Triton Digital

Online radio listening largely flat as webcasters approach traditional summer slow-down

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 12:30pm

Internet radio listening kept to tradition in May remained largely flat across Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics panel of webcasters. The company released its May 2013 Top 20 Ranker yesterday.

Historically, most webcasters in the panel show little movement in the weeks before the "summer doldrums" of decreased webcast listening begin.

Pandora's Average Active Sessions (AAS) was off ever so slightly month-to-month in the Domestic Ranker (U.S. listening only) 6a-12M, Monday-Sunday daypart. Among other leading webcasters, CBS Radio, NPR Stations, and Cox were off about 8%. EMF bounced nearly back to where it was in February and March. (See the chart below for more.)

Top webcasters in the "All Streams" ranking (based on global listening) that don't appear in the Domestic chart include Digitally Imported, Prisa Radio, Karnaval.com, 977Music.com, and Sky Radio. The May 2013 Webcast Metrics Top 20 Ranker is here.

Meanwhile, Pandora has announced its own numbers for the month of June. The webcaster says it streamed 1.25 billion hours in June (down from 1.35 billion in May), but up 17% from a year prior. In March, before Pandora capped free mobile listening at 40 hours per month, it streamed 1.5 billion hours.

Pandora says in June it topped 71 million "active listeners," which is up a bit from May, and up 30% from June of 2012. However, its share of U.S. radio listening dropped from 7.3% in May to just over 7% last month.

Our coverage of Pandora's May 2013 numbers is here.

Outside of monster Pandora share, San Diego listened to close to 5,000 different sources of Net radio in May

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 12:50pm

Triton Digital chief strategy officer Patrick Reynolds spoke at last week's Hivio conference in San Diego, and revealed some interesting stats on that city's Internet radio listening.

According to Reynolds, in May about two-thirds of the market's online listening was to Pandora (Pandora's April AAS was about 72% of the entire Webcast Metrics Top 20's in the "Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12M" ranker.) The other one-third of San Diego's online listening not going to Pandora was shared across an astounding 4,754 different sources, including a good number of commercial broadcasters from outside the market (from all over the country, according to Reynolds). 

San Diego in May had a 5,126 "AAS" (Average Active Sessions, or the average number of streaming listeners at any given moment during the month). Focusing only on the 6a-8p daypart, that number was about 9,500.

Listeners in the market tuned in on 60 different devices, which included smartphones, gaming consoles, and desktop Internet tuners.

Inside Radio reported on Reynolds' comments from the Hivio conference.

Audio Graphics' Dardis offers "more meaningful" derived metric for online radio listening

Monday, June 17, 2013 - 12:05pm

Ken Dardis in Audio Graphics has introduced a new metric derived from Triton Digital's monthly Webcast Metrics numbers for Internet radio, which he says is a far more meaningful measure of audience changes than simply looking at "Average Active Sessions" or "Session Starts" alone.

He says looking at the "Percentage of Average Active Sessions Resulting from Stream Starts" is the best way to actually gauge the growth of an online radio audience.

The new metric came out of Dardis' contention that simply looking at "Average Active Sessions" doesn't take into account changes in Triton's panel of monitored webcasters, or changes within those webcasters themselves. Not only may Triton add or drop webcasters from those it monitors, but each broadcast group or webcaster may add or drop streams or channels available to listeners. Likewise, "Session Starts," according to Dardis, doesn't accurately differentiate between listeners tuning in and staying, and those who merely sample for a few moments then leave.

The key to really getting a sense of a webcaster's audience changes over time is his when Average Active Sessions (AAS) is expressed as a percentage of Session Starts (SS). When that derived figure increases, "people are hanging in there longer - and this figure has no attachment to whether Triton Digital added or lost client stations," he writes.

Dardis is compiling this statistic for Triton Digital Top 20 webcasters, and makes it available free every month here.

Read his explanation further here and here.

Industry announcements from Livio, Abacast, StreamGuys, Triton Digital, and more

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 12:15pm

Here are some new developments from industry firms (who aren't Apple) we think you may find interesting:

Livio has announced Livio Keys and the FM Traffic Button, two new products they say can generate new revenue for car manufacturers and app developers. Livio Keys is a "communication solution" that links carmakers and software developers with tools and customizable services. The FM Traffic Button uses code added to an embedded app on an in-dash infotainment system to provide up-to-the-minute, on-demand traffic reports for U.S. markets.

Abacast has announced a new partnership with Cue.AD, the first Israeli ad network for digital radio. The deal, says, Abacast, will provide that nation's first solution for digital radio broadcasters and advertisers along with a complete online radio streaming and monetization service.

Industry research firm Reportlinker has a new study out called "Global Internet Radio Industry," which it says provides comprehensive analytics for the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and more, with annual estimates and forecasts for 2010-2018. The report covers 45 companies like Pandora, Clear Channel, Slacker, Rhapsody, SomaFM, Digitally Imported, and AccuRadio. Read more (and purchase the report) here.

StreamGuys will now support the open-source Ogg Opus codec, which it says will give webcasters more options for high-quality, low-latency audio streaming. The Ogg Opus codec is free to use, offers broadcast-quality reproduction, and doesn't lag behind real-time broadcasting (like streaming MP3 can).

Triton Digital announced it's successfully deployed its Advertising Platform including Ad Injector to Sao Paulo, Brazil-based broadcaster Kiss Telecomunicações LTDA.

Marketron has expanded its partnership with Saga Communications. The broadcaster will now use Marketron's Insight reporting product, Proof of Performance, and Network Connect.

Summit panelists look at accelerating revenue from ads, subscriptions, and donations

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 12:50pm

Triton Digital president of publisher development Dominick Milano acknowledged that there's a "disconnect" between the unprecedented amount of audio consumption made possible by Internet and mobile technology, and the fact that advertising dollars haven't moved to those platforms in levels reflective of the audience. That "disconnect" served as the premise for the Triton Digital-sponsored "Accelerating Your Revenue" panel, which Milano (at right) moderated, at last month's RAIN Summit West event in Las Vegas.

The panel covered the three principal revenue models for online radio: advertising, premium (or subscription), and listener-supported (i.e. donations).

Katz360 VP of broadcast services and online audio and video sales Dean Mandel suggested one key is the right combination of broadcast radio and online radio -- not only for ad campaigns, but in creating worthwhile listening experiences. He encouraged radio programmers to "take better advantage" of what technology has to offer to improve their online product.

"The programmers are brilliant and if they can come up with interesting content to fill instead of a lot of PSAs and ads, it will help grow the audience," Mandel (left) said.

He said he sees lots of value in what sets local broadcasting apart from national/global database-driven music webcasters: a local brand, personalities, and local content.

Mandel is also a big supporter of targeting advertising, and suggested effective listener-registration helps a lot. His "pro-tip" was for stations to look for online listening happening in markets outside your own that may command higher CPMs (his example was a Charlotte station that might have significant listening in New York City).

He also suggested that media buyers have indeed become sophisticated, and being able to provide them with targeting and third-party tagging on audio will raise CPMs.

Andrew Polsky, as VP of digital media for SBS Interactive, also deals in the advertising world. He says what his company needs is "advocacy" at the agency and buyer level, especially for the Hispanic market.

His company, aside from Hispanic-focused broadcast and online radio, owns MegaTV (video content and network) and SBS Entertainment (which is concert production). Key for him is being able to leverage all the properties as a unified platform, "offering a 360 approach to advertisers," and using content from one property on the others (see his company's LaMusica mobile app as an example).

Polsky (right) seconded Mandel's notion that there needs to be a better solution than "PSAs" to fill long stopsets when streaming broadcast content.

Michael Jackel, who is Spotify VP of West Coast advertising sales, also agreed about the power of being able to target listener groups for advertising (he addressed the perception of his company as a "subscription service," but insisted Spotify is a "dual-model" business with the large majority of its users accessing via free, ad-supported streaming).

Moderator Milano asked Jackel (left) if there were a model for subscription alone to work -- or if services need a free version to remain viable.

"If the value proposition is really there, pure subscription can work," Jackel answered. "Spotify has a great product that's free, but the premium is a great value proposition." He said, in the U.S. especially, people are used to "free," so Spotify's free streaming makes sense. "Pandora isn't winning on the subscription model because there's not that much value to their premium service," Jackel went on. "Few people will pay just to 'not have ads'. You have to offer something that's really compelling in order for people to pay for it."

Compelling content is also key to driving donation revenue for listener-supported stations, like Joe Gallagher's MVYRadio.com. After some background on WMVY-FM and its early foray into streaming (Net Radio Sales, now Katz360 and AndoMedia/Webcast Metrics, now owned by Triton Digital, were both born of these efforts), Gallagher said successful donation support relys on offering content that "serves a niche, serves a vertical" and allows for "a passionate connection" with listeners.

Gallagher is the "#1 volunteer" for Friends of MVYRadio, the non-profit 501(c)3 that runs the (now) Internet-only, listener-supported station (more in RAIN here). He's also president and CEO of Aritaur Communications, former owners of WMVY-FM. He says his listener-supported model has "worked well, really well," and allowed for year-over-year growth for the past four years. The station recently raised the necessary $600k to operate for the rest of the year.

Gallagher (right) explained that listener targeting allows him to (for example) entice donations from L.A.-area listeners by giving away tickets for a concert there.

Milano polled the panel on the likely entrance of Apple into online radio. Katz360's Manel said, "It'll grow the business, it's a good thing. It might make local AM/FM focus more on their local value proposition" -- again, meaning the personalities and local content.

Spotify's Jackel said, "It's good. When (Apple) come(s) in, advertisers and Wall Street will see the value... it lifts the industry, it publicizes other businesses, to consumers AND advertisers."

You can listen to audio coverage of this panel, and all of RAIN Summit West's content, at kurthanson.com (look in the right-hand margin).

Triton Digital CCO and general manager of data and measurement Rob Favre and SVP and general manager of international markets Jay Supovitz will be part of RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Brussels' Hotel Bloom. Spotify's Benelux managing director Tom Segers will also be there. Info and registration links are on the RAIN Summit Europe page.

WSJ covers trend in programmatic ad buying, including Triton's a2x system

Friday, May 3, 2013 - 11:50am

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the growing trend in "programmatic ad buying" -- using automation tools to buy digital ads via real-time auction.

Triton Digital recently introduced its a2x "programmatic buying solution" for online audio ads (more in RAIN here), which Triton Digital president of market development John Rosso explained at RAIN Summit West (here).

The paper wrote, "With programmatic buying, which can often be done in real time, advertisers can log on to a website and select where they want ads to run, how long the campaign is to appear and their maximum bid for the space. With another click the technology begins bidding on ad space that matches the request."

Triton has reportedly run ad campaigns for a "handful" of advertisers and sells inventory for CBS Radio, among others.

Read more in The Wall Street Journal here. (Off-topic detail of no interest to anyone: The "Clark/Lake" Chicago "L" station mentioned and photographed in the article is the very station this reporter uses in his daily commute to RAIN's offices. More interesting, yet far less cheerful, is this news.)

Syndicate content