Webcast Metrics

Internet listening flat in September; year-over-year growth

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 11:50am

Triton Digital released its Webcast Metrics Top 20 Ranker for September yesterday, revealing that Internet listening among Triton's top-20 clients was sequentially flat from August. (iTunes Radio, which began operating during September, has not been announced as a Triton client.) Looking at Average Active Sessions (AAS) as the guiding metric, we see a statistical dead heat in cumulative listening to the top-20 list.

Within the ranking, the best nominal month-over-month success belonged to market leader Pandora, which gained nearly 24,000 average active sessions. In percentage terms the monthly top-gainer wasESPN Radio, which grew active sessions 110 percent. The largest August-to-September percentage drop-off is attributed to New York Public Radio (September tracked at 84% of August).

The long-term historical trend of the top five leaders (see chart below) shows Pandora’s dramatic climb over the past four years. That trendline also illustrates summertime dips in listening that occurred in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Year-over-year, we see 19% growth in cumulative listening, gauged by Average Active Sessions. Both NPR (133%) and Univision (104%) more than doubled listening from September 2012. Pandora showed an 18-percent improvement from September 2012, by adding 232,000 sessions. Most of the other top-20 participants experienced year-over-year gains, but Cox and New York Public Radio each dropped in listening by single percentage points.

The following chart illustrates cumulative year-over-year listening growth, with the top five leaders called out.

Here is the Top 20 domestic list from Triton Digital, organized by Average Active Sessions, Domestic streams from 6:00am to midnight.

Domestic market leader Pandora does not appear in the international All Streams Ranker. At the top of that cohort is Clear Channel, which dropped six percent month-over-month, with AAS reducing by 14,630 sessions:

Net radio listening flat, but not down, in July

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 12:55pm

Internet radio listening was almost uniformly flat last month, rather than down, as has typically happened in Julys past. Triton Digital released the Webcast Metrics Top 20 Ranker yesterday afternoon.

Last year, double-digit percentage drops from June to July were common (using the Mon-Sun 6a-12M Domestic Streams rankings). These were generally associated with the "summer doldrums," when fewer at-work listeners are in the office. No webcaster in the Top 20 fell more than 8% June to July this year, and a few (including Cumulus, NPR Member Stations, Cox, Univision, Idobi, and others) grew month-to-month.

Perhaps Internet radio's mobile device and in-car listening growth means that while listeners may not be at their desks, they're not as "disconnected" as in the past.

What's more, several webcasters are still showing significant listening growth over the past 12 months and so far in 2013. Triton Digital's aggregate AAS (average active sessions) for the Top 20 is 21% higher than it was in July 2013 (albeit with a slightly different make-up of webcasters). Just since January 2013, Clear Channel is up 15%, Slacker up 27%, NPR Member Stations up 20% (though it's likely partially due to adding stations to this group), Univision up 84%, and Idobi up 31%. A few other top webcasters, however, are still down since January: Pandora, Cumulus, CBS, EMF, Cox, and ESPN Radio.

Triton Digital's complete Webcast Metrics Top 20 is here.

Traditional summer listening patterns return to Webcast Metrics ratings

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 1:30pm

As we see every year (here's our coverage of 2012's June Webcast Metrics numbers), online listening tends to dip in the warmer months, and this past June was no different. We're well into the annual "summer doldrum" period when more people tend to "unplug" from electronic media, including Internet radio.

Some webcasters saw AAS (average active sessions, as measured by Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics) fall as much as 8%, 10%, or even 12% from the previous month. (By the way, we're looking at the Mon-Sun 6a-12M Domestic ranker for this analysis. You'll see why that's important below.) Most webcasters, however, saw similar declines in previous years, and most are still well ahead of last June. This includes Clear Channel (up 28% over June 2012), Slacker (up 25%), EMF (up 20%), and Pandora (up 19%).

What's more, some webcasters bucked the traditional "June swoon": rock webaster Idobi grew 16% over May; ESPN Radio was up 4%; Univision up less than a percent.

Other coverage we've seen reports that most webcasters didn't see the typical June drop in listening, and that more than half of broadcast groups saw listening increase in June. These reports seem to be based on Triton's Mon-Fri 6a-8p Domestic ranking. In that ranking, groups like Pandora, Clear Channel, ESPN Radio, and Univision enjoyed modest June gains.

To make your own comparisons, see Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics rankings for May 2013 here and June 2013 here. You can see the Top 20 ranking for Mon-Sun 6a-12M Domestic streams below.

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.

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.

Pandora listening down after capping mobile, huge March for Slacker, in latest Net radio ratings

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 1:00pm

With its March Webcast Metrics online radio listening ranking, Triton Digital included the news that mobile listening to its panel stations now accounts for 56% of all its measured listening (M-Su 6a-12M, U.S.-only), crossing the 50% threshold for the first time.

Pandora, which accounts for a monster share of Webcast Metrics "domestic" listening, says mobile accounts for somewhere near 75% of its listening. In March, as a way to control royalty costs, the webcaster imposed a 40 hour/month limit on listening to free streams via mobile devices. As a result, Triton says, Pandora's mobile listening dropped 3% in March.

"At first glance, 3% may not seem overly concerning, but we have to take into account the scale of Pandora’s audience," the news release reads. "Did capping Pandora drive a portion of their mobile listeners to other Pureplays, such as Slacker, who saw an 18% gain during the same period? It's possible. Or, perhaps this growth is attributed to the fact that mobile audio consumption was our fastest growing segment in March 2013."

Mobile listening to other pureplay webcasters went up 23% during the month (mobile listening to terrestrial streams grew 5%).

Slacker's 18% gain in mobile listening was part of a great month for the second-largest pureplay webcaster. Its combined M-Su 6a-12M domestic Average Active Sessions (AAS) was up 23% over last month. Slacker AAS is up 49% from March 2012.

While Pandora did slip 4% overall from February, its AAS is still 39% more than 12 months ago.

Among broadcast streamers, Univision had a strong March (up 22%), as did the NPR Member Stations group (up 16%).

Triton Digital's March Domestic Ranker (M-Su 6a-12M) is below. You can find the full March 2013 report here. Our coverage of the February 2013 rankings is here.

Triton Digital is a sponsor of our upcoming RAIN Summit Europe event, May 23 at Hotel Bloom in Brussels. CCO and general manager of data and measurement Rob Favre and SVP and general manager of international markets Jay Supovitz will participate in panel discussions. Info and registration links are on the RAIN Summit Europe page.

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