RAIN 1/25: Using new Arbitron metric, Inside Radio determines monthly Pandora listening now 5% of broadcast radio's

Michael Schmitt
January 25, 2012 - 11:00am

New numbers confirm "just how big a share Pandora has amassed"

Using new data from Arbitron, industry news source Inside Radio determines that Pandora's monthly listening is approximately 5% of the total listening of over-the-air radio.
A new calculation from Arbitron found that Americans are exposed to 14.6 billion hours of radio every month. That calculation was apparently "created at the request of the company’s clients to give broadcast radio a way to show how it stacks up against Pandora," reports Inside Radio. The publication compared this number to Pandora's own Q3 report to investors to calculate the percentage.

Pandora recently told its investors it logged 2.1 billion listener hours during Q3 (up from around 1 billion the year before; more here). "That equates to an average 700 million listener hours per month or about 5% the size of over-the-air radio," writes Inside Radio. The publication points out that the figure exceeds the percentage Pandora has recently stated.

"Today we only have a bit more than 4% of all radio listening in this country," CEO Joe Kennedy told CNBC earlier this month (more here). Pandora said it represented 2.3% of all radio listening at the end of 2010 (more here).


Inside Radio writes that this confirms "just how big a share Pandora has amassed in just a few short years."

"It’s worth noting that each [Arbitron and Pandora] uses different methodologies," notes Inside Radio. "Arbitron’s figures are based on RADAR’s combined PPM and diary survey estimates (Persons 12+, Mon-Sun 6AM-Mid) while Pandora’s actual server-side numbers come from Triton Digital."

You can subscribe to receive Inside Radio daily here.

RAIN AnalysisRAIN ANALYSIS: RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson calculates -- assuming Pandora's 2.1 billion figure is accurate -- that the webcaster has the equivalent of a 4.8 share of all U.S. radio listening.

That's higher than any number Pandora has ever quoted (though it would be slightly less if Pandora were included in Arbitron's calculation, and it's likely SiriusXM was not included either). -- MS

Michael Schmitt
January 25, 2012 - 11:00am

In-car web radio"In the not-too-distant future, a car with a radio that receives only AM or FM will qualify as an antique." So writes the Wall Street Journal in a new column highlighting Internet radio's growing in-car appeal.

Already nearly 60% of car buyers age 19-31 think web connectivity is the most important aspect of a car's interior, according to a Deloitte LLP survey. And 72% want to use their smartphone apps in cars.

Twenty three automakers now have deals with Pandora, WSJ reports. Some manufacturers like Audi are even experimenting with connecting to web radio directly from the car dashboard -- no smartphone needed.

Car makers are also opening offices in Silicon Valley ("to get plugged in to the rapidly shifting online-services market"). Meanwhile, cellular providers "have struggled to expand their network data capacity fast enough to keep pace with demand."

You can find the Wall Street Journal's full article here.

Paul Maloney
January 25, 2012 - 11:00am

Congratulations to veteran radio programmer and consultant Dave "The Duke" Sholin, who'll take the afternoon gig at Bend Radio Group's legendary country station, KSJJ in Bend, OR.

Sholin, along with fellow radio legend and research expert Jonathan Little, programs AccuRadio's Americana channel The Train. Sholin will continue his work on The Train, as well as his voiceovers and imaging and running his own marketing firm. He'll also lend a hand with the programming for KSJJ and the group's other stations.