6/25/13: Merlin data shows indies have wider share of streaming than download market

Paul Maloney
June 25, 2013 - 12:50pm

There's a fascinationg quote in Evolver.fm today. Eliot Van Buskirk is quoting Charles Caldas, who is CEO of Merlin, an organization that represents independent music labels.

Caldas revealed to Van Buskirk that, according to Merlin survey data, the indie labels' share of listening on "streaming platforms" is 12% to 20% better than indies' share of the download market.

That is, indie label music seems to garner a larger share of the listeners on services like Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, and Slacker than their share of sales in the iTunes Store, Amazon, etc.

"Freedom of choice created by limitless 'shelf' space and a proliferation of social media tastemaker filters is leading fans, no longer herded by the expensive, tightly-controlled media channels and store fronts of physical retail, to discover and enjoy more music than ever before," Caldas said.

There's undoubtedly various ways to interpret Merlin's finding. But this newsletter has long suggested that streaming services (Internet radio in particular), with the ability to target niche audiences, would eventually be a boon to independent artists and labels who create art outside the "lowest common denominator" interest. Since many feel the music industry's future is not in sales (e.g. downloads), but in "access" (streaming licensing), this could be a glimpse of greater success for indies down the road. It's just a start and just a small piece of evidence, but likely positive.

Van Buskirk has his own thoughts on this matter hereVan Buskirk's piece in Evolver.fm is here.

Paul Maloney
June 25, 2013 - 12:50pm

Leading webcaster Pandora announced today its in-car integration has topped 2.5 million "unique activations." Its app is now available in 23 major automotive brands (plus eight aftermarket partners) -- making the service available in more than 100 different cars.

Convenient in-dash access has long been considered by webcasters to be the most-significant technological obstacle to competing with AM/FM broadcast radio, which is dominant in cars.

Pandora estimates one-third of all new cars sold in the U.S. this year will come with access to its service. The webcaster says integrations in new models from Dodge, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, and Ram are coming soon.

Read more in Pandora's blog here.

Paul Maloney
June 25, 2013 - 12:50pm

Triton Digital chief strategy officer Patrick Reynolds spoke at last week's Hivio conference in San Diego, and revealed some interesting stats on that city's Internet radio listening.

According to Reynolds, in May about two-thirds of the market's online listening was to Pandora (Pandora's April AAS was about 72% of the entire Webcast Metrics Top 20's in the "Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12M" ranker.) The other one-third of San Diego's online listening not going to Pandora was shared across an astounding 4,754 different sources, including a good number of commercial broadcasters from outside the market (from all over the country, according to Reynolds). 

San Diego in May had a 5,126 "AAS" (Average Active Sessions, or the average number of streaming listeners at any given moment during the month). Focusing only on the 6a-8p daypart, that number was about 9,500.

Listeners in the market tuned in on 60 different devices, which included smartphones, gaming consoles, and desktop Internet tuners.

Inside Radio reported on Reynolds' comments from the Hivio conference.

Paul Maloney
June 25, 2013 - 12:50pm

TuneIn announced it's hired three new sales executives with radio experience.

Jon Latzer will be director of strategic sales, Scott Elberg is the new East Coast audio sales manager, and Leon Clark will handle the same position out West.

The company, now with 80 full-time employees, has also opened a New York office, and is forming sales teams in major markets like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

TuneIn is the tuning service/online radio aggregation that offers streaming access to more than 70-thousand broadcast- and online-only radio stations and two million podcasts. TuneIn reports more than 40 million monthly active listeners, and says it surpassed one billion listening hours between January and April of 2013.