U.S. teens' top music source: YouTube, says Nielsen

Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 1:15pm

The new Music 360 study from Nielsen shows that in the U.S. "more teens listen to music through YouTube than through any other source (64%), followed by radio (56%) and iTunes (53% ) and CDs (50%)." 

Nearly half (48%) of Americans says they use radio most often to discover new music.

More than half (54%) said they have music player apps on their smartphones, followed closely by radio apps (47%).

Read more from Nielsen on Music 360 here.

SCBA to lead education initiative "arming" radio sales teams to compete with web radio pureplays

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 11:45am

SCBAThe Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) is leading a new effort to give radio ad sales teams tools to compete with Internet radio pureplays. The education initiative will reportedly provide information to sellers whose clients are asking about webcasters like Pandora.

Such Internet radio services "are competitors," Bonneville-L.A. VP/GM Peter Burton told Inside Radio, "and we have to know our competitors... Pandora’s voice is louder than our voice and they have an entire sales team out there with a consistent story. The radio industry in general has not put together a consistent story with any kind of frequency."

The SCBA -- working within what Inside Radio calls "radio's richest revenue market" -- will collaborate with former president and current EVP of Katz Radio Group Mary Beth Garber. She says it's important to work towards "arming people with the info they need about the differences between Pandora and radio and the real facts."

Inside Radio reports Katz has been working with Bridge Ratings to study Pandora. Bridge Ratings has recently released studies investigating ad performance on various music platforms and listener perceptions of online music services. Katz has also recently commissioned the Unviersity of Southern California "to study the relationship between air personalities and listeners."

Other broadcasters are taking another path. Hubbard Radio director of sales in the Chicago cluster, Craig Volpe, told Inside Radio, "We're doing no training of our sales people on Pandora... We're not going to give it that kind of attention."

Meanwhile, Pandora "shows no signs of slowing down efforts to improve sales," writes Inside Radio. Pandora CFO Steve Cakebread recently said, "What you’re going to hear from us over the next year or two is constant discussions and expansion of our sales force to participate in those markets that we don’t participate in today."

You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletters here.

Digital revenues, including performance royalties, pushed U.S. record industry into the black in 2011

Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 11:55am

Significant growth of digital performance royalties, music subscriptions, and download sales pushed U.S. record industry revenues into positive territory in 2011 for the first time since 2004, the RIAA reports.

SoundExchange distributed $292 million in digital performance royalties (the fees webcasters and satellite radio pay to play copyright recordings) to labels and performers last year, an increase of 17% over 2010.

Music subscription services (e.g. Spotify) paid the industry $241 million in 2011, 13% more than in 2010.

And digital downloads accounted for $2.6 billion, up 17% from the prior year. For the first time ever in a a single year, digital album sales topped 100 million digital albums. In fact, the 9.2% overall digital sales growth offset the decline in physical decrease of 7.7%.

"Overall, digital formats comprised slightly above 50% of total music shipments in the United States, as digital became more than half the market for the first time ever," the RIAA press release reads. "No longer just a niche, digital music has shown it can be a model - or perhaps more accurately a variety of models - for the music industry going forward." Read it here.

NPD Group: Far from hurting music sales, online radio cited as reason for growth

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 11:55am

Music sales increasingAfter years of decline, more consumers are buying music, in part thanks to online music services. So says the NPD Group in its "Annual Music Study."

The NPD Group found that in 2011, for the second consective year, the total number of music buyers increased (up 2% to 78 million). Plus, total music-track sales rose 4% thanks to "a healthy paid-music download market."

Consumers surveyed by the NPD Group pointed to the wide variety of music services now available -- from AM/FM to Pandora and Spotify -- as a driving factor behind increased music spending. Mobile devices, a decline in P2P downloads and the perception of improved quality also were cited as reasons for growth. 

The report makes the (oft-made) point that the profileration of online radio and web music services hasn't replaced the need to buy and own music. In fact, as stated, it may help drive more music sales.

The NPD Group"Despite all of the exciting online radio options, we are still seeing healthy growth in the market for digital-music downloads," said Russ Crupnick, a SVP at NPD. "As long as consumers want to own digital tracks and continue to have a passion for the physical format and a way to play their CDs, online radio and paid-to-own music will live in harmony." 

All Things Digital's Peter Kafka comments (here) that it's "a little counterintuitive" that music purchases would increase in the face of growing free streaming options.

"But that’s always been part of the streaming music service pitch to the big labels... We’re starting to hear murmurs from the labels that this is actually how it’s working in the real world, too."

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

AOL Eastern Sales SVP joins CC to head digital sales

Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

Tim CastelliTim Castelli has left AOL to join Clear Channel as EVP of Digital Sales. Castelli previously served as AOL's SVP of Sales for its Eastern U.S. region.

Castelli's position at Clear Channel is new; he will report to John Hogan. Clear Channel says he will "oversee the national digital sales efforts and develop innovative advertising products and programs across several Clear Channel Media and Entertainment divisions, including Strategic Partnerships, National Programming Platforms and National Advertising Platforms and iHeartRadio."

You can find Radio-Info's coverage here.

Radio would likely reap rewards by focusing AEs on specific platforms

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 11:25am

Online revenueA new survey shows the benefits to media companies of a "digital-only" salesforce. The new study, by Borrell Associates, compared media companies with digital-only sales people to companies with a combined, all-platforms sales staff.

Borrell found that those companies with an online-only sales staff generated 2.5 times as much gross online revenue per rep as other companies ($185,900 vs. $73,300). 

"It’s clear that having a staff dedicated to selling online advertising -- and combining it with the efforts of the legacy media sales force -- drives more digital revenues," the study ("Assessing Local Digital Sales Forces") states.

Borrell also found that just 11% of radio businesses employed dedicated online sales staff, compared to 55% of newspapers and 39% of TV companies.

"Too many radio stations are structured like a Border’s book store at a time when consumers are using Kindles," writes Paul Jacobs -- General Manager of Jacbos Media -- in reaction to  the study. "By utilizing traditional sellers, radio will be hard-pressed to morph effectively into viable digital media outlets that generate serious revenue." You can find Jacobs' full analysis at the jacoBLOG here.

Borrell's study also raises questions about how many digital-only sales reps are needed and whether it's better to split digital sales into a separate division. MediaPost has more coverage here.

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