Radio simulcasts streams slowly breaking into PPM ratings

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 12:35pm

Paragon Media's Larry Johnson blogged this week about Internet streams of broadcast radio stations increasingly appearing in Arbitron PPM ratings.

To be listed in the PPM ratings report, a  "station or combo must have received at least one quarter-hour of listening credit from at least one In-Tab panelist and a Metro Cume rating of 0.495 or greater."

It's that second part, the cume rating, that's the greatest challenge for Internet streams being listed, he says. Paragon did an analysis of October ratings in four PPM markets, and found 18 station streams with enough listening to register in PPM. "However, only 22% of those listed stations posted 6+ Shares in October 2011 (Persons 6+ Monday-Sunday 6a-Midnight)." Obviously, any stream that made it in the listing had some listening. But the measurements are subject to rounding error, and those small audiences rounded down to zero.

"It would be great if all Internet, time-shifted archives/podcasts, mobile, and satellite radio were coded and accessible in the local market reports so we could get a comprehensive view of the audio listening landscape," Johnson wrote. "Now that the listing hurdle has been cleared, look for your station’s Internet stream to be an even more important part of your ratings profile."

Read the Paragon Media blog here.

Inside Radio: Arbitron plans to eventually use PPM to measure web radio

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 12:55pm

ArbitronArbitron hopes to launch a Total Audience Measurement service next year, which will include web radio listening via server-side data (more RAIN coverage here and here).

Today Inside Radio reports that "server-side data will only be a short-term scenario, necessitated by limitations PPM panels run into when measuring small slivers of how people consume content."

“As digital consumption increases, the panel that we have in place becomes a more effective tool in measuring [streaming],” said Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer.

You can read more by subscribing to Inside Radio here.

To compete with over-the-air radio, Pandora says it needs the same audience metrics

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:00pm

Pandora founder Tim Westergren, speaking to advertising executives last week, stressed the need for a "universal metric" to measure listening to both traditional, broadcast radio and Internet radio services like his own.

"It's really absurd there's not an apples-to-apples" comparison, he told a group of advertising professionals at agency Horizon Media. 

Pandora reported $176 million in ad revenues for its fiscal year ending July 31. Advertisers spent $17 billion on AM/FM radio advertising last year; and as Pandora says it now owns 4% of radio listening in the U.S., the webcaster obviously feels a bigger slice of that pie. 

In fact, this sounds like exactly what audience metrics firm Arbitron is working towards now. Over the past few months, Arbitron has revealed some of its plans for an integrated over-the-air and Internet radio measurement system (in RAIN here and also here). Towards these efforts, the company acquired Finnish mobile audience measurement and analytics firm Zokem Oy (see RAIN here) in July, then partnered with Belgian ad tech firm AdSwizz last month (in RAIN here). Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer explained AdSwizz will, in fact, convert server-based streaming radio data (such as from webcasters) into traditional broadcast radio metrics like Average Quarter Hour, Time Spent Listening, and Cumulative Audience.

Without a platform-agnostic metric, Chief Revenue Officer John Trimble explained Pandora sales efforts involve "doing manual calculations to turn unique visitors and time spent into traditional-radio metrics such as average quarterly hour," reports. Read more here.

Informal Arbitron survey shows radio not yet effectively "engaging" listeners via social media

Friday, October 28, 2011 - 11:30am

Arbitron released the results of an informal study it conducted on radio stations' use of social media and stations' social media engagement with listeners. The bottom line: radio largely approaches social media -- which should be a platform for "engagement" and genuine "back-and-forth" between station and listeners -- as another form of "broadcasting" (the "we talk, you listen" model).Arbitron social media chart

For the study, Arbitron randomly chose 15 stations (6 in markets 1-50, 5 in 51-149, 4 in 150+) of various formats and monitored their activities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs (apparently, radio's abandoned MySpace) over a recent Thursday-Saturday. As it turns out, almost all stations in every format are on Facebook, but not necessarily Twitter, YouTube and MySpace. Interestingly, the study found the average station has a Facebook audience equal to roughly 7% of its cume (this does vary, however, by genre... small cume stations often have highly-engaged and loyal listeners, e.g. sports talk). [See the chart below-left. We're not sure of the difference between the "7% of cume" figure cited in the study's text, and the "11%" average that appears in the chart.]

The study revealed that nearly three-quarters of stations surveyed didn’t post a single Twitter or Facebook update over the weekend. More than half the stations didn’t manage to elicit a listener response on their Facebook wall for the entire three-day survey period. And for what engagement with listeners there was, almost 80% of those exchanges originated with the station.

More than 1 in every 4 radio station Facebook posts were plugs for contests and giveaways, but those posts generated only 10% of the comments stations got from listeners. "The lack of comments is indicative that these types of post are not actually stirring people’s interests or engaging them," says Arbitron. "To click on the 'like' button takes little effort and is a short term strategy, after all who doesn’t 'like' free stuff?" 

Arbitron social media chartBetter for actually eliciting listener response were "question" posts ("Who are you rooting for in the World Series?" or "Do you support or oppose the 'Occupy' movement?"). While only 1 in 5 station Facebook posts asked listeners for their opinion, more than half of listener posts on station Facebook pages were in response to these questions. Arbitron does offer the caution, however, "Stations need to ensure they aren’t just pushing out questions though and that they are actually engaging in the conversation."  

Arbitron concludes, "Stations must engage their listener. Engage doesn’t mean to push out a message from a social media platform and then count the responses. Engage means to share stories, build community and create deeper relationships. Most stations are not engaging consistently. It appears most stations have not adjusted their communication style from broadcasting to engaging."

Read the summary of Arbitron's study summary here.

Arbitron partners with AdsWizz to measure streaming radio

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 11:35am

ArbitronArbitron has taken another step towards its Total Audience Measurement service -- which will measure both over-the-air and Internet radio -- with a partnership with Belgium-based tech firm AdsWizz.

Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer says AdsWizz will convert server-based streaming radio data into AQH, TSL and cume. Arbitron will then combine those metrics with its over-the-air audience data to create what the company hopes will be the "standard reporting metrics for over-the-air and digital streaming audiences," said Creamer. (Read more about Arbitron's planned all-in-one measurement service in RAIN here.)

AdsWizz“We are currently working with both our radio station clients and the digital service providers to develop the first report deliverables,” Creamer told analysts yesterday. 

Currently, the major Internet radio measurement firm is Triton Digital, which owns Ando Media and releases monthly Webcast Metrics reports. Inside Radio comments that "now the stage is set for what’s likely to be a heated battle for measurement dollars in a quickly evolving space. While ad agencies have expressed a desire for single source measurement that follows a listener as they move from broadcast to web to mobile listening, it’s unclear if using conventional AQH metrics for a digital medium will fly at digital shops." 

Just last week AdsWizz announced its debut in the U.S. with 60 new clients and a partnership with Liquid Compass (RAIN coverage here).

Read more in today's issue of Inside Radio by subscribing here.


Monday, September 19, 2011 - 12:00pm

Web radio ad revenue

A report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) states that online radio advertising in Q1 of 2011 was up 21% from Q1 2010. The report also shows that Internet radio users are more likely to act on advertising, with 18% visiting an advertisers' website (compared to 11% of overall Internet users).

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