traditional

Mobile and web radio listening growing strongly among women, Alan Burns & Associates study finds

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 12:00pm

Stats from Alan Burns & Associates new study of women radio listenersOverall radio listening isn't decreasing, according to new research, it's just migrating to the Internet and especially to mobile devices. A study by Alan Burns and Associates of more than 2,000 female radio listeners, aged 15-54, found that daily listening to AM/FM radio -- no matter the device -- is up around 2% year-over-year.

Looking deeper into the numbers though, daily listening to AM/FM on a radio is down 24% year-over-year, while listening to AM/FM online is up 282% and listening on a mobile device grew a whopping 750%.

In other words, increases in digital radio listening are apparently more than making up for traditional radio listening's lost ground. Those gains might be larger if one were to include web-only music streams, which nearly half of those surveyed said they listen to at least weekly.

However, AM/FM listening on radios remains a juggernaut: 86.6% of the women surveyed said they listen to AM/FM on a radio on a weekly basis. And listening to AM/FM on a radio is still more than twice that of listening to AM/FM via the web and on mobile devices combined.

Alan Burns & AssociatesBut online, "custom music streams" are slightly more popular than AM/FM simulcasts among the women surveyed: around 49% of those surveyed said they listened to cusom music streams on a weekly basis (up from 39% in 2011), compared to around 43% who said they listened to AM/FM web simulcasts on a weekly basis (up from 34% in 2011).

The fastest growing area, unsurprisingly, appears to be mobile. Nearly 50% of the women surveyed said they had downloaded a radio app and 26.2% listen to mobile radio at least weekly (up from 15.4% in 2011). And time spent listening to AM/FM on a mobile device reportedly grew around 400% year-over-year.

Just under half of those surveyed agreed with the statement, "I can foresee a day when I won’t need or want to listen to music on radio because I can get it online and/or on my phone," (compared to around 37% who agreed with the statement in 2011).

You can find the results from Alan Burns and Associates' study ("Here She Comes 2012 - Insights Into Women, Radio, and New Media") right here (PDF).

Jennifer Lane, Kurt Hanson call "one-to-one vs. one-to-many" a meaningless distinction

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 9:00am

Just before the holidays, broadcasters' collective "foot came down" with Arbitron and Katz360 in regards to Pandora.

Traditional radio doesn't like Pandora. It's not "real radio," broadcasters say. They don't want Pandora listening measured using the same metrics as the broadcast world, because that might allow Pandora (and Internet radio as a whole) to "sipon off...ad dollars" to which broadcasters feel entitled. And broadcasters made it clear how they feel to Katz360 and Arbitron. So Katz360 dumped Pandora. And Arbitron issued a warning against putting any credence in listening reports from Pandora. You can review all of this in more detail with our coverage we link to here.

Yesterday in her Audio4Cast blog, Jennifer Lane took particular exception to one of arguments Arbitron made in its statement regarding Pandora. Arbitron wants the reader to believe it's not logical to compare audience estimates of broadcast listening (that is, many people listening to the same thing at the same time) to estimates of webcast listening, because in many cases (e.g. Pandora) each listener is listening to his or her own personal stream (no one else is hearing the same songs and ads at the same moment as anyone else).

"They’ve created an imaginary line to justify measuring the two categories separately and differently," Lane writes. "Supposedly, because 'one to many' audiences are all exposed to the message simultaneously while 'one to one' listeners are exposed to the message during their unique sessions, the data is different and cannot be assimilated."

RAIN senior editor and AccuRadio founder Kurt Hanson dismantles the argument by using an example of an ad campaign spread across various broadcast stations during a designated hour and day -- naturally, the ad won't play at the exact same moment on all stations. Lane herself uses the example of network radio programs, which can run on hundreds of stations at various times.

But it's really not about logic, it's about Arbitron bending to pressure from their broadcast clients. 

"As a research firm, (Arbitron is) obligated to create products that are fair and objective," she writes. "The listening landscape is rapidly evolving into a space that includes new audio platforms. Ultimately, advertisers and listeners will decide the landscape – listeners will listen to what they want to hear and advertisers will spend to reach them." By refusing to compare broadcast and webcast audiences based on meaningless distinctions like "one-to-many vs. one-to-one" messaging, these research firms do themselves, ad buyers, and ultimately radio a disservice by not providing the best and most accurate product they can.

Jennifer Lane's Audio4Cast blog on this topic is here.

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