Arbitron reportedly to relax rules for online "simulcast" streams

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 11:50am

Arbitron will reportedly relax some of its terms under which a broadcaster's online stream can be considered a "simulcast."

Until now, Arbitron would consider a station's stream a "simulcast" only if it were 100% identical to the on-air broadcast -- content, ads, everything needed to be the same (and aired at the same time) on the stream as was aired on AM or FM. This means a station stream that substitutes on-air commercials with "online-only" ads, public service messages, promos, or other content, in the stream is not a "simulcast" -- and thus its streaming audience cannot be combined with its on-air audience for ratings purposes.

Beginning in May, the ratings company will allow a "simulcast" broadcast to substitute ads to streaming listeners outside the station's metro area with different ads from the same advertiser. All other content outside of commercials must remain 100% identical.

This change allows stations to "fulfill an advertiser's request that locally advertised specials not be heard outside the local market yet still qualify to receive Total Line Reporting," Inside Radio reports today. Radio can add its digital listening towards its total audience numbers, as well as sell combined on-air/online ad campaigns even for advertisers who want to restrict specific messaging to within the metro.

Inside Radio writes that some broadcasters say McDonald's and Subway directed stations to remove certain spots from their streams for this very reason.

Paragon consultant Mike Henry wrote of many mid- and smaller-sized broadcasters moving towards fully-simulcasting (that is, not changing ads for streaming) because of its inherent advantages. He blogged, "This shift is interesting because it pits the streaming strategy of major groups such as CBS and Clear Channel in one camp, and the mid-sized and smaller groups in another camp. The majors are apparently betting on a streaming sales future, while the other groups are retrenching behind towers and their broadcast sales."

Read more in today's Inside Radio (subscribe here) and from Paragon here.

Infinite Dial study shows nearly half of CHR P1s are weekly Net radio listeners

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 11:05am

New details from The Infinite Dial 2013 show that CHR ("Top 40"), rock, urban, and public radio "P1" listeners are significantly more likely than fans of other formats to be engaged with new media, including online listening.

A station's or format's "P1" listeners are those that consume that particular programming above all others. It's typical for about one-third of a station's cumulative listeners to be P1s, and yet they might easily account for two-thirds (or more) of total listening.

Arbitron and Edison Research annually conduct "The Infinite Dial" to examine radio listeners' adoption and engagement of new media technology. They initially released the 2013 edition earlier this month (RAIN coverage here), and presented additional details at RAIN Summit West (here).

The researchers polled listeners of nine different radio formats, and found that just under half (47%) of CHR P1s are weekly online radio listeners (one-third have listened to Pandora in the past seven days). Whereas Net radio's weekly reach is about one-third of the population in general, about 40% of rock, urban, and public radio P1s are weekly online listeners.

More than seven in 10 CHR P1s own a smartphone, more than eight in ten have a social media profile (with almost half using social media several times a day). Additionally, public radio listeners are the most fervent podcast listeners (34% have listened in the last month), and about 40% of public radio and Adult Contemporary P1s own a tablet device.

Arbitron and Edison Research will release specific reports for each of the nine radio formats they studied next month. Read more in Arbitron's press release here.

Facebook, e-mail solidly outpace Twitter for listener-connection, says The Infinite Dial

Monday, April 8, 2013 - 1:00pm

Arbitron and Edison Research last week unveiled the findings of their latest "The Infinite Dial" joint research (in RAIN here). They saved a few gems -- particularly about the engagement of listeners via e-mail and on social media -- for their presentation at yesterday's RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas.

Edison Research president Larry Rosin and Arbitron SVP of Marketing Bill Rose at the Summit revisited the important points from last week's "The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms" webinar. But they also explained that their study shows the value of radio's Facebook presence and e-mail listener databases, especially when compared to Twitter. One in ten U.S. radio listeners says they follow their favorite station on Facebook, and 20 million U.S. radio listeners have signed up to receive e-mail from their P1 station (that's 8% of radio listeners), depending on the format (public radio, religious, and rock listeners were most likely to join a station's e-mail list…up to 20% for rock listeners).

On the other hand, just 2% or 3% follow their "P1" station on Twitter. (Twitter's influence, especially in the media, Rosin said, is far greater than its actual usage, they've found.) Bill Rose explained that your station's will likely be your listener base's most tech-savvy segment (including being most likely to use online radio and listen via mobile apps).

Their takeaway: the listeners on your e-mail list can be an extremely valuable asset for you and your advertising clients.

We'll have more coverage from RAIN Summit West in the coming days.

Net radio's reach and TSL surging, 2013 Infinite Dial study shows

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 12:50pm

New data shows that weekly Internet radio listeners now average nearly 12 hours of listening a week. That's almost two additional hours more than the under 10 hours a week figure from last year.

Arbitron and Edison Research yesterday presented the findings of the 2013 edition of their long-running joint research on radio listeners' adoption of new technology.

"The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms" reveals Internet radio reaches 45% of Americans (12 and older), about 120 million people, each month (up from 39% last year). About a third (roughly 86 million) listen to online radio weekly.

[Note that "online listening" here refers both to broadcasters' online simulcasts of their on-air content as well as "Internet-only" streams.]

For those who listen to the radio at work, one-third use the computer or a mobile device to tune in.

Leading webcaster Pandora continues to rule the roost in online radio listening, but Clear Channel's iHeartRadio competitor service has made inroads too. Arbitron and Edison say the percentage of Americans who've listened to Pandora in the past month grew from 22% last year to 27% this year. One in five (20%) have listened in the past week.

Another interesting note on Pandora from the study: Nearly half of smartphone owners have at least downloaded the Pandora app. While that number is just 15% for iHeartRadio, 45% of 12+ Americans are aware of the service. That still trails Pandora's 69% awareness level, but significantly leads the 22% of Americans who've heard of Spotify.

Edison Research co-founder and president Larry Rosin and Arbitron SVP/Marketing Bill Rose will walk us through all the findings of "The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms" at RAIN Summit West this Sunday in Las Vegas. Rosin will also moderate our "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" panel (which we announced here), to investigate ways to increase listening for your webcast.

Also presenting new research at RAIN Summit West is NPD SVP/Industry Analysis Russ Crupnick, whose company has released results from its Q4 2012 Music Acquisition Monitor study.

Download "The Infinite Dial" summary and presentation from Arbitron here or Edison Research here.

Arbitron, Edison will present 2013 "Infinite Dial" with free webinar

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 12:45pm

Arbitron and Edison Research will debut the 2013 edition of their annual "The Infinite Dial" study with a free, one-hour webinar on April 2.

We announced here Arbitron SVP/Marketing Bill Rose and Edison Research president Larry Rosin will also present the study at RAIN Summit West on April 7 in Las Vegas. (If you subscribe to RAIN's daily e-mail, look for the RAIN Summit West discount code in the P.S. If you're not subscribed, it's free -- look for the button on the upper right at 

Every year since 1998, the two firms jointly investigate consumer use of media, technology, and digital platforms. This year's edition is called "The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms."

More details on the webinar are here.

Expert insight into growing your streaming audience AND revenue at RAIN Summit West

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 1:10pm

Edison Research co-founder and president Larry Rosin will pull "double duty" at RAIN Summit West, coming up April 7 in Las Vegas.

First, Rosin (top right) will join Arbitron SVP/Marketing Bill Rose (left) -- creating the tandem of "Rose 'n Rosin" -- to present the newest installment of their firms' annual joint-study "The Infinite Dial," examining technology adoption among radio listeners. It'll be the first of two presentations of valuable new research at RAIN Summit.

Rosin will also moderate our "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" panel (which we announced here), to investigate ways to increase listening for your webcast. The other pros joining the talk include The Echo Nest's Jim Lucchese, Rachna Bhasin from SiriusXm Radio, consultant/research expert Alan Burns, Pandora's Chris Martin, and Steve Jones from ABC Radio News.

After addressing audience growth, it'll be time to discuss how to "Jump Start Your Revenue," with a panel moderated by Triton Digital President of Publisher Development Dominick Milano (first announced here).

Michael Jackel, who's VP/West Coast Advertising Sales for leading music subscription service Spotify, will join the panel. Jackel (lower right) is a veteran of audio and digital media sales, with experience at Clear Channel Digital / iHeartRadio, Clear Channel radio and digital sales in L.A., and Katz Radio Group on both coasts. Dean Mandel is VP/Sales for Katz360, and manages digital sales efforts for more than 500 seller in various Katz Media Group divisions. Mandel (lower left) will also join the conversation, to discuss vital revenue strategies for Internet radio.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting the even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today (and save 20% when you use the discount code in the RAIN daily e-mail, to which you can subscribe here), via the RAIN Summit West page.

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