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.

Most b'dcastrs slip in Nov. Webcast Metrics, non-comms up, and a new pureplay hits Top 20

Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 11:55am

In October, it was broadcasters who saw their streamimg audience grow while most pureplay webcasters were flat. In the November 2012 Triton Digital Webcast Metrics Internet radio ratings released yesterday, most commercial broadcasters saw online listening slip, while pureplays showed a hint of growth. You can see our coverage of October Webcast Metrics ratings here.

The average online audiences of the top streaming broadcasters (Clear Channel, Cumulus, CBS, and Cox) all dipped month-to-month -- as much as 13% for Cumulus. Other commercial broadcasters like ESPN Radio, Entercom, Greater Media, Univision, Townsquare, Salem, and Hubbard also saw listening slip.

The lack of election news for most of the month, plus the Thanksgiving and Veterans Day holidays, likely contributed to smaller average audiences for November (traditionally a tough month).

Yet, non-comms EMF and WNYC, while still smaller players in the Top 20, continued their recent growth trends in November, adding 19% and 20% to their October Average Active Sessions (AAS). The NPR Member Stations group is now ranked #7, with a 23% higher AAS than October -- though it's likely the group is still adding stations to the measurement panel.

Pandora, far and away the largest webcaster, was up just 3% over October, but continued to pad its 2012 growth to 39% (its average audience now tops 1.4 million; it was just over a million in January).

Also contributing to pureplay webcasters' overall growth was the appearance of a new webcaster in the Top 20, Idobi Radio Corp. Idobi is a modern rock webcaster based in Washington, D.C. See Triton's full Webcast Metrics ratings report for November 2012 here.

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