RAIN 9/5: "Summer doldrums" rears its head, helps cause audience dip for webcasters in July

Michael Schmitt
September 5, 2012 - 11:00am

Metrics rankingsAs in years past, the "summer doldrums" took their toll on webcasters' audiences in July. Minus one exception, all the webcasters and broadcasters tracked in Triton Digital's Top 20 Webcast Metrics for July 2012 were flat or down month-to-month. 

The Internet radio industry typically sees audience numbers flat-line or drop slightly in the summer months. Listeners spend relatively less time in the office -- where, at least in the past, a majority of Internet radio usage took place -- due to holidays (like the Fourth of July), vacations, and other activities (like the Summer Olympics which began on July 27 and, this reporter seems to think, were a huge drain on productivity). We refer to this traditional decline as "summer doldrums." 

All told, the combined AAS (Average Active Sessions, essentially equivalent to AQH) of the Top 20 webcasters declined a little over 1% month-to-month. That's actually an improvement over 2011, when webcasters' combined AAS dropped nearly 7% from June to July 2011. Could this be in part due to Internet radio's growing mobile and out-of-office listening

Top-ranked Pandora was roughly flat month-to-month in July, according to Triton's Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart ranker. The webcaster stands at an AAS of 1,214,119 -- up 151% year-over-year.

The #2-ranked Clear Channel, backed by its iHeartRadio platform, declined 4% month-to-month to reach an AAS of 174,333. Clear Channel's AAS has grown 140% year-over-year.

The race for the #3 spot became more heated in July: CBS Radio, currently holding the #3 spot, declined 12% month-to-month. Slacker (at #4) dropped 6% month-to-month but is now within nearly 300 AAS of overtaking CBS Radio. Slacker has grown 60% year-over-year while CBS Radio has dropped 45%. The change is in part due to AOL Radio's migration from CBS to Slacker.

The one exception to all this declining and flat-lining is NPR Member Services, ranked at #11. Its AAS, as measured by Triton, increased 37% month-to-month. June was the first month NPR Member Services appeared in the Top 20 ranker.

ESPN Radio saw the largest month-to-month decline with a 14% drop (though Radio One and Hubbard weren't far behind with 13% declines). Most others saw month-to-month drops of 3-9%.

(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through July 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.)

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 June 2012’s ratings here.

July Webcast Metrics

Paul Maloney
September 5, 2012 - 12:55pm

Our very first RAIN Summit Europe will be a learning and networking opportunity like no other we've presented. We truly can't wait to get to Berlin!

In addition to the top European radio, webcasting, and technology executives taking part, one of the leading organizations in online radio in the U.S. will also participate. Most RAIN readers are familiar with Triton Digital. Their products and services for broadcast and Internet radio include content delivery, audience measurement, ad insertion, player creation, website content management, audience retention and interactive online advertising campaign design. Triton Digital co-founder and COO Mike Agovino will speak on the "Targeted Advertising & Listener Registration" panel; Triton Digital EVP/Marketing Patrick Reynolds will be on the "Measurement Options for Streaming Audio" panel.

Today, we'd like to familiarize you with some of the companies whose execs will join Triton on these two panels.

Absolute Radio is one of the UK's three independent national radio stations. In March of 1996 (when it was still Virgin Radio) it became the first European radio station to stream 24-hours a day. Additionally, Absolute Radio runs the "Absolute Radio Network," six online, digital radio, and mobile services (Absolute Classic Rock, Absolute 80s, etc.). Clive Dickens is Absolute Radio COO, and oversees the station’s major digital initiatives. He leads One Golden Square Labs, a digital working group at Absolute Radio developing radio and entertainment "conceptual standalone digital propositions" -- applications for the web and new and emerging platforms.

IAB Europe is the trade association of the European digital and interactive marketing industry, representing 27 National IABs and Partners across Europe and over 5,500 companies. Its mission is to protect, prove, promote and professionalise the digital and interactive advertising industry in Europe. IAB Europe's VP/Research & Marketing is Alison Fennah (pictured left), also based in the UK.

Dickens and Fennah will join Triton Digital's Agovino and Association of European Radios (AER) president Stefan Möller to discuss listener data collection and tools for targeted ad delivery on the "Targeted Advertising & Listener Registration" with AdsWizz VP/Sales & Marketing Patrick Roger (more on Möller and Roger in RAIN here).

Médiamétrie-eStat is the Internet and mobile subsidiary of audience measurement firm Médiamétrie. Médiamétrie-eStat focuses on measurement and traffic analysis of websites and mobile apps, including audio and video advertising engagement. RTL Radio Center Berlin GmbH (owned by RTL Group, Europe's largest mass media company) combines the operational activities of the radio station 104.6 RTL and 105'5 Radio and RTL radio marketing in the Berlin/Brandenburg radio market.

Franck Si-Hassen is Médiamétrie-eStat Directeur Délégué; Tim Zeiger (right) is Platform Manager for RTL Radio Center Berlin (he's responsible for streaming and social media activities). The two will discuss the tools available that help content providers and advertisers quantify streaming audio audiences on the "Measurement Options for Streaming Audio" panel, moderated by Triton Digital's Patrick Reynolds. Ali Abhary, CEO of Spectrum Medya (Turkey) (more in RAIN here) and Erik Barraud, Adswizz Product Manager (Belgium) (more in RAIN here) take part too.

Our keynote speaker represents perhaps the most significant online music concern to come out of Europe, Spotify. Spotify's European GM and VP of Ad Sales Jonathan Forster's (left) company now boasts 15 million active users worldwide, 4 million of whom pay for the service every month. Besides its on-demand streaming product, Spotify Radio is a personalized radio stream listeners create based on artists, songs, or genres, which can be further influenced through "thumbs up/thumbs down" song ratings.

Please take a look at our full roster of industry experts and agenda of panels, all of the most up-to-date information, and registration links on the RAIN Summit Europe page. And please check out where we'll hold the Summit: the very stylish nhow "Berlin" - The Music & Lifestyle Hotel Berlin.

Michael Schmitt
September 5, 2012 - 12:55pm

RadionomyRadionomy has attracted more than 13 million unique listeners worldwide since it launched in 2008, the company announced today. Its web radio service now includes more than 6,000 user-programmed stations that "generate more than 42 million listening hours each month."

The French-Belgian company also announced plans to open U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. "It is the perfect place to base our U.S. operations and a perfect launching pad for our U.S. introduction," said Thierry Ascarez, VP of Business Development of Radionomy. The new U.S. office will "focus on sales, marketing, further platform development, and establishing new partnerships," said Radionomy (here).

You can find out more about Radionomy and its plans from CEO Alexandre Saboundjian at RAIN Summit Europe (more info here).

Michael Schmitt
September 5, 2012 - 12:55pm

Brian BenedikKatz Media Group announced today digital advertising executive Mort Greenberg will join the company as President of Katz 360, effective October 1. He replaces Brian Benedik (pictured), who "will be leaving the company to persue other interests," reports Radio Ink.

Greenberg comes to Katz from Nokia, where he was the Global Head of Advertising Sales for Nokia’s Location & Commerce Division. He has "more than 15 years of industry knowledge including print, television, radio, mobile, online, search, video and social advertising experience," says Katz.

You can find Katz Media Group's press release here and Radio Ink's coverage here.