BIA/Kelsey says radio should see online ad revenues grow nearly 11% a year

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 3:05pm

BIA/Kelsey projects online ad revenue for radio will grow 10.8% annually over the next five year (while on-air ad revenues will grow only 2.5% a year), hitting $818 million by then. The group's new Investing in Radio Market Report is out today.

Radio earned $491 million online in ad revenues last year, accounting for just over three percent of total revenue (though markets like Boston earned as much as 14.2% online).

The RAB reported radio's Q4 2012 digital revenue at $206 million (up 11%), and overall 2012 digital revenue at $767 million (up 8%) (see RAIN here). BIA/Kelsey recently released its forecasts on local media ad spending (and the digital share thereof) (see RAIN here). The Pew Research center predicted satellite and online-only radio have an even brighter digital ad revenue upside (see RAIN here).

RAIN Summit West will feature two panels, "Profiting from Mobile" and "Jump Start Your Revenue," to examine trends and discuss strategy to maximize digital revenue. More info is here.

Read more about BIA/Kelsey's report today in here.

Pew Research writes "Digital Drives Listener Experience" for radio

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 1:00pm

As "technology is turning what we once thought of as radio into something broader -- listening" (as Pew wrote in 2006), online-only and satellite radio (while still a small share of overall radio revenue) have the more positive financial forecasts for the long-term.

That's from an overview essay of the "audio" section of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism new annual report on the state of the news media. The essay is called "Audio: Digital Drives Listener Experience." (While the study focuses mostly on news content, it certainly isn't limited to that, discussing Pandora, Spotify, and the Intenret radio Fairness Act, among other topics.)

Pew also concluded that NPR "may have positioned itself for the digital age better than other news radio." On-air listening declines as NPR may very well be partially the result of robust digital offerings on the web, podcasts, and mobile apps.

One digital platform that's failing is HD Radio. Now, more stations are actually dropping their HD signal than are adopting the technology, and there are fewer HD signals on the air than a year ago.

See more of the Pew study here. There are more charts from the paper here.

Local rock radio will survive if it knows "its job to do," Fred Jacobs tells Forbes

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 12:20pm

Forbes asked Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs how FM rock radio will survive in the new digital world.

Jacbos pointed to "disruptive innovation" authority Clayton Christensen and his concept of knowing the "job to do:"

"The stations that have had the most success – and will likely thrive in the future – are the ones that have a strong grasp on what jobs consumers are hiring them to do." Jacobs said. "Proprietary personalities, a hometown POV, solving local advertiser needs, and serving their communities."

Forbes contributor Michele Catalano points to online-only services' lack of "the human connection" as an Achilles heel, one that broadcasters should focus on to compete. Jacobs agrees.

"We’ve seen research that points to key downsides with Pandora – listeners feel detached from their hometowns and often miss hearing personalities they love."

That said, successful FM stations embrace digital technology for the advantages it affords, "rather than seeing it as a foe," Jacobs says. He cites data showing as much as 15-20% of some FM rock stations' listening coming from online and digital.

Read more at here.

Some see "radio" icon found in iOS as evidence of impending Apple streaming radio

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 1:20pm

Graphical buttons uncovered by iPhone "jailbreakers" are reinvigorating the rumor mill concerning an Apple streaming radio serviceArsTechnica reports the graphical buttons (one that looks like a transmitter tower with "radiating" lines) were discovered in the Music app in iOS 6.1. 

It's been rumored since late last year that Apple would launch a customizable streaming radio service (a la Pandora) some time in 2013.

There's really nothing more than that to report. Ars says there's no explicit reference to a streaming service within the iOS, and the images don't connect to anything.

Read more in Ars Technica here.

Google applies for an FCC radio license - most likely for developing mobile tech

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 11:55am

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has applied to the FCC for a license to fire up an experimental radio service around its Mountain View, CA headquarters. But as Google's small-scale wireless network would be on frequencies -- from 2524 to 2625 megahertz -- that aren't accessed by nearly any consumer mobile device out now, it's likely they want to experiment with developing wireless data delivery technology. 

"Those frequencies, which could work well in densely populated areas, could be important in the future because mobile operators in China, Brazil and Japan already are building wireless networks using them, meaning that compatible devices eventually will be manufactured..." reports The Journal.

Read more in The Wall Street Journal here and Digital Trends here.

Musician in HuffPo: Neither Congress nor RIAA wants to tangle with NAB, so webcasters are punished

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 11:50am

Writing about the Internet Radio Fairness Act, musician David Fagin points squarely at the "one-sided, unfair exemption terrestrial radio currently enjoys" on royalties, and says the solution is to "make them pay their fair share of performance royalties to artists and labels -- just as the rest of the radio-playing world has to do."

Fagin is also a writer and producer and former member of the band The Rosenbergs, and represented independent artists in webcasting copyright hearings in 2001.

In a piece for the Huffington Post, he suggests IRFA foes are really on the same side when it comes to wanting to artists to succeed and get paid, and on the matter of FM radio's royalty exemption. But the music industry and webcasters are stuck fighting each other, because neither has the power to fight broadcasters. 

"Congress is scared to go after big radio and their lobby, and the RIAA is 'just fine' with the status quo. In the meantime, both sides have decided to just kick each other's asses, instead."

(Interestingly, he holds that the current royalty situation is harming the webcasting industry, evidenced by the fact that just a single "brand-name" success exists, Pandora. He also cuts through the music industry anti-Pandora rhetoric: "The 'fleecing of artists'... argument makes no sense, whatsoever. Why would a company, whose main business model consists of promoting independent artists over 60% of the time, and is practically the only place to hear new music on a regular basis, want to destroy the very artists whose careers it's sustaining, and who are sustaining it?")

Interesting read, in Huffington Post, here.

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