Arbitron to host webinar on adding "gamification" features to online radio

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 11:05am

ArbitronTomorrow Arbitron will host a webinar about adding "gamification" offerings to Internet radio. Gamification "incorporates game elements and mechanics into non-game websites and apps," explains Arbitron. Some examples are frequent flyer programers, Foursquare badges and eBay "stars."

"Every business (especially radio) can use gamification techniques to increase online and social media visits, engagement and retention," says Arbitron.

The webinar will feature Bunchball, a leader in gamification. You can find out more and register for the webinar here.

Arbitron mobile analytics initial findings: Pandora among top 5 apps

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 12:45pm

Arbitron mobileArbitron has launched a mobile measurement service and already found that Pandora is among the top 5 most popular apps.

The new Arbitron Mobile Trends Panel uses an "on-device software meter" to track "how mobile consumers use apps, surf the web, engage in social media, participate in e-commerce, are exposed to and act on advertising, and employ their device to communicate," said Arbitron.

The Panel is made up of about 6,000 smartphone and tablet users. Recruitment began in November 2011, said Arbitron.

Results from Q1 2012 show that Facebook, Google Search, YouTube, Pandora and Yahoo Mail make up the top 5 apps. Facebook, the most popular smartphone app, has a monthly reach of 65%. Arbitron found that app usage is growing faster than web browsing.

Arbitron's announcement arrives at about the same time as a new report from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which found that mobile advertising grew 149% in 2011 to reach $1.6 billion. Internet ad revenue overall grew 22% to $31 billion -- "a landmark high," commented the IAB.

You can find more from Arbitron here and more on the IAB's new report here.

Krasiniski leaves Arbitron; LDR adds N/T vet Hobbs; Pandora names Shapiro for political ads

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 11:00am

Arbitron SVP/Digital Media & Analytics Paul Krasinski has announced his exit from the company, and he's reportedly "headed for a social media company." In January 2011, Krasinski (right), then COO at Ando Media, joined Arbitron to lead the company's digital development. Arbitron is planning a return to online radio metrics with the launch of its "Total Audience Measurement" system.

Meanwhile, Listener Driven Radio has named Gabe Hobbs Strategic Advisor. Hobbs has more than 20 years experience in news, talk, and sports programming (1998-2008 he ran Clear Channel’s 275 news, talk, and sports stations). Listener Driven Radio recently launched its "Topic Pulse" service, which scans all available news sources, local blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets, and other social media so producers and talent can monitor topics and stories "getting buzz" in a market.

Finally, Pandora has named Rena Shapiro as Director of Political Advertising Sales. Shapiro (left), who was director/political and issue advocacy accounts at AOL, also helped create Google's political ad business. Last fall Pandora unveiled a new targeted ad product for political candidates and special interest groups, which targets listeners based on ZIP Code.

Arbitron, Edison report "largest year-over-year jump" in weekly Net radio usage they've yet seen

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 11:40am

Two weeks ago Edison Research and Arbitron announced they'd found weekly Internet radio listening grew 30% during 2011 (see our coverage here), and that 29% of 12+ Americans (76 million) now listen to Internet radio weekly, for an average of almost ten hours a week. Yesterday the companies officially released the study from which that finding comes, "The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms."

"We’ve been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year’s increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we’ve ever recorded," said Bill Rose, Arbitron SVP/Marketing.  Edison Research VP/Strategy and Marketing Tom Webster added "The jump in weekly online radio usage is remarkable, but really a trailing variable to the rise in smartphone penetration, which has enabled much of that growth."

As always (this is the 20th edition of the study), the researchers looked at cellphone/smartphone penetration and use, other portable digital media devices, overall Internet usage, online video, and social media. 

A few points of interest to the Internet radio industry:

  • 39% of Americans 12+ (103 million) have listened to Internet radio in the last month.
  • 17% of cell phone owners report listening to Internet radio in their cars by connecting their phones to their car stereo, a 50% increase in the past year.
  • Smartphone ownership has tripled in the last two years. 44% of all 12+ Americans own a smartphone, which is half of all cell phone owners.
  • A third of at-work radio listening is done on a computer or mobile device. 12% of smartphone owners listen to online radio "several times per day" or more.
  • "Heavy" Internet and radio users are more likely to be employed full-time.

Read more from Edison Research and Arbitron here, and see all the research presentation slides here.

Weekly web radio listening up 30% from 2011, largest growth since 1998 says Edison and Arbitron

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:45pm

Internet radio on smartphonesAccording to new data from Edison Research and Arbitron, weekly Internet radio listening in the U.S. grew 30% from 2011 to 2012. "This is the largest year-over-year increase we’ve seen since we began tracking this stat in 1998," writes Edison VP Tom Webster. And it's likely thanks to smartphones.

The data is part of Edison and Arbitron's report, "The Infinite Dial 2012: Navigating Digital Platforms," which will be released in full on April 10.

The companies found that 29% of Americans 12+ used Internet radio (including AM/FM streams and pureplays) weekly in 2012, up from 22% in 2011.

Webster points to smartphones and mobile web access as the catalyst. "In a sense, the continued penetration of smartphones is encouraging something of a radio renaissance, though it doesn’t look like your father’s Victrola," he writes.

"The ability to pick songs is now an algorithm. The Internet radio services of tomorrow have to show me how that content matters, if they want to matter."

You can find more from Edison Research's blog here.

UK's RAJAR, echoing Arbitron, explains differences of over-the-air and web radio measurement

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 11:00am

RAJARUK audience measurement body RAJAR has released a statement (here, PDF) in which it aims to explain the differences between how over-the-air and web radio audiences are measured.

"RAJAR measures real people," the document argues, while online measurement potentially has some flaws. "Online measurement can’t tell how many people are listening [meaning several people could be listening to one computer]... online measurement can’t tell how old a listener is [unless the listener shared that information]," and so on.

However, RAJAR does note that its over-the-air diary-based measurement system is flawed as well: it relies on listeners' memories and unlike the web's exact measurement, "RAJAR is a survey, and like all surveys it’s subject to sample error."

RAJAR argues "neither [measurement system] is ‘wrong’, and neither is less accurate than the other primarily because they are just different measures."

RAJAR's reports on UK radio listening include over-the-air and digital data.

Hat tip to industry expert James Cridland, who linked to RAJAR's statement from his blog here.

RAJAR's language is strikingly similar to a statement released in December 2011 by Arbitron (RAIN coverage here), which stressed the differences of AM/FM and web radio measurement. Arbitron even went so far as to argue against making "direct comparisons" between over-the-air and web radio measurements. 

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