RAIN 5/1: Pandora, Clear Channel rack up another strong ratings month

Michael Schmitt
May 1, 2012 - 1:10pm

Triton Digital's March 2012 Webcast MetricsPandora and Clear Channel posted another month of audience growth, according to Triton Media's newly-released Webcast Metrics for March 2012.

Pandora's Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners) surpassed 1.14 million, a growth of 8% (80,295) over February (though Triton notes that Pandora's February audience was around 4.5% smaller than it should be "due to a collection node failure"). Pandora's audience size is up 190% year-over-year and is nearly 7 times the size of #2-ranked Clear Channel.

Clear Channel grew its online audience 5% over February, reaching an AAS of 168,518. It's up 91% year-over-year. CBS Radio, in the #3 slot, dropped 4% from February and is down 44% year-over-year. Its AAS is now roughly 35% that of Clear Channel.

The largest percentage growth month-to-month came from EMF Corporate, with an increase of 12%. Slacker gained 3% over February (though its audience in February was "understated" due to "a collection system migration," according to Triton) and is up 31% year-over-year.

(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through February 2012. Note that Pandora's AAS numbers from December 2010 through mid-August 2011 were affected by the omission of tracking code in some of its mobile apps. Click to view in full size.)

Most broadcasters in the domestic Top 20 ranker were flat or slightly down month-to-month (Cumulus down 3%, Radio One down 7%, Entercom up 1%, Cox down 2%, for example).

Interestingly, ESPN Radio's audience was down 3% month-to-month and down 8% from March 2011. Yet in early April, ESPN said ESPNRadio.com had its "best month" yet in March (RAIN coverage here).

The combined March 2012 AAS of all streamers in Triton's Top 20 ranker (1,600,062) is up 6% over February 2012 and 79% year-over-year.

You can find the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m ranking below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of February 2012’s ratings here.

Triton Digital's Domestic March 2012 rankings

Paul Maloney
May 1, 2012 - 1:10pm

The popular lecture site TED.com (now an NPR show and podcast, see our coverage here) nabbed both top prizes in the Webby Awards Radio/Podcast Websites category. Winners of the 16th annual "Best of the Web" awards were announced today.

TED.com beat other nominees CNN Podcasts, New Yorker podcasts, NPR, and The Cocktail Party Statement for both the academy-awarded Webby Award, and the People's Voice (as decided by popular voting).

Pandora won People's Voice awards in both the Music Websites and Music Mobile & Apps divisions. Indie music blog Pitchfork and Spotify, respectively, won the Webbies for those categories. (Spotify had also been nominated in Music Websites.)

Other winners included Google Music (People's Voice for Best Visual Design (Aesthetic)), BBC News (People's Voice in News Websites), NPR (People's Voice in News Mobile & Apps).

See all the nominees and winners here. Our prior coverage of the nominees is here.

Paul Maloney
May 1, 2012 - 1:10pm

Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy, at last week's Worldwide Radio Summit in Los Angeles, reportedly commented that growth in listening to his service has been coming at the expense of AM/FM radio. Challenged on the source for this assertion by Katz Radio Group EVP/Radio Analysis and Insights Mary Beth Garber (who's been a vocal critic of many of Pandora's claims), Kennedy immediately responded.

Garber remarked in AllAccess (who organized the event), "In 2012, there have been six studies (NPD, two by Mark Kassof, iHeartRadio, Edison and Arbitron's 'Infinite Dial 2012' and the 'Jacobs TechSurvey8'...) that indicate that digital listening is largely in addition to radio listening, not instead of AM/FM radio listening...

"So, what exactly are the sources that support your contentions and that provided you with the statistics you cited?"

Also in AllAccess, Kennedy points to two charts from Radio Today which, despite the research mentioned by Garber, indicate a 5% drop in Time Spent Listening per week to AM/FM from 2010 (chart here) to 2011 (here).

Read coverage from AllAccess here.

Michael Schmitt
May 1, 2012 - 1:10pm

Turntable.fmMusic streaming service Turntable.fm is apparently in trouble. The site was a hit in summer 2011: "Spotify is great, but Turntable.fm is amazing," wrote the New York Times. "[Turntable.fm] has upended how I listen to music."

But "then traffic started falling. By autumn, it dwindled to less than half its peak," writes Inc. Digital Music News wrote about the trend in February (RAIN coverage here). The founders of the site "agree the music fans are still out there." The question is how to get them back.

The answer, they think, is Pandora-like Internet radio. "It will be something like Pandora, but with playlists based on the recommendations of the user’s Turntable friends," Inc. writes of the project, codenamed Kiwi. "This will attract passive listeners interested in hearing friends’ favorites, just not chatting or collecting points in a live Turntable room."

Turntable.fm offers users the ability to listen to music in real-time with other users (RAIN coverage here).

You can find Inc.'s coverage here and more from HypeBot here.

Turntable.fm is the latest music streaming service that sees potential in the Internet radio model. Rdio and Spotify are also reportedly developing Pandora-like services (RAIN coverage here and here).