12/22: B'dcast radio war on Pandora escalates as Katz360 drops webcaster

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 11:00am

Katz360, the Clear Channel-owned online ad sales network, has dropped Pandora as a client. Katz360 will no longer sell ads for the webcaster after two years of doing so (read more here). 

This hubbub has its roots in some broadcasters' outspoken criticism of Pandora as "not real radio," etc. The flames were fanned beginning in July (here) when Pandora and Edison Research began issuing audience measurements in top local U.S. markets that were naturally compared to broadcast radio numbers (see also here and most recently here). Pandora founder Tim Westergren himself called for a "universal metric" to measure listening across various platforms (here), a bill which Arbitron's announced Total Audience Measurement would seem to fit. But broadcasters howled (here) that such a product would allow Pandora and Internet radio to "siphon off radio ad dollars," and threatened to withhold their own server data. Arbitron, now forced by its clients to play both sides, issued a statement (here) critical of Edison's/Pandora's reports.

Heading into 2012, this will certainly be a huge story to follow for Internet radio, as well as broadcast.

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