Cox

Triton Digital releases April Internet radio ratings

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 12:05pm

Industry leading webcaster Pandora saw its April Average Active Sessions (the online radio equivalent of Average Quarter Hour) fall 7% March to April, in the first full month of its 40-hour/month cap on free mobile listening. Meanwhile, most of the top streaming broadcast groups saw double-digit AAS growth in April.

Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics Top 20 rankers for April were released yesterday.

While Pandora's listening was down a bit, broadcast groups like Clear Channel, Cumulus, and CBS Radio all enjoyed 11%-13% AAS bumps in April. Clear Channel (which has the iHeartRadio online radio platform) is up 42% over the past twelve months, and up 21% in 2013 alone. Only Cox among the top broadcast streamers was down in April, 12%. While Cox's AAS is down 10% so far this year, it's still grown 21% since April 2012. Note that Cox recently sold several clusters in markets like Birmingham, Richmond, south Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisville, and Greenville -- and this ratings period reflects the loss of that listening.

Internet radio pureplay Slacker continues its streak, up another 11% in April (and 40% in 2013). And the online-only webcaster idobi, which seemingly came out of nowhere in November to join the ranks of the top pureplays in Webcast Metrics, also got a 10% AAS bump in April.

These numbers, by the way, all come from the 6a-12a, Monday through Sunday "Domestic" ranking (see the chart below). A former top pureplay in that ranking, Digitally Imported, is now the top pureplay and second only to Clear Channel on the "All Streams" ranker (which takes non-U.S. listening into account). (Note that Pandora is not a part of this ranking.)

Pandora instituted its listening cap to temper its sound recording royalty expenditure. Since advertisers aren't paying as much for mobile ad impressions, the webcaster monetizes ad-supported mobile listening at a significantly lower rate than on desktop computers. Listeners who hit the cap can pay 99-cents to listen for the rest of the month, or purchase the Pandora One subscription to listen commercial-free (about $36 a year).

Apparently, a good number of listeners are doing exactly this. Pandora added more than 700-thousand new subscribers to its Pandora One service in its first quarter this year, up 114% to more than two-and-a-half million (and more net new subscribers in the quarter than in all of fiscal 2013) (see RAIN here). Pandora now also has the top-grossing "non-game" app in Apple's App Store (more here).

You can see Triton Digital's full April 2013 Webcast Metrics Top 20 rankers here. RAIN's coverage of the March 2013 ratings is here.

Triton Digital: Mobile likely growing Net radio listening with more, yet shorter, sessions

Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 12:30pm

In its release yesterday of Webcast Metrics February Top 20 Ranker, Triton Digital analyzed the effect of increasing mobile listening on audience metrics.

Overall, AAS (or Average Active Sessions -- the number of listeners to a stream at the average moment in the given daypart) during Internet radio's "primetime" (M-F 6a-8p) grew 6% since January. Year-over-year, that growth is 34%.

[Let's note right here that for our own analysis of Webcast Metrics figures, we almost always use the M-Su 6a-12M daypart, and the "domestic ranker."]

Separating "desktop" listening from that on mobile devices, it's clear which is pulling this growth wagon.

While most listening is still on desktop/laptop computers, "we see impressive AAS growth of 43% in mobile listening, while desktop listening only saw an increase of 5%," Triton Digital explains.

However, as more listen on mobile devices, ATSL (Average Time Spent Listening) tends to fall. Across the board, the Webcast Metrics panel has seen ATSL drop from 46 minutes last year to 39 minutes now. (In the past year, mobile ATSL has fallen slightly, desktop ATSL has risen slightly.)

Triton concludes, "Engagement at the desktop is roughly double that of mobile devices, but the growth in listening is being driven by shorter listening sessions on mobile devices."

Looking at February's numbers, listening was generally flat comparing January to February. The lone major exception was ESPN Radio, down a bit following a January surge likely fueled by Superbowl coverage. Yet its February AAS was still higher than any month before January.

Year-over-year numbers are more heartening, especially for Internet-only webcasters (well, especially for Pandora!) The segment of the panel that's "Internet-only" is up 52% over the last year. That's nearly solely powered by Pandora's growth, which is up 55%, and despite the loss of Digitally Imported and 977Music from this list. The Internet-only segment did benefit from the introduction of Idobi Radio in November, however.

Overall, the Top 20's combined AAS is up 43% year-to-year (Again, this number is different from the overall growth figure in Triton Digital's analysis above, as we're monitoring a wider daypart, and possibly a different ranker. Growth in mobile listening may in fact be driving AAS outside the typical "business hours" daypart, thus making our M-Su 6a-12M number higher.).

Looking at the major broadcasters' streams, Clear Channel and Cox are both up significantly over February of last year (31% and 35%, respectively). CBS, however, is down 25%.

One final note: Pandora's lead over the combined online AAS of the top five streaming broadcast groups is now 71% higher than it was a year ago.

You can see one of the February rankers below. See all of the published Webcast Metrics numbers here. Our coverage of January's Webcast Metrics rankings is here.

RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson will discuss Internet radio listening trends as part of his "State of the Industry" address, and Triton Digital's president of market development John Rosso (pictured) will give a POV (point of view) address, at RAIN Summit West, this Sunday in Las Vegas.

Cox creates $250M fund to exclusively back board member's startups

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 12:25pm

Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Media and Cox Communications, has announced its launch of a $250 million investment fund to back "directly and exclusively in companies created by" board member and serial entrepreneur Tripp Rackley.

According to TechCrunch, "Rackley has a track record in building tech startups that have had successful exits. The most notable ones have been in the enterprise sector, specifically in financial services — nFront, now part of Intuit; and Firethorn, now part of Qualcomm."

Experience, a Rackley startup, is the partnership's first investment. It's a mobile app sporting event or concert attendees can use to upgrade their seats. TechCrunch suggests this may be a clue that the new fund could "be dedicated to startups that are in some way adjacent to the media business for which Cox is already known."

Read TechCrunch here, and the Cox press release here.

Cox latest broadcaster to support Internet Radio Fairness Act

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 12:45pm

The Cox Media Group has officially announced its support of the Internet Radio Fairness Act (details of the bill are here) that would move Internet radio royalty determinations away from the controversial "willing buyer willing seller" standard to the more widely-accepted 801(b) standard.

"We believe the current royalty system for Internet radio actually hinders its future and growth," CMG Director of Communications Andy McDill said. "Cox Media Group strongly believes in a vibrant Internet radio marketplace, where artists, broadcasters and our listeners benefit from a sustainable rate setting process."

Other broadcast groups supporting the bill include Clear Channel and Salem Communications. Other supporters include webcasters like Pandora, Radio Paradise, and AccuRadio; plus groups like the Consumer Electronics Association and the Computer and Commmunications Industry Association.

While the NAB hasn't explicitly signed on as a supporter of the IRFA, when the bill was introduced the group said it "strongly supports legislative efforts to establish fair webcast streaming rates. NAB will work with the bill's sponsors and all interested parties to create broadcast radio streaming rates that promote new distribution platforms and new revenue streams that foster the future growth of music" (here).

Read more in Radio Online here.

TuneIn adds Entercom, Cox, Emmis stations to tuning service

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:40pm

TuneIn will add the streams of the more than two hundred stations owned by Entercom, Cox, and Emmis with a trio of agreements announced today.

TuneIn aggregates Internet radio streams for consumers (and maintains tuning softward for device makers) on its website and mobile apps, making available more than 70-thousand broadcast and Internet radio stations and more than two million on-demand programs from all over the world.

Just yesterday (see RAIN here) Cox and Emmis announced a similar partnership with Clear Channel, making their streams available on the iHeartRadio tuning platform (Entercom, for its part, does not make its 111 stations' streams available on iHeartRadio).

CDS Mobile to connect national advertisers to local radio, TV, and newspaper mobile sites

Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 12:05pm

Cox Digital Solutions has launched CDS Mobile, a new division to allow national advertisers to buy ads on local media mobile sites and national "vertical content" sites.

"Advertisers would potentially have the option of getting discounted rates from a cross-platform buy," MediaPost writes. "Cox will also offer publishers a suite of ad-serving technologies and tools for mobile, as it now does for Web advertising."

Leif Welch, who'll lead the new division, estimates Cox Digital’s mobile audience at about 90 million unique monthly visitors.

Cox Media Group itself owns 86 radio stations in 20 U.S. markets, as well as newspapers, television stations, and a cable channel. Cox mobile sites alone attracted 912 million page views in 2011, and mobile now accounts for 15%-30% of all digital inventory (according to Leif Welch, who'll lead CDS Mobile). The Cox Digital network (which extends beyond Cox-owned media) consists of over 2,600 total local newspaper, TV, and radio websites.

Mobile web and content traffoc has generally grown much faster than publishers' ability to monetize that audience. MediaPost reports that unsold mobile inventory is estimated at 80% across the industry -- and that's after last year's estimated 149% growth (to $1.6 billion) in U.S. mobile ad spending in 2011.

Read MediaPost's coverage here. The Cox Digital Solutions press release is here.

Syndicate content