Scarborough says "heavy" radio users more comfortable with the Internet

Paul Maloney
December 6, 2012 - 1:25pm

New Scarborough research shows what the company calls "heavy" users of radio are significantly more likely to use the Internet as a source for entertainment than Americans who listen to less radio.

Fully 40% of adults qualify as "heavy" radio users (though not surprisingly, it's a little "top heavy": 36 million Boomers, 30 million Gen-Xers, and 19 million Millennials). In that group, 62% of Millennials (18-29) and half of Gen X (30-44) say the Internet is their main source of entertainment.

A third of Gen X has listened to Internet radio in the past month (nearly a quarter of Baby Boomers (45-64), and 40% of the youngest set -- see the chart).

Gary Meo, SVP/Print and Digital Media Services, presented the study called "Inside the Minds of Radio’s Heavy Listeners" yesterday, the opending day of the Arbitron 2012 Client Conference. Meo also talked about how vital social media is -- especially to the 18-29 demo. 

"The importance of social networking to Millennials cannot be overstated…it is their #1 activity online, by far," he said (as reported by Tom Taylor here). The research reveals 84% of Millennials regularly use the Internet for "social networking". It was also significant for a number of Gen Xers (75%) and even Boomers (56%).

Download Meo's slide deck from Scarborough here.

Paul Maloney
December 6, 2012 - 1:25pm

Monday night former Wall Street analyst and now Kleiner Perkins venture capital partner Mary Meeker presented her latest report at an entrepreneurship event at Stanford.

Los Angeles Times coverage of the presentation summed it up as "Smartphones are huge. And as disruptive as smartphones have been, we're just at the start of that revolution."

Meeker says mobile devices now account for 13% of all Internet traffic. And the ratio of consumers' time spent with Internet and mobile media to the share of advertising on these media (see chart) reveals a $20 billion opportunity in the U.S. alone.

As ubiquitous as smartphones seem, just 1 in 5 mobile phones users around the world are smartphone users. That's huge upside for Apple, Google, Samsung -- and maybe even other carriers, and lots new potential mobile customers for publishers.

Last fall (here) Meeker demonstrated how quickly the mobile Internet is growing worldwide, and she predicted that audio-based technologies represent "the next big thing."

See all of Meeker's slides from her latest presentation here; and Los Angeles Times coverage here.

Paul Maloney
December 6, 2012 - 1:25pm

Clear Channel has forged another music rights deal that likely trades a small payment for on-air play for a discount (or waiver) for online streaming.

Broadcasters aren't required to pay royalties to the owners of sound recording copyrights for on-air play -- but do pay owners and performers for online plays. The music industry has long bemoaned radio's sound performance royalty exemption.

Back to last week's Internet Radio Fairness Act House Judiciary subcommittee hearing (here's audio of it)... Hubbard Radio President/CEO Bruce Reese (who also represented the National Association of Broadcasters) was pressed repeatedly on this topic (our coverage is here). Reese responded by saying he would look for more deals in the marketplace that would get copyright owners paid. He was nearly certainly referring to arrangements that Clear Channel has struck this year with copyright owners like Big Machine Label Group, Glassnote Entertainment Group, and Naxos.

Clear Channel today adds to that list, and announced an agreement with DashGo, Inc. "a digital content distribution and marketing engine for labels, podcasters, and artists." Like the prior agreements, Clear Channel described the deal as an "agreement that will help drive growth and innovation in Internet radio. As part of this new relationship, DashGo will share in Clear Channel’s terrestrial broadcast revenues, aligning the business interests of both companies and helping to build a sustainable market in Internet radio."

DashGo represents over 100 label and artist partners (Weezer (pictured), Rock Mafia, Coconut Records, Delicious Vinyl, and Time Records) and approximately 100,000 songs.