It's undeniable radio is losing listening to Pandora, Edison's Rosin says

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:20pm

The San Antonio News Express, paraphrasing Edison Research president Larry Rosin, says streaming radio to moblie phones is "the biggest challenge to commercial radio that the technological revolution has wrought."

The paper also spoke to Paragon Media senior research consultant Larry Johnson, who explained that while traditional radio's reach has held steady over the last ten years, "time spend listening" has consistently fallen by about 15 minutes per year for the last 20 years.

Rosin, whose company partnered with Pandora in 2011 to measure the webcaster's listening in local markets (here), said, "(Pandora) is clearly stealing time from commercial radio music stations, primarily among people under 35 years old."

Of course, major broadcasters also offer streaming services, which they say complement -- not cannibalize -- traditional radio listening. But as Rosin points out, "Pandora is more than two-thirds of all Internet radio all by itself." In other words, broadcasters' complementary digital listening can't itself account for terrestrial's TSL drop.

For more on this topic, see our article "Radio faces falling TSL, but how much is due to digital competition?" in RAIN here.

Read more at here.

Forbes writer thinks an Apple streaming play would hit Pandora in the ad revenue

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 12:00pm

Apple will hold its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, and naturally many are eager to hear the company's plans for a streaming music service. A Forbes writer predicts an Apple entry into streaming music wouldn't hurt SiriusXM, but it would likely take a toll on Pandora.

"The main issue for Pandora is going to be with advertisers," writes Richard Saintvilus. "This is where Apple will bring the most damage."

Apple would give Pandora competition for ad dollars it really doesn't have, and thus give advertisers leverage, which would drive ad rates down. Apple, with so many other revenue streams, could afford a music streaming service as a loss leader. Pandora, obviously, could not.

"This, then, puts Pandora in a position to sacrifice margin for revenue."

Saintvilus' bet is that Pandora gets acquired, by Facebook or Google. Read more in Forbes here.

Legal analyst says Australian court ruling might mean an end to radio streaming

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 12:20pm

An Australian legal analyst says a new court ruling in that country will result in vastly higher royalty rates for online radio streaming, and may quash it altogether.

Radio broadcasters in that country pay for broadasting copyright sound recordings, and currently pay an additional 1% for streaming their on-air content.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) is Austalia's counterpart to SoundExchange in the U.S. -- the body that represents sound recording copyright owners, and collects and distributes royalties when those copyrights are used. Last week Australia's Full Federal Court ruled in favor of the PPCA, declaring that online simulcasts of broadcast radio is outside the definition of a broadcast, and thus require a separate license.

The author (a University of Canberra law student named Karl Schaffarczyk) writes, "Given recent PPCA demands of huge increases in licence fees for other users of recorded music, a likely scenario is that many broadcasters will simply stop making their content available online."

Read his article at The Conversation here.

Radio faces falling TSL, but how much is due to digital competition?

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 1:10pm

Radio broadcasters are beginning to grasp the reality that, despite steady (and high) cume, the amount of time Americans spend listening to broadcast radio is falling, most notably in younger demos.

Arbitron RADAR data reveal broadcast radio reaches about 92% of the U.S. population regularly, but 12+ TSL is off 3.2% from April 2010-March 2012.

Inside Radio writes today that while "there's evidence (growing Internet radio listening) is a factor... The issue may not be whether listening to streaming is cannibalizing broadcast radio but rather how much it is increasing listening to broadcast radio brands."

In other words, is broadcast radio listening falling, or merely shifting to a different platform? How much of this Internet stream listening is to broadcast radio brand content?

Triton Digital says, in December, broadcasters accounted for 22% of the web radio traffic the company measures, which means 78% goes to pureplay Internet radio. And that percentage as dramatically shifted in pureplays' favor over the last three years.

So, the likely answer is: Yes. Yes, some loss of AM/FM TSL to streaming is recovered by broadcasters' simulcast (or supplemental) streams. And, yes, Internet-only radio, satellite radio, online music services, and very nearly any other entertainment option, are taking a toll on broadcast radio listening.

Despite buzz around streaming video, streaming audio reaches far and away more Americans weekly

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 12:15pm

While streaming video content is a hot topic, its reach among all adult age groups in the U.S. is dwarfed by streaming audio and radio content.

As you can see from the chart, 40% of 18-24s listen to streaming audio or radio weekly. That reach falls as subjects age, but is still a strong 1 in 4 35-54s.

Obviously, streaming audio is technically easier (with a lower bandwidth requirement). It's easier to enjoy audio on mobile platforms and while driving. And as MediaPost points out, "Radio and any other kind of streaming can be done on the computer while working on the same device -- whether for the purpose of providing background music, sports commentary or other forms of talk-based content."

Consultant Mark Ramsey commented, "For anyone who continues to chirp that 'Pandora is not radio,' I suggest you tell that to the advertiser who sees up to 40% reach on an ad-supported audio platform."

The study was conducted by USA TouchPoints. Read more in MediaPost here and Mark Ramsey here.

Some see "radio" icon found in iOS as evidence of impending Apple streaming radio

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 1:20pm

Graphical buttons uncovered by iPhone "jailbreakers" are reinvigorating the rumor mill concerning an Apple streaming radio serviceArsTechnica reports the graphical buttons (one that looks like a transmitter tower with "radiating" lines) were discovered in the Music app in iOS 6.1. 

It's been rumored since late last year that Apple would launch a customizable streaming radio service (a la Pandora) some time in 2013.

There's really nothing more than that to report. Ars says there's no explicit reference to a streaming service within the iOS, and the images don't connect to anything.

Read more in Ars Technica here.

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