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Pew study shows 25% of teens go online via smartphones

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 1:35pm

A new Pew Internet & American Life Project study called "Teens and Technology 2013" says one-quarter of U.S. teens access the Internet mostly via smartphone. Just 15% of of those 18+ do the same.

More than a third of Americans age 12-17 say they own a smartphone device, up from 23% in 2011. And while teen girls are just as likely as boys to have a smartphone, 34% use them on the Web (compared to 24% of boys).

Pew says the teen "cell-mostly" Internet population could mean a surge of mobile Internet use in the near future.

Read Washington Post coverage here.

New Arbitron/comScore system's first task: Measuring ESPN's cross-platform audience

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 12:20pm

While we were waiting for Arbitron to finally unveil their long-awaited unified on-air/online radio measurement (see RAIN here), they've announced a deal with comScore and ESPN to measure audio, video, and display across radio, tv, the web, and mobile.

The goal here is to create audience measurement using common metrics on a national and continuous basis, so content providers and marketers can gauge the reach, engagement, and cross-platform duplication of audience.

"The unprecedented size and scope of the project is being driven by the multiplatform measurement requirements of ESPN, which delivers video, audio and display content via television (both in-home and out-of-home), online and mobile video, PC web, mobile web, apps, tablets, digital audio and terrestrial radio" (see yesterday's top story in RAIN here), the companies' announcement read.

The initiative (characterized as "five-platform" as it separates "smartphones" adn "tablets") will integrate "the census and panel-based PC, mobile and TV set-top box measurement capabilities of comScore along with enhanced, single-source, multiplatform measurement capabilities of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) technology," according to the statement.

Though no roll-out date has been announced, ESPN, comScore and Arbitron will unveil more details October 1-3 at the upcoming Advertising Week convention in New York.

Read the press release here.

ESPN keys success on building what fans want, and not waiting for advertisers to demand it

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 11:40am

There's a great article in Bloomberg Businessweek on the mammoth, multi-platform success of the ESPN empire.

(Big hat-tip to Fred Jacobs, who covers the piece in his blog here where he wrote, "ESPN’s approach, decision-making, and risk-taking are what separates it from other traditional brands – and provides great lessons for radio companies and their very best stations.")

Since its inception in the late 70s, and especially over the past ten years, ESPN "has moved aggressively into new media and platforms, without regard for how they may negatively impact the old. This strategy allows ESPN to squeeze more revenue out of any event it carries by selling that same contest in multiple formats, instead of merely broadcasting it on television." ESPN president John Skipper credits the success to a philosophy of "build, build, build. There comes a time when a lot of businesses become calcified, but we never stop building."

Just how successful has their embrace of new media, especially mobile, been? "The number of users per minute, which is ESPN’s internal metric, reached 102,000 in June, an increase of 48% so far this year," and an astounding 70% of sports content consumed on mobile devices comes across an ESPN mobile app.

Skipper credits NOT cordoning off "digital" or "mobile," but making it everyone's priority. He said, "We have one revenue group, we have one ad sales group, so you don’t have factions fighting against this new digital group. … We don’t have a lot of infighting. We have everybody incentivized so that it’s about the total amount of business we do."

And, they don't wait for an ROI before they actually begin building the business. "ESPN has invested in creating content for a platform before business exists to support it. John Kosner, executive vice president for digital and print media, says, 'We’re not afraid to be ahead of the market. You win by delivering what fans want, and then that becomes a fantastic advertising proposition and a great business.'"

Read the Bloomberg Businessweek article on ESPN here.

ESPN Audio is a finalist in both the "Best Overall Online Radio Service" and "Best Overal Digital Strategy" categories for this year's RAIN Internet Radio Awards (see all the finalists here). ESPNRadio.com is a finalist in the "Best Streaming Broadcaster" category. We'll announce the winners at RAIN Summit Dallas this Tuesday. ESPN SVP/Production & Business Divisions Traug Keller revealed details of the then soon-to-launch revamped ESPN mobile app during his keynote address to RAIN Summit West this past April in Las Vegas.

Spotify will apparently become a web-based service

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 2:00pm

Spotify seems busy. Various sources say the on-demand (and custom radio) music streamer will soon launch a browswer-based version of the service. In other words, instead of downloading and installing Spotify on your desktop, you'll simply be able to listen via Chrome or IE or Safari at Spotify.com (like you'd listen to Pandora or AccuRadio), which will make it easier to use the service from multiple computers (and make it easier for potential listeners to sample it -- no download/install necessary). TechCrunch has more here, AllThingsDigital here. What other reasons might Spotify have for putting its service on the web? Evolver.fm has some ideas here.  

What's more, TechCrunch here has also picked up the idea that Spotify may push its "App Center" (the section of the desktop software where you can find cool third-party uses of Spotify) to its mobile app (there's currently no link to the App Center on mobile devices). Last week Hypebot.com reported here on Spotify's Android app update.

Looking to steal some of WTOP's online "magic," CBS in D.C. hires away digital news director

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

CBS Radio this month brought on Mike Gartell to manage the web properties for its five Washington, D.C. stations, including the six-month old all-news WNEW-FM.

That's significant because Gartell was hired away from Hubbard's WTOP/Washington, D.C., known not only as the nation's top-billing station, but for its exemplary online presence (among other accolades, it garnered this publication's RAIN Award for the Best Overall Digital Strategy last fall).

While WNEW-FM's on-air ratings aren't competitive with WTOP's, Washington City Paper columnist Will Sommer suggests CBS may be attacking via a different route: online. "It looks like WNEW and CBS know that there are more than one way to skin the nation's top-billing cat," he wrote. "Is WNEW trying to snag some of that WTOP Web magic?"

He hopes Gartell spends some time in his new job on WNEW's website, and says, "With too many promotional links in the top and not enough actual news, (WNEW-FM's site) lacks the melange of wire-service copy and original reporting that powered his last site."

Read more here. Also, we're one week away from the entry deadline for this year's RAIN Internet Radio Awards. Register here.

The Atlantic: Established media see the key to their survival online

Friday, April 20, 2012 - 11:15am

"These days, even the stalwarts of traditional media make themselves available on call, on screens of all sizes, and in evolving ecosystems of free and paid versions," writes Peter Osnos in The Atlantic. "What were once simply great newspapers, magazines, television, and radio are now websites with all the trappings, and that's where the audiences seem to be headed in droves."

The nation's most-established and traditional sources of news have all made very significant investments in digital distribution: online video, blogs, photo galleries, podcasting, mobile applications, widgets, and more.

"Major public radio stations, such as WNYC in New York, WBUR in Boston, and WBEZ in Chicago, have also turned their websites into bastions of multimedia to build their audience share."

What of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)? While "not yet the moneymaker forecasted for it," it is useful to spread "the word for those digital products that are generating cash."

Read "Even Old Media Institutions Are Acting Like New Media" in The Atlantic online here.

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