RAIN 10/26: Pandora juggernaut marches on in September Webcast Metrics

Michael Schmitt
October 26, 2011 - 11:35am

Webcast Metrics from September 2009 to September 2011Triton Digital has released its Webcast Metrics for September 2011 -- the month that saw Clear Channel relaunch iHeartRadio with Pandora-like features. A beta of the new service was released in early September (more here) and a star-studded concert promoting iHeartRadio took place in Las Vegas on September 28.

Did the new product and heavy promotion boost Clear Channel's audience? The broadcaster's September AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners) grew 10% over August in the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart.

That said, Clear Channel's September AAS is less than 1% higher than its previous peak, which came in December 2010. Plus, the month-to-month increase is actually lower than the 14% growth Clear Channel achieved from July to August 2011.

In other words, while the new iHeartRadio most likely contributed to Clear Channel's growth, other factors -- like the post-summer, pre-holiday growth seen by most webcasters -- may have been involved as well. Since the official launch of the new iHeartRadio took place in late September, we may not see its influence until the October Webcast Metrics are released.

Most other webcasters saw growth over August. The strongest came from EMF Corporate, with an AAS increase of 30% (3,874) to reach 16,662.

Pandora grew 11% (76,015) from August and is up 85% from September 2010. (By comparison, Clear Channel grew its AAS by 8,294. In fact, Pandora's AAS growth alone from August to September represents over 83% of Clear Channel's total AAS.)

Pandora's AAS (752,816) is over eight times that of #2-ranked CBS Radio, which saw a 4% decrease from August and is within 3% of losing its place to #3-ranked Clear Channel.

The strongest year-over-year growth came from Slacker (109%, though their mobile audience was not tracked in September 2010), Pandora (85%) and AccuRadio (40%).

The combined AAS of the Top 20 webcasters increased over 8% from August and over 48% from September 2010.

You can find the Domestic and All Streams Mon-Sun 6a-12m rankings below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of August 2011’s ratings here.

Triton Digital's Domestic Webcast Metrics for 9/11

Triton Digital's All Streams Webcast Metrics for 9/11

Michael Schmitt
October 26, 2011 - 11:35am

ArbitronArbitron has taken another step towards its Total Audience Measurement service -- which will measure both over-the-air and Internet radio -- with a partnership with Belgium-based tech firm AdsWizz.

Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer says AdsWizz will convert server-based streaming radio data into AQH, TSL and cume. Arbitron will then combine those metrics with its over-the-air audience data to create what the company hopes will be the "standard reporting metrics for over-the-air and digital streaming audiences," said Creamer. (Read more about Arbitron's planned all-in-one measurement service in RAIN here.)

AdsWizz“We are currently working with both our radio station clients and the digital service providers to develop the first report deliverables,” Creamer told analysts yesterday. 

Currently, the major Internet radio measurement firm is Triton Digital, which owns Ando Media and releases monthly Webcast Metrics reports. Inside Radio comments that "now the stage is set for what’s likely to be a heated battle for measurement dollars in a quickly evolving space. While ad agencies have expressed a desire for single source measurement that follows a listener as they move from broadcast to web to mobile listening, it’s unclear if using conventional AQH metrics for a digital medium will fly at digital shops." 

Just last week AdsWizz announced its debut in the U.S. with 60 new clients and a partnership with Liquid Compass (RAIN coverage here).

Read more in today's issue of Inside Radio by subscribing here.

Paul Maloney
October 26, 2011 - 11:35am

In a summary of its priorities for the next two years, the U.S. Copyright Office restated its support forLibrary of Congress sound recording royalties for over-the-air radio -- using the "parity" argument for a level playing field with Internet-only radio.

"There is an economic disadvantage between the businesses that offer sound recordings over the Internet as compared to those that offer them over the air (the former are required to pay performance royalties while the latter are not)," reads the "Priorities and Special Projects" paper released yesterday. "Finding a way to reconcile these differences has been a long-standing goal of Congress and the Copyright Office, and the Office will continue to provide analysis and support on this important issue."

[Note that while the Copyright Office explicitly supports performance royalties for broadcasters, Congress itself (obviously) does not and has not, to this point. This paper only states "finding a way to reconcile these differences" is a goal of Congress.]

The Copyright Office identifies as one of its "core responsibilities" the role of "providing leadership and impartialU.S. Copyright Office expertise on questions of copyright law and policy," and bi-annually makes public its agenda of regulatory priorities.

Also from the paper (and perhaps of interest to webcasters): Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights, testified before the House Judiciary committee in June in support of legislation to increase criminal penalties for what lawmakers call "illegal streaming." A bill introduced in the Senate (S.978, more here) aims to eliminate the disparity between the penalties for unlicensed "reproduction" and "distribution" (e.g. unlicensed peer-to-peer sharing of copyright material) and the penalties for unlicensed online "performance" (that is, streaming). Supporters of the bill say it's aimed at the rogue streaming of television shows, movies, and sports; critics suggest it could criminalize user-generated content that uses copyright recordings (like a YouTube video of a baby dancing to a Prince song) or a webcaster who's fallen behind on his royalty payments.

Finally, the Office announced that it will issue the results of its study (slated for December) on the impact of providing federal copyright coverage for pre-1972 sound recordings (sound recordings made before February 15 of that year are often covered by state laws, not federal).

You can read the Copyright Office's paper here.

Michael Schmitt
October 26, 2011 - 11:35am

CESThe Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2012 will host a record number of exhibits from automakers, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Six of the the top 10 car makers will be present.

CEA CEO Gary Shapiro says the conference will also feature aftermarket in-car innovations like "tablet integration, Internet radio solutions, in-vehicle apps" and more.

Satellite Radio Playground has more coverage here.