Edison

Edison research shows at-work radio listeners migrating to Internet-only alternatives

Friday, September 20, 2013 - 9:10am

We previously mentioned Edison Research's "What's Working at Work" study of radio and audio in the workplace. Edision president Larry Rosin presented the study at the Radio Show today in Orlando. The team last took a look at how employees listen in 1997. Probably needless to say, but Internet radio plays a far more significant role 16 years later.

First, a third of the respondents said they listen to Internet radio at work. Almost three-quarters listen on a desktop or laptop computer, but more than half listen on a smartphone (obviously, some use both).

While more people still listen to AM/FM radio at work than Net-only radio, the total number of at-work broadcast listeners is apparently dropping as (some) migrate to online-only options. Half of at-work Internet radio listeners say their listening has replaced time they used to spend listening to broadcast radio (28% say it's replaced time spent with their own music collection, and 22% of Internet radio listeners say it's "new listening").

High spot loads (and competition from Net radio's traditionally lower commercial load) is likely playing a role in that migration from broadcast to Net-only radio, says Edison. Rosin commented, "New options that consumers have for audio have completely changed the notion of what constitutes an acceptable number of commercials."

See slides and respondent interview videos from the "What's Working at Work" presentation here.

Edison looks into habits of those who listen to Net-only radio at work

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:10am

Edison Research offers some insight into the habits of at-work Internet radio listeners today. Edison has posted some graphs of its findings from the "What's Working at Work" study (sponsored by Radionomy).

Edison found that among the most popular reasons for listening to Internet-only radio while working are "hear favorite songs" (82%), "discover new songs" (72%), "create 'radio stations' based on favorite songs or artists" (72%), "ability to skip" (67%), and "music not on AM/FM" (65%).

According to the study, 86% of those who listen to Internet-only radio at work also "sometimes" (49%) or "frequently" (37%) listen in other locations. In a typical week, 31% says they listen to two different Internet-only radio stations.

The most popular genres amongst at-work pureplay listeners were Rock (especially Classic Rock) and Top 40/Hit Music.

See the Edison/Radionomy summary here. Edison will present "What's Working At Work?" at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando on September 20.

Edison to reveal findings of at-work radio usage study at The Radio Show in Orlando

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 11:35am

To tease the debut of its latest research study, Edison Research is revealing one small finding "of potentially great significance:" 26% of at-work AM/FM radio listeners are wearing headphones or earbuds. Among younger employees, the percentage is much higher.

Edison Research will reveal how "at work" radio usage has evolved since it last studied in-office listening 16 years ago. The firm will debut "What's Working At Work?" at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando on September 20.

Though greater mobile connectivity has moderated this trend slightly, the vast majority of Internet radio listening takes place Monday-Friday, 6a-8p in the U.S., when listeners tend to be near Internet connections for extended periods of time.

Edison Research president Larry Rosin said, "When we fielded our study in 1997, only 16% of workers ever accessed the Internet while on the job. Today the percentage is 73%. This has brought enormous shifts in at-work audio usages."

Infinite Dial study shows nearly half of CHR P1s are weekly Net radio listeners

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 11:05am

New details from The Infinite Dial 2013 show that CHR ("Top 40"), rock, urban, and public radio "P1" listeners are significantly more likely than fans of other formats to be engaged with new media, including online listening.

A station's or format's "P1" listeners are those that consume that particular programming above all others. It's typical for about one-third of a station's cumulative listeners to be P1s, and yet they might easily account for two-thirds (or more) of total listening.

Arbitron and Edison Research annually conduct "The Infinite Dial" to examine radio listeners' adoption and engagement of new media technology. They initially released the 2013 edition earlier this month (RAIN coverage here), and presented additional details at RAIN Summit West (here).

The researchers polled listeners of nine different radio formats, and found that just under half (47%) of CHR P1s are weekly online radio listeners (one-third have listened to Pandora in the past seven days). Whereas Net radio's weekly reach is about one-third of the population in general, about 40% of rock, urban, and public radio P1s are weekly online listeners.

More than seven in 10 CHR P1s own a smartphone, more than eight in ten have a social media profile (with almost half using social media several times a day). Additionally, public radio listeners are the most fervent podcast listeners (34% have listened in the last month), and about 40% of public radio and Adult Contemporary P1s own a tablet device.

Arbitron and Edison Research will release specific reports for each of the nine radio formats they studied next month. Read more in Arbitron's press release here.

Deeper understanding of listener expectations and preferences key to building audience, say Summit experts

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 1:50pm

Unsurprisingly, the panelists in our RAIN Summit "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" panel stressed the importance of good, "differentiating" content to build an audience -- especially as music (and even news) becomes "commoditized."

More interesting was this point: An important step towards delivering the right content is a more thorough understanding of your listeners.

Edison Research cofounder/president Larry Rosin (left) moderated this first panel of the afternoon half of the Las Vegas Summit. He asked Pandora VP of Engineering Chris Martin about Pandora's "genre" stations

[sidenote: Pandora not only creates channels "on the fly" by asking the listener for a favorite song or artist, it also offers more traditional radio-style channels programmed by genre, e.g. country or pop hits]

Martin (right) explained them as the product of realizing that not all Pandora listeners come to discover new music. Rather, these channels are an "entry point" for those listeners who want a "super simple" experience based around artists they already know.

Rachna Bhasin is SiriusXM SVP/Corporate Strategy and Business Development (lower on the left). She explained SiriusXM is always looking for new content and talent intended to drive more subscriptions. Those efforts are informed by significant amounts of research and interviews with listeners, and an understanding of the expectations of "key audience demographics" to develop that content ("We're doing a lot with Latin right now," she illustrated.)

The Echo Nest CEO Jim Lucchese introduced his company's concept of "audience clusters" as an example of understanding the listener to deliver the right content.

[The Echo Nest is a "music intelligence" service with a massive database on listeners preferences and musical attributes of millions of songs, which is used by services like Spotify and iHeartRadio (and SiriusXM's new MySXM customizable streaming service).] 

Putting "a real keen focus" on understanding the listener, Lucchese explained, means looking at "clustering audiences into different types of music listeners" and examining how different underlying programming rules need to be applied for those different clusters.

"We found different 'rule sets' drive engagement wildly differently based on (listeners') geography, (preferred) style of music... you need to understand your fan base better before messing around with rules."

Rosin followed up with a question on how The Echo Nest client services learn about listener preferences, especially new listeners. Lucchese (right) explained some services can scan a new listener's local media library (by examining their iTunes XML file, for instance) to get a sense of the listener. There's also public preferences expressed on social media (such as Facebook 'likes'). Then, of course, later the services can simply track "what you listen to" -- and, importantly -- "how you react to it and build that up over time."

The Echo Nest CEO spoke directly to broadcasters and advised them to improve their streams by spending more time "focusing on and understanding" their audience: "Online listeners provide you with a ton of information about who they are. We're still in the stone age about recognizing not just what they like, but how they listen. Developing that will make a more engaging experience, and a more profitable one," he said.

Speaking to this very point, ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (left) described how he wants this guide the development of his service.

For a hypothetical 28-year old country music listener, Jones' company has vast amounts of "non- fiction spoken word" that she'd find of interest (she could learn how to "advance her career, manage her boss, get relationship advice").

"We can't yet, but what I'm excited about is being able to, when that listener is finished listening to a Taylor Swift song to let her know there's an opportunity right now to drive that listening experience into one of those other areas," Jones said. "That, to me, is the future, to control how listeners are going to consume audio beyond any one narrow niche..."

SiriusXM's Bhasin even returned to the theme of "understanding the listener" when discussing Apple's expected entry into streaming radio: "They have lots of data" on purchase history and customer preferences from which they can draw to program the right content. "They're trying to build curation now."

Consultant Alan Burns (Alan Burns & Associates president/CEO) (right) even suggested streaming broadcasters and pureplay webcasters could look to each other for better ways to present content.

"What radio needs to do most of all, the thing that would boost online listening to (music) radio streams," Burns said, is to "make broaddcast streams skippable" (that is, replicate the ability of most Net-only streaming experiences in which a listener can instantly skip to the next song).

For pureplays, his advice was that "jukeboxes don't hold up as well" as programming with "deeper branding and content." Pureplays need to create experiences "that will help them develop the personal bond you get with traditional radio," he suggested.

You can listen to the audio of "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" from RAIN Summit West. Go to RAIN's homepage to find all the RAIN Summit West audio in the right-hand column.

Facebook, e-mail solidly outpace Twitter for listener-connection, says The Infinite Dial

Monday, April 8, 2013 - 1:00pm

Arbitron and Edison Research last week unveiled the findings of their latest "The Infinite Dial" joint research (in RAIN here). They saved a few gems -- particularly about the engagement of listeners via e-mail and on social media -- for their presentation at yesterday's RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas.

Edison Research president Larry Rosin and Arbitron SVP of Marketing Bill Rose at the Summit revisited the important points from last week's "The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms" webinar. But they also explained that their study shows the value of radio's Facebook presence and e-mail listener databases, especially when compared to Twitter. One in ten U.S. radio listeners says they follow their favorite station on Facebook, and 20 million U.S. radio listeners have signed up to receive e-mail from their P1 station (that's 8% of radio listeners), depending on the format (public radio, religious, and rock listeners were most likely to join a station's e-mail list…up to 20% for rock listeners).

On the other hand, just 2% or 3% follow their "P1" station on Twitter. (Twitter's influence, especially in the media, Rosin said, is far greater than its actual usage, they've found.) Bill Rose explained that your station's will likely be your listener base's most tech-savvy segment (including being most likely to use online radio and listen via mobile apps).

Their takeaway: the listeners on your e-mail list can be an extremely valuable asset for you and your advertising clients.

We'll have more coverage from RAIN Summit West in the coming days.

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