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.

TuneIn building radio sales force

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 12:50pm

TuneIn announced it's hired three new sales executives with radio experience.

Jon Latzer will be director of strategic sales, Scott Elberg is the new East Coast audio sales manager, and Leon Clark will handle the same position out West.

The company, now with 80 full-time employees, has also opened a New York office, and is forming sales teams in major markets like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

TuneIn is the tuning service/online radio aggregation that offers streaming access to more than 70-thousand broadcast- and online-only radio stations and two million podcasts. TuneIn reports more than 40 million monthly active listeners, and says it surpassed one billion listening hours between January and April of 2013.

Radio's strength can be "the human effort," Lefsetz says, which data-driven services haven't matched

Monday, June 24, 2013 - 3:50pm

Music and media critic Bob Lefsetz, as of April, has brought his inimitable style to Variety. Today in his column he harpoons broadcast radio as "Luddites (who) still believe the Internet didn’t happen."

He says the rest of the media world has at least acknowledged that we no longer live in a "monoculture" (for example, look how many television channels there are). And part of the problem, Lefsetz says, is that too many in radio believe that when Internet connections are widely-available, reliable, and easy and convenient-to-use, radio's a goner anyway.

"Insiders believe that there’s no revolution in terrestrial radio because the owners know it’s headed into the dumper," he writes in Variety. "They’re just milking it for all they can before it falls off a cliff."

While he accepts that Internet in every car is coming (and that's when SiriusXM may also be in trouble), he points out an Achilles Heel of online music services: their lack of human curation that is really the best driver of music discovery for consumers. Perhaps it's radio's lifeline.

"The challenge of Spotify/Rdio/etc. is... to tell their subscribers what to listen to. That’s what traditional radio has done best... curation is all about human effort, not algorithms," Lefsetz wrote.

Read his Variety column here.

Rdio users get song-based radio feature on iOS with app update

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 12:50pm

Subscription streamer Rdio has added "radio" functionality to its iOS app, getting its song-based personalized stations on to iPhones and iPads before Apple launches its own iTunes Radio later in the summer.

Rdio calls the feature "Song Stations," as users create streaming radio channels based on a single song. Listeners can see the next four upcoming songs, and skip as often as they like. Rdio's radio feature has been available via the web for some time.

Rdio is the $9.99/month subscription music service founded by Skype and Kazaa founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. The company recently launched Vdio, a movie and television show streaming service.

The app is available from Apple's App Store here.

Jacobs: Pandora outpacing radio in efforts to attract young professional employees

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 12:55pm

You know Pandora is building its local sales forces with experienced radio AEs. The webcaster, Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs writes today, is also working to show young professionals that it's a far cooler, friendlier, more exciting, and more vibrant place to work.

Check out Fred's Jacoblog today to see Pandora's three-minute video produced to convey just that message.

Whither radio? Radio used to be able to get away with offering low salaries and benefits because everyone wanted to be in radio. Today, radio's more likely to be announcing lay-offs than new rounds of hiring. And that's going to hurt radio's future.

"It’s a different world," Jacobs writes. "There’s not an endless supply of great people who want to work here."

Fred's even moving his company to a different office space he says will "reflect the changing nature of younger workers and their needs."

Here's some inspiration for him: Today Wired writes about the new launch of Herman Miller’s Public Office Landscape furniture system, and the response to it from Fuseproject (the design firm run by Yves Béhar) "to capture the spirit of our networked lives in a collection of chairs, desks, and space shaping components."

Read Jacobs' Jacoblog piece here and Wired here.

Strata CEO says category change from 'radio' to 'audio' reflects audience, advertiser shifts

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:20pm

"The past is about radio. The present and future are about audio."

That's not Pandora founder Tim Westergren saying that, or even RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson. That's John Shelton, president/CEO of Strata, the leading buying and selling platform for all types of media.

Shelton wrote an op-ed in MediaPost to explain his company's decision to transition to use of the term "'audio' to encompass all of the current audio platforms in use, including traditional radio, online streaming radio, and music streaming Web sites, such as Pandora and Spotify."

He cites his company's surveys that show "a consistent decrease over the past 18 quarters in ad buyers’ interest in radio advertising," while American's use of online radio and other digital platforms is growing rapidly.

"Some traditional stations are actually seeing growth again -- not due to traditional listening but Internet streaming," he wrote. "Advertisers should take note." Some apparently have, as he cites the RAB's 2012 digital revenues figure of $767 million, up 63% from 2009. Likewise, first-quarter ad buys on Pandora through Strata were up 35%.

Read Shelton's piece at MediaPost here.

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