Ford adds Slacker support to in-dash Sync system

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 12:10pm

SlackerFord's smartphone-friendly Sync system now supports Slacker's mobile apps. Drivers can now control Slacker playback through dashboard controls and via voice commands, said Ford.

Slacker's Android and BlackBerry apps are currently supported, with the iPhone app pending approval.

Ford's in-dash Sync system already supports iHeartRadio and Pandora.

Slacker also today announced that it has partnered with ABC to launch new "lifestyle" stations. They'll focus on such topics as healthy living, relationships, employment, fashion and technology. ABC's news sources will power the stations, which should arrive in 2012.

You can find more info from Slacker's press release here.

Pandora up 8% from September, Slacker benefits from the addition of AOL Radio stations

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 12:10pm

Webcaster growth from September 2009 to October 2011Pandora extended its wide lead over the rest of the industry in Triton Digital's new Webcast Metrics for October 2011.

Clear Channel and Slacker also saw strong growth, but both were dwarfed by Pandora's increase of nearly 60,000 AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners) from September.

(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 to October 2011. 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.)

Pandora's audience grew 8% month-to-month in the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart ranker. Its AAS, though listed at 812,337 in the October charts, is likely much higher (see our RAIN Analysis below).

Meanwhile, Clear Channel's AAS grew over 15,000 from September, a 17% increase. October was the first full month that the broadcaster's new customizable iHeartRadio service was available (RAIN coverage here). 

That growth, coupled with CBS Radio's AAS decline (explained below), pushed Clear Channel into CBS Radio's long-held #2 spot in Triton's Domestic 6a-12m daypart ranker. Clear Channel also appeared in Triton's All Streams 6a-12m daypart ranker for the first time, again bumping CBS Radio down a peg to grab the #1 spot. 

CBS Radio fell to #3 in the Domestic ranker after an AAS decline of over 11,000 from September (-12%). In October, AOL Radio, whose more than 350 Internet-only music channels were part of the CBS Radio online family, moved its programming to Slacker. AOL Radio also, at that time, cut its ad-load in half and introduced new personalization features (RAIN coverage here).

Slacker, in turn, saw a monthly AAS growth of over 6,000 (21%). Slacker may also have benefited from its Facebook partnership (RAIN coverage here).
More movement in Triton's Webcast Metrics came from the merger of Cumulus and Citadel into one entry: the Cumulus Streaming Network, ranked at #4 in the Domestic 6a-12m daypart ranker with an AAS of 45,489 (down about 7% from the broadcasters' combined AAS in September). Most other broadcast groups were flat to slightly down for the month.
You can find the Domestic and All Streams Mon-Sun 6a-12m rankings below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of September 2011’s ratings here.

RAIN AnalysisRAIN Analysis: Pandora's AAS is listed at 812,337 in Triton Digital's Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart ranker, but it is probably much higher -- perhaps nearly 1.2 million. Triton does not measure Pandora One subscriber listening, nor listening on certain consumer electronic devices according to Pandora's Deborah Roth.

Last week RAIN's Kurt Hanson calculated that Pandora's AAS was around 1.1 million in September, based on the webcaster's reported 2.1 billion hours of listening in its fiscal third quarter (Aug.-Oct. 2011). You can find Hanson's math and analysis here.

Assuming around 7% monthly growth, that would imply Pandora's AAS of 1.1 million in September would increase to just under 1.2 million in October. -- MS, KH

Triton Digital's Domestic ranking for October 2011













Triton Digital's All Streams ranking for October 2011






















Services like Spotify and Slacker reporting traffic surge following partnership with Facebook

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 12:55pm

Facebook announces its music partnerships at f8 in SeptemberMusic services -- including webcaster Slacker -- have seen a large boost in use since partnering with Facebook, according to the popular social network.

On September 22 during its F8 conference, Facebook unveiled new features that would allow users to share music content from services like Spotify, Rdio, Slacker and others directly to Facebook. Other users could then click-through to listen to that music on the respective service. (Find more coverage here.)

In the month following f8, Slacker reportedly “saw a more than 11x increase in monthly active users in the month following F8," according to Facebook. (More on this in our RAIN Analysis below.) 

Additionally, Spotify has seen 4 million new sign-ups, MOG experienced 246% growth and Rdio says Facebook has increased their new user registrations 30-fold.

You can find out more from the New York Times here and Mashable here.

RAIN AnalysisRAIN ANALYSIS: Slacker increasing its active monthly user count by 11 times is surprising and a little hard to believe. Slacker told the the L.A. Times in September that it had 6 million monthly active users (RAIN coverage here). By comparison, Pandora said in May 2011 that it had 34 million active users (here). 

That would mean Slacker has nearly 18% of Pandora's active user count (just comparing the 6 million and 34 million figures). But Slacker's AQH is less than 4% that of Pandora's (according to Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics from September 2011; Domestic 6am-12m Mon-Sun Daypart). It's hard to reconcile the two  -- even without an 11-fold increase in Slacker's active user count -- unless it's a lot of short-listening span visits.

Slacker's shared link on FacebookAnd that may be exactly what Facebook encourages. Our experience with Slacker and Facebook found that when a user shares a song from Slacker, it ends up on the user's Facebook wall with a big play button attached to it (see photo at right). Another user may click it, expecting to listen to the shared song. Instead they end up on Slacker listening to a new web radio station based around that song (but almost certainly not the target song itself). It's possible that the new user, not finding what he or she expected, leaves soon after.

Another possibility is that the 11-fold increase refers only to users arriving via Facebook. Indeed, in Facebook's blog post on the matter the two stats preceding Slacker (regarding MOG and Rdio) are about Facebook-related traffic and sign-ups only. 

In any case, Triton Digital's coming October Webcast Metrics should answer some of these questions. -- KH, PM, MS

RAIN highlights Halloween stations from Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Live365, AccuRadio, niche broadcasters and more

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 11:00am

HalloweenRadio.netHalloween is here and webcasters all across the Internet are getting in on the fun. From the heavy-hitters down to niche broadcasters, there should be plenty to keep Internet radio fans busy all day long.

Pandora this year has a whole line-up of Halloween channels, from tunes for a party to Goth music and Ghostly Grooves. Find them here.

Slacker offers a Halloween channel (find it on their homepage here), as does AccuRadio here.

Meanwhile, aggregator TuneIn Radio has put together a list of over 40 Halloween streams including AOL Radio, SomaFM and even a stream of Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" 1938 radio broadcast. You can find TuneIn Radio's listing here.

For even more ghoulish web radio fun, check out Live365. They've assembled 28 Halloween stations, including "Horror Old Time Radio" and "Very Vintage Halloween." Find Live365's listing by clicking "Seasonal/Holiday," then "Halloween" from their homepage here.

There are plenty of dedicated Halloween-only webcasters as well. Some of the best include (pictured), Never Ending Wonder and the 13th Track.

Did we overlook a Halloween stream worth mentioning? Let us know by commenting on this story!

More San Diego adults go to Pandora than local TV sites,, or Groupon

Friday, October 21, 2011 - 11:15am
San Diego
Research from The Media Audit focusing on San Diego reveals that webcaster Pandora reaches 28.8% of that market's 18+ population. In a telephone-based study conducted in July and August, 370,000 San Diego locals in the 18-34 demo used Pandora in a 30-day period, which is a 46.1 cume rating. For just 18-34 women, it's a cume rating of 56.2.

Tom Taylor reports today Pandora far outpaced other online radio services like Clear Channel's iHeartRadio (and, Taylor points out, San Diego is a strong Clear Channel market), CBS Radio's, and Slacker. What's more, Pandora ranked as the sixth-highest reaching website in the market for adults 18+, behind only Google, Yahoo, Facebook,, and Taylor points out  that Pandora out-reaches "all the local San Diego TV station websites, as well as and Groupon."

Read Tom Taylor's coverage in here.

New AOL Radio slashes audio ad-load in half, features Slacker's personalization and subscription offerings

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 10:00am

The new AOL Radio powered by SlackerAOL today relaunched AOL Radio, now powered by personalizable pureplay webcaster Slacker. AOL Radio announced in late June it would migrate away from CBS Radio and partner with Slacker (RAIN coverage here).

The new AOL Radio includes about half the audio advertising it previously had, now playing about 3 minutes of advertising per hour. The cut was announced by AOL Radio General Manager Lisa Namerow at RAIN Summit Chicago (find video coverage here).

The service also now offers Slacker's personalization features, non-music content from ESPN Radio and (soon) ABC Radio, plus subscription plans that remove ads and offer on-demand features (read more on Slacker's subscription services here).

Namerow told Bloomberg the new features and reduced ad-load is aimed at "reversing a 25% drop in AOL Radio users from a year ago." AOL Radio attracts around 3 million users a month, according to Namerow (more here).

The new AOL Radio can be found online here. AOL Radio also released a new iPhone app, with an Android version due before the end of the year.

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