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The Media Audit: Pandora tops all radio in Los Angeles

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 12:05pm

Pandora localThe results of a new poll from The Media Audit prompts The L.A. Times to ask, "Pandora: The no. 1 radio station in Los Angeles?"

The survey estimates that 1.9 million people in L.A. listened to Pandora between September and October 2011. The #2-ranked radio station, KIIS-FM, attracted 1.4 million listeners, according to the poll.

We already knew Pandora was more popular than local L.A. stations among 18-34s, thanks to ratings from Pandora and Edison (example report from RAIN here). The L.A. Times doesn't state which demo The Media Audit's poll focused on, just that the company spoke with "54,000 adults."

"The results dovetailed with Pandora's current efforts to launch advertising sales teams in local markets, including one this week in Los Angeles," writes The L.A. Times (here).The New York Times recently spotlighted Pandora's efforts to attract local advertisers. It wrote then that Pandora's "path to profitability" may be "through car dealerships and mattress shops" (RAIN coverage here).

The Media Audit's Phillip Beswick presented more research about Internet radio at RAIN Summit West 2012 earlier this month (RAIN coverage here).

RAIN Analysis: Kassof neatly answers "Is Pandora radio?" question. Answer: "It doesn't matter"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 12:05pm

PandoraMedia researcher Mark Kassof today published results of a recent survey he took of adult (18-64) Pandora listeners. In a nutshell, he asked these listeners to score various music experiences on a "1-to-5" scale on how similar or different they were from Pandora (these included Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Internet radio service, the on-demand Spotify service, SiriusXM satellite radio, iPod/mp3 listening, FM radio, compact discs, and YouTube).

Of the nearly 1,200 Pandora listeners in the survey, 95% of them had an opinion when it came to Pandora vs. FM radio. Of that group, nearly half (49%) scored the difference as a "1" or a "2" (a "1" means "totally different").

So, we're at about 548 Pandora listeners now -- all of whom perceive a significant difference between Pandora and FM radio. Kasof asked them, "In what way or ways is FM radio different than Pandora?" By far, the most popular responses (besides "Other" which Kasof said was 30%) were "Not as much choice in listening" (31%) and "More/too many commercials" (26%). No other response scored higher than 8%, most were about 4%.

So, Pandora listeners say the significant differences between the service and FM is "choice" (select genre, choose artists, skip songs, etc.) and spot load. Surprise, right? Naturally, these differences -- perceived as negative -- made a majority of these Pandora listeners regard FM radio as "worse to listen to" than Pandora. Again, no big surprise. (Actually, only 76% said these differences made FM radio worse... 11% said these differences made FM radio better! Wha?)

Nevertheless, most of FM’s differences are clearly negative for these Pandora listeners (we are talking to Pandora listeners, after all).

Here we want to point to Kassof's conclusion:

"They think FM is either totally different or very different. They represent nearly half of Pandora listeners. They overwhelmingly think Pandora is better.

"So, Pandora may not be radio, but that doesn’t make it any less of a challenge to radio. "The question is: How does radio meet this challenge?"

So there it is. Call Pandora "radio," call it a "soulless celestial jukebox/playlist generator," call it a "ham sandwich." It doesn't matter. If it's a rival station, a new online service, or a small white rectangle in your pocket that radio is now competing against for listeners, radio needs to address it. Listeners certainly aren't concerned whether Pandora is "radio" or not.

Read Mark Kassof's blog post here.

TargetSpot CEO at RAIN Summit: 42% of U.S. population listens to web radio

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 12:05pm

Eyal Goldwerger at RAIN Summit West 2012Listening to Internet radio is "no longer a trend, it's a behavior," said TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger at RAIN Summit West 2012. That behavior spans a range of devices, listening locations, and listening sources.

Goldwerger presented a preview of TargetSpot’s Digital Audio trending study, set for release in early May, at RAIN's conference in Las Vegas earlier this month.

He revealed that 42% of the U.S. population listens to Internet radio, a growth of 8% over last year. Listeners said they enjoy web radio because it plays "music I want to hear," offers fewer commercials, "better music selection" and "more control," Goldwerger explained.

Listeners are tuning in to Internet radio on an increasingly wide variety of devices, and in different locations. Goldwerger revealed that 44% of listeners say they primarily listen on a tablet, 44% on a computer and 38% on a smartphone. 77% listen on home computers, while 53% listen on work computer.

Interestingly, a large number of web radio listeners change channels and services throughout the day. Around 3 in 4 listeners change stations within the same service at least once a day, while 64% change services at least once daily (like switching from Pandora to Slacker).

Internet radio's audience is "valuable and desirable," said Goldwerger. TargetSpot found that 42% of listeners have kids, 22% live in households with $100,000+ incomes and 64% own their own home. And 67% of listeners "often look at the player" to see currently playing artist information.  Around 80% of listeners tune in for 1-3 hours per day, while 40% listen to 1-2 hours per listening session. 

TargetSpotGoldwerger said that 65% of web radio listeners spend at least the same amount of time listening to AM/FM radio as the did before. But among 18-24 year-olds, 47% are spending less time with AM/FM radio. "If that’s a predictor of how that demo is going to behave as they get older, that’s something to watch," commented Tom Taylor of Radio-Info. Additionally, 57% of web radio music listeners said they prefer listening to Internet radio (compared to 26% who prefer AM/FM radio).

"Digital audio is firmly established," concluded Goldwerger. "Listeners remain highly engaged" and new devices are driving "increased listening."

More coverage of Goldwerger's presentation can be found in Audio4Cast here and Radio-Info here.

Research presented at RAIN Summit West shows Internet radio popular among fastest growing demos

Friday, April 20, 2012 - 11:15am

The Media Audit's research presented at RAIN Summit West 2012The Media Audit Executive Vice President Phillip Beswick presented "Fast Facts on Internet Radio" at RAIN Summit West 2012 earlier this week. The 10-minute presentation was packed with information, including the fact that around 20% of adults 18+ said they listened to Internet radio in the past week (based on 54,000 surveys). That figure jumps to nearly 40% when looking at just 18-34 year-olds, Beswick revealed.

Moreover, web radio is popular among two of the fastest growing demographics, said Beswick: cellphone-only consumers and Hispanics. Among both groups, around 25% said they listened to web radio in the past 7 days.

The Media Audit's study also found that Internet radio tends to be most popular in mid- to large-sized markets: Charleston, SC is #1 (with 29.3% of adults listening to web radio), then Atlanta, Salt Lake and Boston. Beswick showed that if Internet radio was a single cluster in New York or L.A., it would be the third largest cluster in either market (reaching around 1 in 5 adults). In both cases, the percentage of adults visiting radio station websites trailed web radio usage, explained Beswick.

The Media AuditNot surprisingly, The Media Audit found that Internet radio listeners tend to be in the higher income brackets with a college education. Though Beswick showed that adults spend "more time with radio than any other medium," he also found that web radio reaches around 10% of people who don't listen to AM/FM radio -- "and thus can add reach to a radio campaign." Additionally, web radio users tend to be heavy radio listeners and so Internet radio "can add frequency to a radio buy."

As mentioned earlier, Phillip packed  a lot of information into his 10 minute presentation at RAIN Summit West 2012. And as Tom Taylor of Radio-Info reports, he "was quickly handling out business cards afterwards, to folks who wanted a copy of his Powerpoint."

You can find out more about The Media Audit here. You can find Radio-Info's coverage of the presentation here.

We'll have more coverage of RAIN Summit West's presentations and panels in the days ahead and hope to soon offer video coverage of the event as well. Stay tuned!

"Digital Natives" switch between devices and channels every 2 minutes, finds study

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 11:10am

Devices galoreConsumers who grew up with mobile technology switch between devices and media platforms once every two minutes. That's according to a new study from Time Inc. called "A Biometric Day in the Life."

Basically, these "Digital Natives" (as the report dubs younger consumers) "frequently use media to regulate their mood -- as soon as they grow tired or bored, they turn their attention to something new." That could be switching to a different device (smartphone to TV), or switching between "channels" witin a single device (like app to app within a tablet). 

The study found that "Digital Natives" subsequently can follow "stories" in a non-linear fashion. They can "pick up different pieces of a story from different mediums in any order." That's directly opposed to "Digital Immigrants" (those who learned about mobile technology in their adult lives), who want to consume stories in a linear -- beginning, middle, end -- fashion.

"In order to keep Digital Natives engaged," said Betsy Frank, Chief Research and Insights Officer for Time Inc., "content creators and marketers will need to think differently. Grabbing them from the beginning is essential, as is content they can snack on and offering multiple access points to every story."

You can find Time, Inc.'s press release here.

Web radio "fastest growing music listening option," says NPD Group

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 12:05pm

NPD GroupOnline radio services reached 43% of U.S. web users in 2011, according to research from The NPD Group. The market research company says that's up 9% -- or 18 million users -- from 2010. NPD says that makes Internet radio "the fastest growing music listening option." Meanwhile, AM/FM radio usage stood at 84% ("relatively steady," said NPD). 

The NPD Group found that web radio is most popular among web users age 18-25. Additionally, NPD found that just 3% of web users listened to paid Internet radio during the year. 

Listeners of Internet radio cite such serviecs "as a reason to do less file sharing, and they credit online radio with improving their ability to discover new artists," said NPD Group SVP Russ Crupnick.

You can find The NPD Group's press release here.

It's not clear if those 43% of U.S. web users are regular Internet radio listeners, or tuned in just once or twice during the year. Additionally, though The NPD Group says 12% of web users "listened to music integrated into Facebook or other social networks by services like Spotify and MOG," it's not clear if listening to Spotify and similar on-demand music services is included in the 43% figure. -- MS

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