Move will allow stations to combine local on-air, online audiences to present to ad buyers, says Triton

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

Triton Digital said today it intends to present its local market audience measurements using the traditional broadcast radio Average Quarter-Hour metric (AQH).

Stations that subscribe to Triton's new "Local Reports" feature will now get Average Quarter-Hour Rating (AQH Rating) by market alongside Triton's proprietary Average Active Sessions number.

To this point, Triton Digital has relied on the Average Active Sessions (AAS) metric, which, like the more traditional AQH, purports to represent the the number of listeners at an average moment. (Though there are some small methodological differences in how AQH and AAS are calculated, we believe them to be virtually equivalent.)

However, broadcast radio sales forces, media buyers, and advertisers have long relied on the more traditional metrics like AQH (and, for that matter, cumulative or "cume" audience, and Time Spent Listening or "TSL") for advertising buys. A Triton representative told RAIN the company's new format for local market reports "makes it easier for advertisers and media buyers to make apples-to-apples comparisons between online and traditional radio buys." This gives stations "the flexibility to combine their offline and online audience into a credible total audience number while maintaining the ability to position the attributes of either channel independently."

The press release includes this from ad firm Horizon Media SVP Lauren Russo: "Seeing Internet audio in the same terms as traditional radio gives a holistic sense of the audio market, making it easier for buyers to make informed decisions when purchasing ad space. We are excited to see how the ability to provide such a direct comparison will impact advertisers’ views on the value of streaming."

The company has also announced it plans to share measurement data with third parties per customer request. Triton's press release is available online here.

March Webcast Metrics: Pandora up 130%, CC 91% year-over-year

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 1:10pm

Triton Digital's March 2012 Webcast MetricsPandora and Clear Channel posted another month of audience growth, according to Triton Media's newly-released Webcast Metrics for March 2012.

Pandora's Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners) surpassed 1.14 million, a growth of 8% (80,295) over February (though Triton notes that Pandora's February audience was around 4.5% smaller than it should be "due to a collection node failure"). Pandora's audience size is up 190% year-over-year and is nearly 7 times the size of #2-ranked Clear Channel.

Clear Channel grew its online audience 5% over February, reaching an AAS of 168,518. It's up 91% year-over-year. CBS Radio, in the #3 slot, dropped 4% from February and is down 44% year-over-year. Its AAS is now roughly 35% that of Clear Channel.

The largest percentage growth month-to-month came from EMF Corporate, with an increase of 12%. Slacker gained 3% over February (though its audience in February was "understated" due to "a collection system migration," according to Triton) and is up 31% year-over-year.

(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through February 2012. Note that Pandora's AAS numbers from December 2010 through mid-August 2011 were affected by the omission of tracking code in some of its mobile apps. Click to view in full size.)

Most broadcasters in the domestic Top 20 ranker were flat or slightly down month-to-month (Cumulus down 3%, Radio One down 7%, Entercom up 1%, Cox down 2%, for example).

Interestingly, ESPN Radio's audience was down 3% month-to-month and down 8% from March 2011. Yet in early April, ESPN said ESPNRadio.com had its "best month" yet in March (RAIN coverage here).

The combined March 2012 AAS of all streamers in Triton's Top 20 ranker (1,600,062) is up 6% over February 2012 and 79% year-over-year.

You can find the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m ranking below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of February 2012’s ratings here.

Triton Digital's Domestic March 2012 rankings

Revenue growth outpaced web music audience gains last year, study finds

Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

Web radio growthFor years, Internet radio and web music services have been growing their audiences but complained that revenues weren't keeping up. That all changed last year, says AccuStream Research, when for the first time revenue growth outpaced listening hour increases. Moreover, the research firm expects that growth will "continue unabated in 2012."

AccuStream's report (“Internet Music Radio and Track Play Growth 2012-2014: Listening and Monetization Analysis”) found that listening hours for "Internet music radio and track play" (presumably including services like Spotify and Rhapsody) grew 50.5% in 2011, reaching more than 1.3 billion hours monthly.

Meanwhile, mobile listening exploded: it grew 222% in 2011, according to AccuStream, and now accounts for 41% of hours streamed monthly. In 2012 70% of Pandora's listening is "non-PC," says the report, as is 50% of Slacker's audience.

Increases in monetization (including ad and subscription revenue) outpaced listening hour growth, with an advance of 64.6% in 2011. The study reports the industry generated more than $293 million in gross media spending (audio, video, display) and another $171 million in subscription revenue.

In late October 2011 SNL Kagan forecast that Internet-only radio stations would generate $293 million in revenues in 2011. That same study predicted AM/FM digital revenues would reach $713 million in 2011. Audio4Cast has more on SNL Kagan's predictions here.

AccuStream ResearchAccuStream expects the market to increase 78% in 2012, reaching 6.2 billion avails per month ("driven in part by Pandora's increasing focus on the in-stream audio format"). Audio fill rates will reach 60% this year, says AccuStream, with an eCPM (average equivalent CPM) of $6.80.

"Combined with an in-house sales force selling into top local DMAs where terrestrial broadcast radio advertising has historically been bought," writes AccuStream, "the audio format is moving to the forefront of the programmer's monetization initiatives."

You can find AccuStream Research's press release here.

Strong growth and recovery for broadcasters in Triton's January ranker

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 11:35am

RAIN's graph of webcasters' AAS, current through January 2012Pandora surpassed an AAS of one million in Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics for January 2012 (in the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart ranker). Meanwhile most broadcasters -- led by Clear Channel and its digital platform iHeartRadio -- rallied after a lackluster December.

Pandora's January AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners) reached 1,009,967 -- up 3% from December 2011. That's nearly 3 times the combined AAS of all broadcasters in Triton's Webcast Metrics report. Pandora's AAS has grown 93% year-over-year.

Most broadcasters saw strong month-to-month growth, though many were rebounding from drops in December 2011. Clear Channel led the way in terms of sheer AAS growth: its audience grew 15% from December, reaching an AAS of 142,550. 

CBS Radio grew 3% -- its first monthly increase since August 2011. Cox was up 8% from December, Entercom 4% and Emmis up 13%. All told, the combined AAS of broadcasters in Triton's report increased 11% month-to-month and is up 12% year-over-year.

(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through January 2012. Note that Pandora's AAS numbers from December 2010 through mid-August 2011 were affected by the omission of tracking code in some of its mobile apps. Click to view in full size.)

Most pureplays experienced traditional post-holiday declines: Slacker dropped 5%, 977Music was down 8% and AccuRadio, which has very strong Christmas-music listening, decreased 29% (though it is up 33% over last year). However, Digitally Imported grew 14%, recovering from a December dip.

The combined January 2012 AAS of all streamers in Triton's Top 20 ranker (1,446,162) is up 4% over December 2011 and 62% over January 2011.

You can find the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m ranking below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of December 2011’s ratings here.

January 2012 Dometic ranker

















Arbitron: Streaming measurement service still in the works, no word on timing

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:10pm

ArbitronIn Arbitron's quarterly call, CFO Sean Creamer said the company's streaming measurement service is still under development, but "the timing is not within our control."

Creamer said the service would combine PPMs, diaries and server-side log data. The service could potentially measure any service, said Creamer, including Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio. But Radio Ink reports the company was not specific about which exact services would be measured.

However, Tom Taylor reports Creamer said, "We do believe there is a difference between one-to-many and one-to-one." He apprently suggested there could be "separate reports to differentiate the one-to-many and one-to-one models."

You can find more on the story from today's Taylor on Radio-Info newsletter here or from Radio Ink here. You can find out more about Arbitron's planned streaming measurement service in previous RAIN articles here and here.

Pandora's share of radio listening may be even higher than what they claim

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 11:00am

New numbers confirm "just how big a share Pandora has amassed"

Using new data from Arbitron, industry news source Inside Radio determines that Pandora's monthly listening is approximately 5% of the total listening of over-the-air radio.
A new calculation from Arbitron found that Americans are exposed to 14.6 billion hours of radio every month. That calculation was apparently "created at the request of the company’s clients to give broadcast radio a way to show how it stacks up against Pandora," reports Inside Radio. The publication compared this number to Pandora's own Q3 report to investors to calculate the percentage.

Pandora recently told its investors it logged 2.1 billion listener hours during Q3 (up from around 1 billion the year before; more here). "That equates to an average 700 million listener hours per month or about 5% the size of over-the-air radio," writes Inside Radio. The publication points out that the figure exceeds the percentage Pandora has recently stated.

"Today we only have a bit more than 4% of all radio listening in this country," CEO Joe Kennedy told CNBC earlier this month (more here). Pandora said it represented 2.3% of all radio listening at the end of 2010 (more here).


Inside Radio writes that this confirms "just how big a share Pandora has amassed in just a few short years."

"It’s worth noting that each [Arbitron and Pandora] uses different methodologies," notes Inside Radio. "Arbitron’s figures are based on RADAR’s combined PPM and diary survey estimates (Persons 12+, Mon-Sun 6AM-Mid) while Pandora’s actual server-side numbers come from Triton Digital."

You can subscribe to receive Inside Radio daily here.

RAIN AnalysisRAIN ANALYSIS: RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson calculates -- assuming Pandora's 2.1 billion figure is accurate -- that the webcaster has the equivalent of a 4.8 share of all U.S. radio listening.

That's higher than any number Pandora has ever quoted (though it would be slightly less if Pandora were included in Arbitron's calculation, and it's likely SiriusXM was not included either). -- MS

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