RAIN 8/2: Survey reports half of news station sites don't offer streaming audio, only 24% offer apps

Michael Schmitt
August 2, 2012 - 11:35am

Profitability over time chartThough nearly all news radio stations now offer a website, just over half do not offer streaming audio, fewer than one in four stations have a mobile app and a majority of NDs/GMs don't know if the website is profitable or not. Those are just some of the findings from the Radio Television Digital News Association's 2012 TV and Radio News Staffing and Profitability Survey.

The survey found that overall, more than 96% of news radio stations have a website. About 80% of the websites offer local news, down 3% from last year (and compared to 100% of TV station websites that offer local news). Just under 50% feature streaming audio, 61% audio, 15.3% "live newscasts," 32.1% "recorded newscasts" and 26.7% podcasts (the survey does not go into detail about what the differences are between some of these categories). The most popular website offerings are text (86%) and pictures (64%). Interestingly, 28.2% offer news video.

Stations said that about 25% of their web content is "web-only." 6.5% of content is user-generated.

As for mobile, the fastest-growing segment for Internet radio in general, only 24.1% of stations offer a mobile app. And 10.7% of stations say they offer mobile-releated content on their websites.

RTDNA's survey also found that the average number of radio employees working on the website was 1.8 (that's 0.8 full-time and 1.0 part-time). Both figures are down from last year. But 67.8% of stations said other staffers help out on the website. About one in five news directors said they were in charge overall of the website, 55% said they were in charge of news content only and just under 17% said they had no management role.

RTDNAAbout 60% of station GMs/NDs weren't sure if the website was profitable or not. Aproximately 13% said the site was profitable, another 13% said it was breaking even and around 15% said it was operating at a loss. "Radio profitability numbers are all about 3% worse than a year ago," writes the RTDNA.

As for how many people are visiting radio station websites, "radio web traffic numbers are still reported by too few news directors to be viewed as reliable." The RTDNA was able to put together overall radio website traffic figures though: 917,500 pageviews and 151,900 unique visitors over the past 30 days. Page views have doubled, but unique visitors are down 25% from last year.

You can find the RTDNA's results here (PDF). This is the fourth part of the RTDNA's 2012 TV and Radio News Staffing and Profitability Survey and was conducted by Bob Papper.

Michael Schmitt
August 2, 2012 - 11:35am

RAIN Summit DallasOur next gathering, RAIN Summit Dallas, is fast-approaching: it's now just more than a month away! Registration is open now and you can reserve your seat right here. Our half-day educational and networking event is held in conjunction with the RAB NAB Radio Show on September 18, beginning at noon, at Dallas' Hilton Anatole.

The Summit in Dallas will include, as we announced here, a keynote presentation from Clear Channel Media and Entertainment President of National Sales, Marketing & Partnerships Tim Castelli. As part of the Summit, we'll also make the presentation of the third-annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards.

Additionally, some of the industry's top content, marketing and services experts will take part in the afternoon's panels. Leaders such a NPR VP/Digital Services Bob Kempf (pictured upper left), Pandora Director of Mobile Marketing Kim Luegers (upper right), TuneIn Programming VP Kevin Straley (lower left) and IAB VP/Member Services Michael Theodore (lower right) will discuss topics like mobile monetization, innovative content, advertising and more.

RAIN Summit Dallas will also include a presentation from RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson on "where we are and where we're going" with his "State of the Industry" address. You can find the event's full agenda and growing list of speakers here.

The Radio Show is currently offering a special two-for-one discount if you plan to attend both the Radio Show and RAIN Summit Dallas. Just register for the Radio Show (here), and make sure you select the "Radio Show/RAIN Summit Two-for-One Discount" option. If you plan to just attend RAIN Summit Dallas, register here. See you in Dallas! 

Also coming up soon is our first event outside North America: RAIN Summit Europe on October 5th in Berlin (more info here).

Paul Maloney
August 2, 2012 - 11:35am

Podcast aggregator for mobile devices Stitcher recently surveyed listeners who tuned to political content, and published the trends in an interesting set of charts in the Stitcher blog (by the way, please click on the image to see a much larger and more readable version).

It seems 62% of podcast content streamed to iPhones was categorized as "liberal," with just 34% considered "conservative" (4% "independent"). The split wasn't quite as drastic on the Android mobile platform -- 55%/39%/6% -- but still certainly leaned liberal.

It's also interesting to see how different issues dominate the content depending where the listener is: in "Obama" states, "Romney" states, or in swing state (which you can see in the charts).

"Smartphone listeners are also spending more time listening to international news, double the amount compared to terrestrial radio listeners," according to the Stitcher blog. "Android listeners tend to be the most global savvy, spending on average on quarter of all listening time with international content."

Read the Stitcher blog here.



Michael Schmitt
August 2, 2012 - 11:35am

ISSNASA's Joe Acaba will become "the first astronaut to DJ from space" tomorrow. He'll host a two-hour special on NASA's Internet radio station Third Rock Radio from the International Space Station.

The program, "The Joe Show: New Rock from Space," will debut at 3pm Central on Friday, August 3.

Third Rock Radio launched in December 2011 (RAIN coverage here). You can find the stream here and find more coverage of Acaba's upcoming program from the Star Tribune here.