIN here). While this may have worked for national advertisers, it usually didn't help stations still airing ads that only made sense for local listeners.

This news will likely change the dynamic of the debate amongst broadcasters whether to simulcast streams, or take advantage of ad-insertion technology to increase ad inventory (or, for that matter, whether to stream at all).

Arbitron's new rule goes into effect with the July PPM period and Summer diary survey.

Paul Maloney
June 19, 2013 - 12:50pm

There's a new study out from GroupM Next that it says shows Internet radio listeners are younger, more affluent, listen in more places, and are more open and responsive to ads (on online radio) than those who listen mainly to AM/FM.

According to the research, avid Internet radio listeners averaged 34 years of age, with the typical broadcast listener at 47. Yet both groups have the same average income -- meaning the Net radio fan attained his/her level of affluence 13 years earlier.

Inside Radio today reported on the white paper, called "The Internet Radio Marketplace: Who Listens, Where, and Why You Should Care." GroupM Next, by the way, is the firm that said it found 34% of respondents it surveyed would switch from their current favorite webcast service to the forthcoming iTunes Radio from Apple, sight-unseen (reported here).

More than 40% of Internet radio listeners reported listening to streaming radio at every location listed in the study ("home, work, car, gym and/or while running errands"). GroupM Next calls the workplace and the gym the emerging "earbud markets."

"Smartphones are freeing consumers to listen to Internet radio in more locations, with greater privacy and less distraction," the report comments.

Of course, AM/FM's traditional stronghold is the car. The company's Steve Sherfy blogged about another finding of the study: "The inclusion of in-dash digital audio increased consumers' auto purchase intent by 14%. There are very few, if any, non-performance features that have similar sway over a potential buyer's checkbook."

GroupM Next says their data shows Internet radio listeners are more open to receiving advertising, and less likely to take measures to avoid it, than broadcast radio listeners. And for the ads they do hear, Net radio fans are twice as likely to have purchased a product which they hear advertised on Internet radio in the last month, compared to broadcast partisans.

See the paper from GroupM Next here, and read Sherfy's blog here.

Paul Maloney
June 19, 2013 - 12:50pm

Satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM Radio announced today Ford will add the SiriusXM Internet radio app to cars with its SYNC AppLink.

This means that for the first time, features available previously only on the web -- SiriusXM's customizable MySXM streaming radio and SiriusXM On Demand programming -- would be available in certain Ford vehicles. The New York Times says Ford's app support would also, for the first time, allow subscribers to use the SiriusXM Internet radio app on iPhones and Android handsets. 

Obviously, satellite radio began as a medium primarily intended for the in-car audience. But SiriusXM has evolved its streaming technology in recent years to enable features that would likely be unfeasible via satellite broadcasting, like custom music streams.

Ford's SYNC AppLink will enable voice command, steering wheel, or dashboard control of the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

The Times writes, "Sirius XM will have plenty of streaming-music competition on Ford Sync dashboards, which already include Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker and Mog. There are also traditional radio stations offering streaming channels through TuneIn, plus independent station apps and Clear Channel’s iHeartAuto, which streams more than 800 stations from 150 cities."

Read the SiriusXM press release here. There's more from The New York Times here.

Paul Maloney
June 19, 2013 - 12:50pm

Filmmakers producing a documentary about the song "Happy Birthday" say Warner/Chappel has no right to collect royalties on it, and have filed a class action suit.

The movie producers say they now have irrefutable evidence to show that any possible copyright on the song expired no later than 1921. The aim of the suit is to have the song declared "public domain," and for Warner /Chappel to return the million of dollars its collected on royalties.

The Hollywood Reporter has more here, including this link to the full complaint. That sweet image is from Laughing Squid here.