Study: Just 3% of UK teens pick "radio" for favorite way to consume audio

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 10:35am

Radio is far-and-away the preferred device for audio consumption among UK adults who are also Internet users. That's anything but true for the 15-19 age cohort however.

A May 2013 study from Audiometrics indicates 35% of UK Internet users overall chose radio as their favorite platform for "listening to audio." That's more than twice the second-favorite, "computer/laptop" (16%).

Yet merely 3% of teens picked radio as their favorite. Smartphone/mobile phone (36%) and iPod/MP3 player (35%) were the big winners with teens.

Note that there's nothing in this report about actual content -- and it's likely that a good number of these teens who seem to be abandoning radio as a device may still avidly consume streaming content from local or national broadcasters.

EMarketer estimates "81% of (UK) teen mobile phone users (ages 12 to 17) will use a smartphone this year, and that percentage will rise to 96% by 2017."

Read more in eMarketer here.

eMarketer: Association with music, in-stream audio ads make Net radio appealing to ad buyers

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 1:05pm

A forecast from a new eMarketer report, "Internet Radio: Marketers Move In," has the U.S. Internet radio audience growing 11.1% to 147.3 million this year. "Expansion will continue for the next several years, though rates will taper off to single-digit percentages," says eMarketer.

During that time, eMarketer expects U.S. Internet radio ad revenues to hit $970 million, then grow to $1.31 billion by 2016 (this includes all streaming, website, text, e-mail, and mobile advertising, and advertising on HD Radio). The news source points out that while positive, these growth forecasts are more modest than those for other digital media.

"Still, advertisers are eager to attach their brands to internet broadcasting and other music-streaming properties. There are several reasons for this, among them: the appeal of associating a brand with a particular genre or artist; the extent to which internet radio is driven primarily by ads; and the appeal of in-steam audio ads, which are harder to avoid or skip than other forms of digital advertising," reads the eMarketer press release.

See more, including a link to purchase the report, here.

U.S. consumers' overall time spent with mobile media now growing at 14 times the rate of desktop

Monday, December 3, 2012 - 12:35pm

At the dawning of IP-delivered radio, it was necessary for listeners to be at a desktop computer with a better-than-average Internet connection. The first webcasters looked forward to when higher connection speeds became more common, and of course to when wireless connectivity could potentially make their medium as convenient and ubiquitous as broadcast radio. Then, webcasters and broadcasters could compete head-to-head, and listeners would naturally gravitate towards the outlets based on high-quality programming, lower spot loads, and the "customization" afforded by the Internet.

Lately it seems (a) consumers in the United States are in fact living more on mobile networks, and (b) leading webcaster Pandora is taking advantage of that.

EMarketer reports that while U.S. consumers still spend twice as much time with "desktop media" as with mobile, "time spent with mobile is growing at 14 times the rate of the desktop." If that rate of growth continues for mobile, within a few short years we may be truly a "wired" yet "mobile" society. Read more from eMarketer here.

Heck, most of us are now apparently sleeping with our mobile phones! Fred Jacobs wrote about this today here.

What's more, comScore's Media Metrix Multi-Platform is a brand new measurement tool that ranks audiences by consolidating usage across various mobile platforms and the web. ComScore says its new rankings show Pandora is "by far the most mobile-centric service on comScore’s list of top 30 propeties" -- more "mobile" even than Twitter, Google, or Facebook! The Washington Post writes, "In September, Pandora’s total digital population was 59.8 million people, good enough for a twenty-third place finish on comScore’s top audience list. More interesting, however, is that the Internet radio business is more of a mobile radio company. Pandora had 48.6 mobile users and 22.6 million desktop users in September, making its mobile audience more than double its web audience." Read more in The Washington Post here.

The matter of uneven royalty obligations aside for a moment, Net radio may be taking a step towards the "even playing field" for which we hoped more than a decade ago.

Ad dollars continue to lag behind consumers' shift to mobile

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 2:10pm

EMarketer's new study shows the time U.S. adults spend daily using mobile devices (not including phone calls) has more than doubled in the past two years. And in 2012 alone, mobile device usage looks to grow nearly 52%, to about 82 minutes per day.

Last year "non-talk" mobile device use passed print as the fourth most-used major media.

As 2012 is shaping up, the ranking (TV is top, then online, radio, mobile, and print) stays the same. But while television and online are growing in use, broadcast radio and (especially) print are slipping. Even online (using non-mobile computers) is seeing the pace of its growth slow. 

"Mobile, by contrast, is growing quickly from a small base — and growth in time spent is also being boosted by fast uptake of smartphones and tablets, which have still penetrated only a minority of all consumers," eMarketer explains. "As more U.S. consumers continue to acquire these devices, and current owners shift more of their digital activities to mobile and portable devices, mobile is grabbing an ever-greater share of time with all media — potentially at the expense of faster online growth."

Ad dollars, as we've seen, have not caught up to these shifts in media usage. While U.S. adults will average 11.7% of their media time on mobile devices, just 1.6% of ad spending will go there.

Read eMarketer's summary here.

NPR Digital Services, eMarketer report big gains for mobile-optimized websites

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 1:20pm

NPR Digital Services says streaming via the mobile site has more than tripled for 20 of the "few dozen" stations using the new mobile web design.

NPR Digital Services is a division of NPR, and partners with member stations on digital initiatives. In August Digital Services made available its "mobile web theme" that includes a "prominent, persistent player for live streams," design for smaller screens, an inline audio player within stories, and more (read more here).

"Before this change, people visiting the station site from a mobile device saw the full desktop web site, which made the stream hard to find and often not even playable," NPR Digital Services explains in its blog. "Thus, during a representative week in mid-July, only 2.1% of visits to these stations' sites using a mobile device included streaming.

"But with the new interface, streaming increased to 8.6%, because we give the stream more prominence and provide an easy-to-use, persistent player that works on iPhone and Android. We expect this number to rise rapidly as more consumers turn to their mobile devices for listening on the go."

For stations using the new mobile theme, mobile listening to audio segments reportedly increased 81%, and mobile users are reading more stories.

Not surprisingly, radio's certainly not alone in reaping benefits of smart mobile design. Google commissioned a study this past summer of U.S. adult smartphone Internet users that showed "about two-thirds of respondents said they were more likely to purchase something from a mobile-optimized site, while three-quarters said they were more likely to make a return visit to the site," eMarketer reports.

And there's a price to pay for not making the mobile effort. "Failing to design sites for mobile had spillover effects, potentially damaging the reputation of the company," eMarketer wrote.

Back to NPR: "It's becoming clear that our mobile audience wants to listen. When we make the listening experience better on mobile devices, our users respond," they conclude. "If your web experience isn't optimized for your growing mobile audience, you're missing a key opportunity for audience growth and engagement. System-wide, 18% of visits to station sites are coming via mobile devices, and that number rises every month." On this note, eMarketer projects there will be 198.8 million U.S. mobile Internet users in 2016.

Read the NPR Digital Services blog post here. You can read the eMarketer story here.

Mobile music ad revs forecast to hit 86% by 2016; workforce of ad-supported Net economy doubled 2007-2011

Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 12:15am

The U.S. mobile music industry will see its ad-driven revenues gain share over the next four years, accounting for 86% of all such revenues by 2016, if eMarketer's forecast is correct. By that time, overall mobile music revenues will hit $1.68 billion (that's from $429.3 million this year), says eMarketer. 

Ads already account for nearly 70% of mobile music revenues (the rest are split between subscription fees (17.2%) and per-song download charges (14.1%)).

Read more on the study from eMarketer here.

Meanwhile, a study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows the ad-supported Internet economy workforce doubled between 2007 and 2011 (from a million to two million). Taking into account jobs that indirectly benefit from the Internet, that number grows to 5.1 million.

Interestingly, "most of the job growth in the Internet economy happened not in the large companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, but in smaller ventures and one-man shops sprinkled across the country. These entrepreneurial outfits – a combination of eBay sellers, self-employed web designers and app makers — contributed 375,000 of the two million jobs directly produced by the Internet ecosystem. App-making alone accounted for the equivalent of 35,000 full-time jobs, though the work was actually spread out over many more part-timers," reports a The Wall Street Journal Digits blog (which you can read here).

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