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Internet incarnation of FM alt rock station hoping to resurrect Jamboree fest via Kickstarter

Friday, April 27, 2012 - 11:30am

Q101's Kickstarter projectChicago's iconic alternative rock station Q101 has lived an online-only life since its FM frequency, 101.1, was flipped to all-news by Merlin Media in July 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Broadcast Barter Radio Networks purchased Q101's intellectual property and website soon after the flip (RAIN coverage here). 

Now the web-only Q101 is running a fundraising campaign through online service Kickstarter to bring back the Jamboree music festival in 2012.

Q101 hosted the first outdoor "Jamboree" music fest in 1995 (with bands like Bush, The Flaming Lips and Sheryl Crow). Subsequent festivals were held somewhat regularly through 2011.

The 2012 Kickstarter project needs nearly $300,000 in funding. As of publication, Q101 has raised $53,000 with 8 days left in the project. Q101 says the date and venue for the festival will be finalized "the minute this project is funded." No artist line-ups have been announced.

You can find Q101's Jamboree 2012 Kickstarter page here.

Kickstarter is a website that helps raise funding for products, services and ideas. RAIN recently highlighed 5 radio projects on Kickstarter here.

Hat tip to Gaper's Block for their article on Chicagoland music-related Kickstarter projects here.

Federated Media re-launches Indiana hip-hop station as online-only stream

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 11:10am

Power, Michian's Hits & Hip-Hop stationFederated Media re-launched its "Power 95.7" South Bend, IN hip-hop station Friday as an online-only stream. The webcast is dubbed "Power, Michiana's Hits & Hip-Hop." The FM station was switched over to news/talk three years ago.

The new web-only station (found here) is currently programmed from Pittsburgh and features only music and imaging, though voices will reportedly be added later. It resembles an over-the-air station stream, in that users can't skip songs or customize the music.

Inside Radio reports Federated Media is "bullish on streaming" and says the company is "billing three times the amount it pays out to run the streams -- even at an inventory sell rate of 45-50%."

You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletters here.

Stations report listeners getting more comfortable with "time-shifting" content

Friday, April 6, 2012 - 1:05pm

WEEI's on-demand content browserRadio listeners increasingly want to consume media on their own schedule. Inside Radio reports today on several radio stations that are offering on-demand, "time-shifted" content -- and finding success.

Entercom Boston sports station WEEI, for example, has seen a 20% growth in on-demand audio consumption compared to last year. The station generates an average of 450,000 on-demand audio plays per month and around 550,000 podcast downloads.

Meanwhile, podcasts of the "Preston & Steve" morning show on Greater Media's WMMR in Philadelphia are downloaded more than 500,000 times per month. PD Bill Weston tells Inside Radio that over half of the downloads aren't by regular subscribers. "There are a lot of people that are getting it piecemeal, they go on and find it and pull it in because they missed a day," he said.

And just yesterday ESPN Radio announced its website had seen its "best month" yet in March, with on-demand listening to through the ESPN Audio NOW Player up 511% over March 2011 (RAIN coverage here).

All this time-shifted listening will increase radio consumption overall, argues enterpeneur Michael Roberston. His DAR.fm service acts like a TiVo for radio programs (RAIN coverage here). And he tells Inside Radio the service now has 50,000 active users. But to see the increase in consumption, "radio measurement has to change, just like TV measurement has," Robertson said. 

Roberston will be a panelist at the upcoming RAIN Summit West 2012 conference in Las Vegas. He'll speak on the topic of "The Streaming Music Landscape," alongside Brendan Benzing of Rhapsody, Paul Campbell of Amazing Radio, Jamie Purpora of TuneCore and moderator Ted Cohen of TAG Strategic. Find out more here

You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletters here.

ESPN Radio scores big online audience growth in March

Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 11:45am

ESPN Audio NOW playerBetween the NCAA Tournament and news from Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning, ESPN Radio says March was the "best month" yet for ESPNRadio.com in its 11-year history.

The site attracted nearly 27 milion page views during the month (up 36% from 2011), of which nearly 1.51 million page views included 30-60 minutes of listening to digital audio through the ESPN Audio NOW Player. That's reportedly up 511% from March 2011.

ESPN SVP, Production/Business Divisions Traug Keller will keynote RAIN Summit West 2012 in just over a week. He will no doubt touch on ESPN Radio's digital successes -- don't miss it! You can find out more about the Summit here.

You can find more coverage on ESPN Radio's digital growth in March from Radio Online here, Radio Ink here and Inside Radio here.

After a tough 2011, Borrell predicts growth for local radio's online ad revenue

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 12:05pm

Borrell Associates says "pureplay" Internet radio generated $206.3 million in streaming audio advertising in 2011, significantly topping broadcasters' $67.4 million. And while Borrell Associates’ new Benchmarking Local Online Media: 2011 Revenue Survey predicts radio will double its streaming audio revenue in 2012, it'll still be only half of what "only-online" radio does.

Borrell says streaming audio ads represented 22% ($67.4 million) of broadcasters’ 2011 online revenue. 

Local stations didn't have a great 2011 online. While the online advertising market grew overall, local radio's share of the pool didn't keep up. While the rest of the online media industry grew 20.6%, says Borrell, radio grew only 6.1%, giving them less than 2% of 2011's $16.4 billion total.

That said, Borrell is looking for radio to turn it around, with a nearly $410 million 2012 in local online ad sales, for a 35% increase over 2011.

(See Borrell's predictions from November here. We also recently reported on BIA/Kelsey's 2011 local online ad revenue recap here.)

Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell will both participate in the "Charting Digital Audio Ad Dollars" panel, and present a "POV" (see story in today's issue) at our upcoming RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas (more here). Read more on the Borrell study here.

NPR SVP of Marketing: "Public radio is actually expanding"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 11:50am

NPR News on the iPadAccording to the Pew Research Center, NPR's average weekly over-the-air audience declined slightly in 2011. But digital is where the growth is, says NPR CEO Gary Knell. "Our digital growth is exploding," he told the Nieman Journalism Lab.

Average weekly listening to NPR programming dipped 1.45% from 2010 to 2011, according to Pew's "State of the News Media 2012" report (RAIN coverage here). 

"Our view is that radio isn’t in decline; public radio is actually expanding," said NPR SVP of Marketing Dana Davis Rehm. 

CEO Knell recently stated, “Radio isn’t going away, it's going everywhere... We need to reach audience in ways convenient and accessible to them in emerging and traditional platforms."

Pew points to a few of NPR's digital achievements:

  • Traffic to NPR's website grew over 29% in 2011 (compared to 2010), reaching 17.7 million unique visitors according to Pew. 
  • NPR launched its Pandora-like Infinite Player in 2011 (RAIN coverage here).
  • NPR's apps were downloaded nearly 6 million times by the end of 2011.
  • Monthly downloads of NPR's podcasts grew 20% from 2010.
  • NPR's Facebook page was ranked #3 among the Top 10 fastest-growing news pages.

NPR also earlier this year partnered with Ford for dashboard integration of the NPR News app (RAIN coverage here).

NPR CEO Gary Knell

"NPR’s gotta be on there," Knell (pictured left) said of next-generation car dashboards. "Public radio’s gotta be a player. If we’re not on these platforms, we’re dead. This isn’t a choice of whether -- it’s really a choice of how."

SVP Rehm says NPR is working with member stations to measure streaming listening. This may or may not refer to NPR's addition of Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics to its Digital Services' suite of analytics offerings last week (NPR offers member stations an introduction to Webcast Metrics here).

Pew writes, "If NPR can attract new audiences to its projects across nontraditional platforms and continue to get funding to cover associated start-up costs, it could make up for the loss of terrestrial listeners."

The Nieman Jouranlism Lab points out (here) that weekly listening to NPR stations (in contrast to NPR programming) grew from 2010 to 2011.

"Still, the data in Pew’s report portends near-term challenges for radio," writes the Nieman Lab. The Pew report noted that "there is also evidence in the data that people listen to AM/FM out convenience rather than out of deeper appreciation for the content."

Pew published much more data on radio and Internet radio as a whole. The report includes figures on the growth of listening to online-only radio services (while listening to AM/FM web streams remains flat), and on the projected growth of digital radio revenues. You can find more from Pew here.

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