CBS

Most major webcasters flat in September online ratings

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 1:20pm

Triton Digital's September Internet Audio Top 20 ratings reflect some pretty significant growth for the aggregation of NPR Member Stations. The group has taken the #10 spot for Average Active Sessions (AAS) 6a-12M Monday-Sunday in the September Domestic Ranker (see chart below). The 12,236 AAS for NPR Member Stations is 58% higher than its August number. (While Triton's press release gives no indication, we'd guess it likely that at least some of this growth reflects the addition of more stations to this group.)

Religious/conservative broadcaster Salem Communications, #14 for the same ranker, saw its AAS rise 24% since last month.

The largest webcasters saw little to now growth month-to-month. Pandora's AAS was up 3%; CBS's continued to slide, down 11% since August (CBS online listening in this particular ranker is down 54% in the past 12 months. Compare that to Clear Channel, which is up 94% over the same time period).

Finally, something seems to have changed for Digitally Imported some time in August. Traditionally leader among Internet-only webcasters, DI dropped 57% in this ranker in the past month alone. It's likely a change like this reflects a measurement error of some sort. [UPDATE: Digitally Imported has indeed informed us that not all of its streams were counted in these most recent ratings periods. -- PM]

See all of Triton Digital's Internet Audio Top 20 Rankers here.

Looking to steal some of WTOP's online "magic," CBS in D.C. hires away digital news director

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

CBS Radio this month brought on Mike Gartell to manage the web properties for its five Washington, D.C. stations, including the six-month old all-news WNEW-FM.

That's significant because Gartell was hired away from Hubbard's WTOP/Washington, D.C., known not only as the nation's top-billing station, but for its exemplary online presence (among other accolades, it garnered this publication's RAIN Award for the Best Overall Digital Strategy last fall).

While WNEW-FM's on-air ratings aren't competitive with WTOP's, Washington City Paper columnist Will Sommer suggests CBS may be attacking via a different route: online. "It looks like WNEW and CBS know that there are more than one way to skin the nation's top-billing cat," he wrote. "Is WNEW trying to snag some of that WTOP Web magic?"

He hopes Gartell spends some time in his new job on WNEW's website, and says, "With too many promotional links in the top and not enough actual news, (WNEW-FM's site) lacks the melange of wire-service copy and original reporting that powered his last site."

Read more here. Also, we're one week away from the entry deadline for this year's RAIN Internet Radio Awards. Register here.

Yahoo!, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio form circle of partnerships with radio this week

Friday, June 29, 2012 - 11:45am

Several new arrangements between the various players were announced in the last seven days, and many of those involved are dancing with multiple partners... so here's our stab at a "clear as mud" review:

TuneIn is a web and mobile "tuning service" which provides users (and device makers) a "one-stop" destination to find thousands of terrestrial and online streams and on-demand audio content. Last week, TuneIn announced (RAIN's coverage here) partnerships with 20 major broadcasting companies, including Fox News Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Public Radio Exchange and Monocle 24. These new partnerships alone added 600 new streams to the TuneIn directory. But they weren't finished. This week the company not only announced a new partnership (in RAIN here) to make available content from Carolla Digital (home to "The Adam Carolla Show," "This Week with Larry Miller," "Penn's Sunday School with Penn Jillette," and more) -- but also revealed (here) the addition of the local station streams from major U.S. radio groups Entercom, Cox, and Emmis (the three groups combined own more than 200 stations).

Interestingly, two of those groups -- Cox and Emmis -- had themselves just announced a similar deal with Clear Channel to make their streams available on CC's iHeartRadio platform as well (coverage here).

Clear Channel also announced a major partnership this week with Yahoo!, making them the "preferred radio" partner of the web giant. In our coverage, here, we had suggested that this new arrangement would elbow out CBS Radio, which had been Yahoo!'s radio partner... but coverage in the L.A. Times (here) and Taylor on Radio-Info (here) reports CBS isn't yet out of the picture. In other words, Yahoo! users who want local radio streams will be directed to Clear Channel (or other iHeartRadio partner) streams... unless they're shown CBS streams. Hmmm.

At least the personalized-radio situation is clearer. Now that Yahoo! and iHeart Radio are BFFs, Yahoo! users who want customized Internet radio will now be steered towards the iHeartRadio's "Custom Stations" feature. That is, unless they end up listening to personalized radio from Yahoo!'s other new partner, Spotify (which recently made free personalizable net radio the "central feature" of its mobile apps (here) -- and with whom Yahoo! also announced a partnership, here), for whom Yahoo! dumped Spotify-competitor Rhapsody

Enough? Or would you like to know that Slacker and ABC Radio are partnering to produce two gender-aimed lifestyle Internet radio talk stations; and that SiriusXM has announced a deal to make its content available via Google TV (coverage for both stories here)?

Denver, Cleveland radio pros say depressed economy is a bigger foe than Net radio right now

Monday, June 4, 2012 - 8:15am

The Denver Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer alike treated Sunday readers to accounts of how local radio personalities see their industry faring against new media competition like Pandora. In both articles, in both markets, the answer was the same: "Live and local."

In fact, pros in both markets say the current economy is a more powerful adversary than Pandora.

Chuck Lontine, managing director of media investment firm Marconi told the Denver paper, "The reversal in both station valuations and ad revenues are a function of the condition of the economy, not the loss of audience share."

Tom Herschel, market manager for CBS Radio in Cleveland, told his local paper, "The most recent figure is that 94% of adults in Cleveland listen to radio on a weekly basis. I'm bullish on where we are."

[The Chicago Tribune, by the way, this weekend covered the arrival of a local sales staff in Chicago, a development RAIN covered here. The photo here is from The Trib; it's part of Pandora's new sales office on the 21st floor of the Tribune Tower.]

Radio professionals in both markets testified to the power of live personalities, connecting to the community and delivering local info, as something Pandora and its ilk will never match. However, The Plain Dealer reports that -- with the exception of sports radio -- voice-tracking and out-of-town personalities are actually leading to less and less "live and local" personality on the radio.

Read The Denver Post here, the Cleveland Plain Dealer here, and the Chicago Tribune here.

Legendary on-air shocker Leykis to debut daily online show Monday

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 11:40am

On Monday when he clicks on the mic, West Coast shock-jock legend Tom Leykis will become the latest former on-air talent to begin producing a daily radio show on the Internet (e.g. Bubba the Love Sponge, coverage here)

Leykis left the airwaves in February 2009, when KLSX-FM/Los Angeles owner CBS Radio changed the format to top-40. Leykis has a 5-year contract with CBS that continued to pay him (much like Chicago legend Steve Dahl (more here)), so he sat on the sidelines.

In July 2010, Leykis launched New Normal Music, an online stream of independent and new rock and pop music. Today, that stream is just one of eight audio options on his NewNormalNetwork.com site (there are two other music streams, several podcasts focused on high-end cocktails (including his own "The Tasting Room," which is syndicated on-air), and the daily "The Gary & Dino Show").

“We can produce the same or better content without real estate, without big, expensive and outdated equipment such as transmitters and satellite dishes, and without government regulation," he explains in the press release announcing his Monday debut. "We can be heard anywhere in the world rather than in select radio markets... We can sell advertising at a far more reasonable price than a local radio station... We are offering special rates to small and medium sized businesses that feel that they’ve been shut out from radio advertising..."

The new Tom Leykis Show will debut Monday and stream 3pm (PT) weekdays at http://www.blowmeuptom.com/. Read the press release here.

CBS launches "Your Day" iPad app to leverage audience gains for combined local media

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 12:15pm

CBS yesterday announced it's created and launched the new "Your Day" iPad app, which aggregates content from its local radio, television, and online properties. The app adds content from CBS-owned properties like CNet, CBSSports.com, and Chow.com as well.

The "Your Day" app is free and available for 24 of the top U.S. markets.

MediaPost reports, "One of the key strategies has been to consolidate separate Web properties in a given market into one local online hub. In New York, for example, different sites for WCBS-TV (Channel 2), WFAN, 1010 WINS and WCBS 880 were combined into one property -- CBSNewYork.com -- leading to traffic gains beyond the total of the combined audiences for the four properties." CBS is now duplicating that strategy in 25 markets.

ComScore data shows total listening hours for local CBS radio streams are up 20% 2010-2011, and total listening hours per session are up 18% (interestingly, Triton's Webcast Metrics has shown steady decline in Average Active Sessions for CBS from late 2009 through January 2012 -- you can see that here, and our coverage of the latest Webcast Metrics ratings is here).

According to a recent BIA/Kelsey forecast, local online ad revenue across the country will grow from $21.2 billion this year to $38.5 billion by 2016. The growth in the digital segment will offset slower than anticipated growth in total local media advertising revenues, the company says.

Read MediaPost's coverage of the Your Day app here.

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