Pew Internet surveys music listening on cell phones

Friday, October 18, 2013 - 10:25am

The Pew Research Center has added a survey category to its ongoing study of how Americans use their connected phones. Adding to historical behaviors such as texting, emailing, browsing, downloading apps, and getting directions, listening to music is a component of Pew’s latest report.

The headline statistic is this: 48 percent of all cell phone owners listen to music on their phones. The sample size was 2,076.

Men tend toward listening more than women, 51 percent to 45 percent. Phone listening is a youth activity predominantly, with 80 percent of positive responses falling in the 18-29 year-old population. Generally, more education transfers to more listening. Likewise with more money: households with incomes above $75,000 contained 58 percent of positive responses. Urban listeners outnumber suburban listeners, which in turn use cell phone for music more than rural residents.

The survey was conducted in April and May of this year.

Pandora is 8th most-used smartphone app (comScore)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 7:10am

As noted in Audio4cast, Pandora landed in 8th place in comScore’s measurement of top smartphone app usage for August. This metrics category is different from smartphone audience via the phone’s browser. Some top-15 media properties (like Gmail) might have their app ranking cannibalized by browser use, and others (like Twitter) by a multiplicity of popular apps that are lower on the list.

But Pandora’s ranking is fairly pure, as the service doesn't work in a mobile browser, and there are no alternatives to the official Pandora app. On comScore's browser-plus-app usage list, which is invaded by web-based behemoths like Yahoo!, Amazon, and AOL, Pandora holds its own in 9th place.

P’s reach is measured at 43.3 percent of the app audience, which is a remarkable testimony not only to Pandora’s footprint, but to Internet radio generally, if you consider Pandora as a proxy for the medium and the consumer model it represents. If you took away ecosystem-branded apps that enjoy a built-in smartphone advantage (Google Search, for example), Pandora would rise to third, after Facebook (75.7%) and YouTube (52.8%).

Social, video, and music are the chief app-based pureplays -- with each wedging into the others’ territories to some extent.

The smartphone disruption is just beginning, says Meeker

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 1:25pm

Monday night former Wall Street analyst and now Kleiner Perkins venture capital partner Mary Meeker presented her latest report at an entrepreneurship event at Stanford.

Los Angeles Times coverage of the presentation summed it up as "Smartphones are huge. And as disruptive as smartphones have been, we're just at the start of that revolution."

Meeker says mobile devices now account for 13% of all Internet traffic. And the ratio of consumers' time spent with Internet and mobile media to the share of advertising on these media (see chart) reveals a $20 billion opportunity in the U.S. alone.

As ubiquitous as smartphones seem, just 1 in 5 mobile phones users around the world are smartphone users. That's huge upside for Apple, Google, Samsung -- and maybe even other carriers, and lots new potential mobile customers for publishers.

Last fall (here) Meeker demonstrated how quickly the mobile Internet is growing worldwide, and she predicted that audio-based technologies represent "the next big thing."

See all of Meeker's slides from her latest presentation here; and Los Angeles Times coverage here.

Play web radio from your phone to any stereo with this DIY project

Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 12:05pm

StereoA new project from Hack a Day and featured by Lifehacker shows how to stream web radio content from your smartphone to just about any stereo system.

The solution involves making a Bluetooth/IR receiver, which requires healthy doses of patience and soldering skills. But if you're up to the challenge, find out more from Lifehacker here and Hack a Day here.

Pandora grows its sales force by 80% year-over-year, sees 112% growth in ads delivered

Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 12:05pm

Pandora mobile adsPandora's mobile revenue will soar over the next few years, as will the whole U.S. mobile ad market, eMarketer predicts. The research firm expects Pandora's mobile earnings to swell from $120 million in 2011 to just under $500 million in 2014. (By comparison, Pandora reported more than $274 million in total revenue for fiscal year 2012.)

"On a net basis, Pandora Media has emerged as one of the strongest U.S. mobile display ad sellers, and its share of the total U.S. mobile display market is expected to reach 20.5% in 2012," says eMarketer.

Pandora announced in its fiscal results for Q2 2013 it had grown its mobile ad revenue by 86% year-over-year, reaching nearly $60 million (find RAIN's coverage here).

In fact, Pandora is currently earning far more from mobile than heavy-hitters like Twitter and Facebook, says eMarketer. That, of course, may change over the next few years, as those companies get their mobile act together. Pandora trails Google's massive mobile intake of $750 million in 2011.

Overall, eMarketer predicts (here) mobile ad revenues in the U.S. will grow to more than $6.6 billion in 2014, up from $1.45 billion in 2011.

Pandora also recently disclosed to the SEC that in Q2 2013, it saw a 112% increase in the number of ads delivered compared to the previous year. Additionally, the company has grown its sales force by 80% year-over-year. But the average price per ad declined 27%, "due in part to the mobile ad mix," reports Business Insider (here).

And of course, as we saw in Pandora's Q2 '13 results, all this growth in revenue is still being outpaced by usage and thus by staggering music royalty costs.

Earlier polls confirmed: More than half of U.S. mobile subscribers use a smartphone

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 2:15pm

SmartphonesA new report based on data from U.S. mobile carriers shows that more mobile subscribers in the U.S. own a smartphone than regular non-smart "feature" mobile phones. The new study, from Chetan Sharma Consulting, found that smartphone penetration surpassed 50% in Q2.

Earlier this year a Nielsen study came to this conclusion (RAIN coverage here), but as GigaOM explains, "while Nielsen’s number are based on polling data, Sharma’s come from the operators’ quarterly reports."

GigaOM has more coverage here.

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