RAIN 3/1: Online music audiences have long outpaced revenues, new study says that's changing

Michael Schmitt
March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

Web radio growthFor years, Internet radio and web music services have been growing their audiences but complained that revenues weren't keeping up. That all changed last year, says AccuStream Research, when for the first time revenue growth outpaced listening hour increases. Moreover, the research firm expects that growth will "continue unabated in 2012."

AccuStream's report (“Internet Music Radio and Track Play Growth 2012-2014: Listening and Monetization Analysis”) found that listening hours for "Internet music radio and track play" (presumably including services like Spotify and Rhapsody) grew 50.5% in 2011, reaching more than 1.3 billion hours monthly.

Meanwhile, mobile listening exploded: it grew 222% in 2011, according to AccuStream, and now accounts for 41% of hours streamed monthly. In 2012 70% of Pandora's listening is "non-PC," says the report, as is 50% of Slacker's audience.

Increases in monetization (including ad and subscription revenue) outpaced listening hour growth, with an advance of 64.6% in 2011. The study reports the industry generated more than $293 million in gross media spending (audio, video, display) and another $171 million in subscription revenue.

In late October 2011 SNL Kagan forecast that Internet-only radio stations would generate $293 million in revenues in 2011. That same study predicted AM/FM digital revenues would reach $713 million in 2011. Audio4Cast has more on SNL Kagan's predictions here.

AccuStream ResearchAccuStream expects the market to increase 78% in 2012, reaching 6.2 billion avails per month ("driven in part by Pandora's increasing focus on the in-stream audio format"). Audio fill rates will reach 60% this year, says AccuStream, with an eCPM (average equivalent CPM) of $6.80.

"Combined with an in-house sales force selling into top local DMAs where terrestrial broadcast radio advertising has historically been bought," writes AccuStream, "the audio format is moving to the forefront of the programmer's monetization initiatives."

You can find AccuStream Research's press release here.

Michael Schmitt
March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

TuneInOnline radio aggregator TuneIn has reached new partnerships with phone maker HTC and UK commercial sports broadcaster talkSPORT.

The deal with HTC will result in TuneIn's Andriod app coming pre-loaded on new HTC One smartphones. Those devices will boast other web radio-friendly features (RAIN coverage here).

TuneIn's partnership with talkSPORT will bring the latter's lineup of talk programs and soccer broadcasts to TuneIn's directory.

You can find more in TuneIn's press release here and Radio World's coverage here.

Michael Schmitt
March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

Tim CastelliTim Castelli has left AOL to join Clear Channel as EVP of Digital Sales. Castelli previously served as AOL's SVP of Sales for its Eastern U.S. region.

Castelli's position at Clear Channel is new; he will report to John Hogan. Clear Channel says he will "oversee the national digital sales efforts and develop innovative advertising products and programs across several Clear Channel Media and Entertainment divisions, including Strategic Partnerships, National Programming Platforms and National Advertising Platforms and iHeartRadio."

You can find Radio-Info's coverage here.

Paul Maloney
March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

Mobile app developer jacAPPS, creator of more than 500 iPhone and Android apps for radio (and other) clients, will now develop applications for Amazon's Kindle Fire.

You probably know the Kindle Fire is Amazon's latest iteration of their popular e-book reader/tablet computer. It has a multi-touch color display, it can stream video and audio, and supports various apps for increased functionality. Consumers snapped up more than 4 million Kindle Fires in Q4 2011.

Paul Jacobs is VP/GM of jacAPPS (which itself is a division of media consultancy Jacobs Media). He said, "While iPads dominate the tablet market, the Kindle Fire represents a surge in high-functioning devices that combine accessing reading material with the app experience... we want our mobile clients to be able to connect with these consumers on these hot new devices."

The jacAPPS client list includes public radio’s "Car Talk," C-SPAN Radio, the Taste Of Atlanta, WEEI/Boston, and many others.