CBS Radio

AOL Radio will reportedly survive AOL Music closing

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 12:00pm

Word began to leak on Friday afternoon -- via former employees on Twitter -- that AOL Music has shut down.

AOL Music's rock news property Spinner (itself an early pioneer in online radio) will reportedly continue to operate AOL Radio channels. Spinner editor Dan Reilly first began to tweet about staff layoffs early Friday afternoon. AOL Radio program director Thomas Chau later tweeted to clarify that AOL Radio would not be part of the closings.

At one time AOL Radio music streams were featured on CBS Radio's Radio.com platform. In October of 2011, AOL Radio channels instead became available within Slacker's interface (see RAIN here).

AllThingsDigital reminds us of "Microsoft’s (2006) shuttering of MSN Music, while Yahoo closed the doors on its Yahoo Music services in 2008, as well as shutting down its MusicMatch service the year prior (just three years after acquiring it in 2004 for $160 million)."

Read more from AllThingsDigital here and Mashable here.

Last week brought record audiences to Boston radio streams, websites, and social media

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 12:15pm

Boston radio saw a deluge of audience for online streaming, websites, video, and social media last week as the city was in the grips of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, according to coverage from Inside Radio.

Data from Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics indicate CBS Radio WBZ/Boston's online audience grew more than twenty-fold on Monday, April 15, the day of the Marathon (compared to the previous Monday), topping two hundred thousand stream launches. For Friday's citywide manhunt, that number hit 1.5 million. Entercom sports radio WEEI streamed live coverage of the Marathon on Monday. Its online cume that day was 30-thousand, almost double normal listening. Streaming cume for sister station news talk WRKO more than doubled, to 20-thousand.

Google Analytics shows CBSBoston.com getting two million unique visitors the day the bombing occurred, which is more than eight times normal levels. When Boston locked down on Friday to find the perpetrators, the site's unique visitors, page views, total visits, and video views "were at 32-38 times normal levels," reports Inside Radio. NPR affiliate WBUR's website got over 900-thousand uniques and 2.3 million page views just last week, nearly its normal monthly total. WBUR even says its Facebook reach grew 550%.

Subscribe to Inside Radio here.

Inside Radio: Automated ad buying could drive up demand and CPMs for Net radio

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 12:20pm

In January we reported Triton Digital announced its a2x "programmatic buying" solution for streaming audio ads (here), and the launch of Xaxis Radio -- a "digital trading desk" -- on the agency side (here).

Today Inside Radio predicts automated auction buying to grow and help generate revenue for online radio.

"As more shops and broadcasters take a seat at the exchange, multiple buyers would bid against each other for the same audience impressions, driving up demand and tapping into digital budgets. The goal for broadcasters is to extract higher costs per thousands (CPMs)," reads the Inside Radio coverage.

Earlier this month, CBS Radio became the first major service to sign on to Triton Digital's a2x service (press release here).

"It's opening up the door to whole new budgets that we haven't touched before," says CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz. "There are certain advertisers that are only going to buy this way in the future."

Inside Radio points to automated buying first in paid search advertising, then in digital display, as the trend.

"Now that executives who rose through the ranks from digital are in charge of planning and buying all media at Universal McCann, Starcom USA and Zenith," watch for automated buying to increase.

There's more on a2x from Triton Digital here.

Side benefit of original CBS football digital content: It's theirs

Monday, October 1, 2012 - 4:55pm

CBS Radio has developed and launched several NFL-related original content streams to deepen fans' engagement with their brands (including radio) on football Sunday.

One benefit of this original content (as pointed out by both Inside Radio and CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz) is that CBS isn't constrained by royalties and rules about how it can be used, as they are with copyright music. "We’ve put together a very lean but efficient studio model where we’re developing content in house that we own and have the ability to put onto multiple platforms," Kucharz told Inside Radio. "With music there is an incremental expense on a royalty basis. With content that we create and own, there’s a fixed cost and that’s it."

Football fans can try:

Tailgate Fan: A web/mobile video series showcasing fans' pregame party and food, in a different NFL city each week, hosted by comedian Nick Stevens

Sports Verdict: Two sports experts debate a football topic, and fans decide the verdict.

Pregame Playlist: Video series in which a different NFL player each week gives fans a glimpse into his digital music player.

Player Style File: Video feature covers different players' off-field lifestyle.

CBS Radio’s mobile audience is up to 10 million monthly uniques across its apps and the mobile web. CBS Radio's sports station's streams time-spent-listening is up 43% on Mondays over other weekdays so far this NFL season.

Kucharz is the recipient of the 2012 Triton Digital RAINMaker Award, which was presented at our recent RAIN Summit Dallas event. The CBS Local Digital Media studios "employ a small staff bolstered by on-air talent from the company’s radio and TV stations. They’re part of a digital strategy that leverages fast-changing technology for products that tie in with the company’s on-air and online businesses," explains Inside Radio.

Triton Webcast Metrics: CC shows strong monthly growth, but Pandora AAS still nearly 7 times larger

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:05am

Chart tracking web listening through May 2012Clear Channel had the largest percentage month-to-month growth in May amongst the Top 20 webcasters ranked in Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics. However, in terms of raw audience gains, Pandora was once again far-and-away the leader.

Pandora's AAS (Average Active Sessions, essentially equivalent to AQH) grew by more than 51,000 from April to May 2012, according to the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart. That's a monthly growth of 4% and a year-to-year gain of 129%. Pandora had an AAS of 1,241,819 in May 2012.

Meanwhile, #2-ranked Clear Channel grew 7% month-to-month, reaching an AAS of 183,257. Clear Channel's AAS is up 128% year-to-year, just about matching Pandora's yearly gain.

Slacker -- currently ranked #4; also includes AOL Radio -- grew its AAS 4% month-to-month and continues to gain on the #3-ranked CBS Radio, which declined 3% from April. CBS Radio is down 39% year-to-year, while Slacker has climbed 72%.

Most other broadcasters listed in the Top 20 ranker were flat or down month-to-month. Exceptions include Townsquare (up 6%), Univision (up 6%) and Cox (up 4%). As for the pureplays, Digitally Imported grew 2% month-to-month while AccuRadio declined 4%. 

Though May had the Memorial Day holiday -- and arguably could be the start of the "summer duldrums," a period in which Internet radio listening traditionally declines slightly -- it actually had about the same number of weekdays as April. 

(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through May 2012. Note that Pandora's AAS numbers from December 2010 through mid-August 2011 were affected by the omission of tracking code in some of its mobile apps. Click to view in full size.)

You can find the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m ranking below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of April 2012’s ratings here.

Triton's Webcast Metrics Domestic Ranker for May 2012

A day after switching Spotify for Rhapsody, Yahoo!'s new radio partner takes over for CBS

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:40pm

Today Clear Channel Radio and Yahoo! announce the partnership that makes the broadcaster's iHeartRadio Yahoo!’s "premier digital radio service."

The deal includes both companies promoting content across iHeartRadio, station sites, and Yahoo!'s web network. Yahoo! will be Clear Channel's exclusive web and mobile partner for the iHeartRadio Festival (for which Yahoo! will host the exclusive webcast), as well as a series of other concert events.

Today's announcement presumably ends Yahoo!'s partnership with CBS Radio. Yahoo! Music Radio, the company's own series of Internet-only music radio streams, was born of the formerly-independent LAUNCHcast after the latter's acquistion by Yahoo!. Late in 2008 Yahoo! entered an arrangement with CBS Radio that pretty much replaced the customizable LAUNCHcast channels with pre-programmed online-only music stations and local CBS music, news/talk, and sports streams. Though the press release doesn't explicitly state it, it seems Clear Channel programming is powering all online radio available via Yahoo! 

Yesterday we reported (here) that Yahoo! had announced that Spotify would be its official on-demand music service partner, replacing Rhapsody (Interestingly, Spotify itself made a serious foray into online radio -- our coverage is here -- so technically Yahoo! has two online radio partners).

Read more on today's Yahoo!/Clear Channel deal in Billboard.biz here; Radio-Info here; and MediaPost here.

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