RAIN 5/10: Triton Digital to use more-traditional AQH metric in Webcast Metrics "Local Reports"

Paul Maloney
May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

Triton Digital said today it intends to present its local market audience measurements using the traditional broadcast radio Average Quarter-Hour metric (AQH).

Stations that subscribe to Triton's new "Local Reports" feature will now get Average Quarter-Hour Rating (AQH Rating) by market alongside Triton's proprietary Average Active Sessions number.

To this point, Triton Digital has relied on the Average Active Sessions (AAS) metric, which, like the more traditional AQH, purports to represent the the number of listeners at an average moment. (Though there are some small methodological differences in how AQH and AAS are calculated, we believe them to be virtually equivalent.)

However, broadcast radio sales forces, media buyers, and advertisers have long relied on the more traditional metrics like AQH (and, for that matter, cumulative or "cume" audience, and Time Spent Listening or "TSL") for advertising buys. A Triton representative told RAIN the company's new format for local market reports "makes it easier for advertisers and media buyers to make apples-to-apples comparisons between online and traditional radio buys." This gives stations "the flexibility to combine their offline and online audience into a credible total audience number while maintaining the ability to position the attributes of either channel independently."

The press release includes this from ad firm Horizon Media SVP Lauren Russo: "Seeing Internet audio in the same terms as traditional radio gives a holistic sense of the audio market, making it easier for buyers to make informed decisions when purchasing ad space. We are excited to see how the ability to provide such a direct comparison will impact advertisers’ views on the value of streaming."

The company has also announced it plans to share measurement data with third parties per customer request. Triton's press release is available online here.

Michael Schmitt
May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

IMDAThe Internet Media Device Alliance (IMDA) is reportedly looking to establish industry standards for in-car Internet radio. "The idea is to help broadcasters get what they want out of car radios and to help the automakers have the best experience for their consumer," explains Harry Johnson, chairman of the IMDA and president of vTuner. "Consumers expect a basic set of stations that are the same no matter what kind of car they buy — it should not be a differentiating feature."

The IMDA hopes to issue a final set of in-car web radio guidelines in spring 2013. They would deal with topics like car device profiles, encoding guidelines, a "universal dial" and station metadata. The Alliance wants to establish such guidelines now, because automakers will begin "selling cars equipped with web radio effective with 2014 and 2015 models," writes Inside Radio. "When that happens, drivers will no longer be required to plug in their smartphone for connectivity and dashboards will be similar to the Ford Sync with the apps on the receiver — not on the phone."

"There is time now to do things properly and make the experience for drivers the best one that broadcasters can offer to them," Johnson said.

In-car web radioHe outlined two primary benefits for establishing such standards. First, it would avoid the "wild west" of confusing and conflicting technology seen when tabletop Wi-Fi radios arrived. "Broadcasters had no way of knowing which type of streams they were supposed to supply... it might play on a Samsung but not a Sony," explained Johnson.

Second, such standards would help broadcasters compete with webcasters like Pandora, "which are striking deals directly with car manufacturers," Inside Radio writes. You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletter here.

Arbtrion and Edison found that 17% of consumers have listened to web radio via a smartphone in a car (up 55% from the year before), while TargetSpot recently found that 14% of Internet radio listeners own an in-car web radio player of some kind. 

Michael Schmitt
May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

The following image is making the usual rounds across the web. RAIN found on the front page of Reddit, a "social news" website in which users vote items "up" or "down" to determine placement and importance. We'll let it speak for itself:

Car stereo commentary


Paul Maloney
May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

Mark Edwards is an award-winning radio programmer with experience at WLIT/Chicago, KOSI/Denver, KYKY, KEZK, and WVRV in St. Louis, and more. He's currently managing general partner of Mark Edwards Worldwide, his multi-disciplinary consulting practice. This is Part 2 of his guest essay; read Part 1 here.

In yesterday’s RAIN, we looked at John Tesh’s hyper-local KTeshLA website and streaming service. Today, let’s tackle the question of how stations like KTeshLA and other locally targeted online only sites can be successful going forward.

John Tesh already has a radio show on more than 300 stations (he launched KTeshLA after losing his Los Angeles affiliate). His show was one of the higher-rated dayparts on KFSH in Los Angeles, so there was already a dedicated local audience for his content, and he was already producing material for his national show. Given Tesh’s recording, touring, writing, and other activities, generating cash from the online venture may not have been as much of a concern as it might be for a standalone business. Staying in touch with a community -- especially without the benefit of a bone-crushing terrestrial signal -- can be costly.

One of the most significant differences between Tesh’s site and the sites of other people trying to “make it” as web radio stars is that Tesh’s site looks great. It's as good as any AM or FM radio station site on the Internet. If anything, the site takes too much from radio stations in an effort to look like a radio station as opposed to what it is: something between a radio station and a streaming service. While the site carries banner ads, it isn’t plastered with them hodgepodge like some other “web radio” sites.

Taking the time and spending the money to design a world-class website should be the first part of the plan for any webcaster. Clearly, the TeshMedia team considered the visual appeal of their product along with the sound, something rare in the world of webcasting. (Some of the ugliest websites I’ve seen over the last 15 years have been for air personalities putting a show or podcast on the web. They’re littered with banner ads, bad photos, and unusable navigation links.)

A significant expense for the local webcaster is for the stream itself. Beyond royalties and bandwidth costs, some kind of automation system needs to push out the content if it is a full-time format, even if it’s a podcast or constantly repeating three or four hour show. There are ways to do the automation inexpensively, but streaming should not be a bargain basement decision. Great quality, constant uptime, and full-time support are needed for a successful stream, and that costs money. The good news is there are new technologies on the horizon that will significantly lower the cost of streaming, and add personalization and ad-targeting to the stream, helping to generate more revenue.

The world is racing to a mobile, personalized, on-demand model for entertainment, and the opportunity for locally-targeted Internet-based stations is here. If the stations are done right, they’ll generate traffic and response for local advertisers. It can be done, and now is the time to get started on hyper-targeted projects like KTeshLA.

We'll wrap this up with some comments from the people behind KTeshLA and see how their station is performing.

Paul Maloney
May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

Digital audio ad network TargetSpot has officially released the results of its latest annual Digital Audio Benchmark and Trend study.

TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger presented some of the top data points of the study at our recent RAIN Summit West conference in Las Vegas. For some of the study's most interesting findings, see our coverage here. Additionally, you can watch video of Goldwerger's presentation, as well as every other presentation, speech, interview, and panel from RAIN Summit West at RTTNews here.

Parks Associates conducted the study for TargetSpot, and surveyed one-thousand Internet radio listeners in the U.S. in January of this year. A free, detailed synopsis of the research is available from TargetSpot here.