webcasting

Triton’s August Top-20 Ranker shows broad webcast gains

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 12:35pm

Triton Digital released its August Top-20 scoresheet of webcast metrics yesterday afternoon, revealing marginal change in the ranking lineup, and nearly unanimous upward movement in both Average Active Sessions and Session Starts. Half of the top-20 webcast leaders also showed gains in Average Time Spent Listening.

The table below shows July and August metrics sorted by Average Active Sessions, and indicating changes in ranking order. (All tables below reflect the 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daypart.) Pandora remained the webcast leader, and Beasley Broadcasting entered the list in the 20th spot for August.

Sorting the August ranking by Month-over-Month (MoM) gains in Average Active Sessions, the following table shows double-digit webcast gains for five broadcast groups, and strong or relatively stable performance for the entire list:

Rearranging the list from the vantage of gain/loss in Average Time Spent Listening, the greatest increase in stickiness applied to pureplays Slacker and Idobi Radio.

Blip.fm- and Fuzz.com founder unveils new service to handle online music licensing

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 11:55am

Entrepreneur Jeff Yasuda -- of Blip.fm and "people-powered" online radio Fuzz fame -- has launched a new company with the aim of taking "all the complication out of music licensing" for webcasters, online retailers, and more. 

Feed.fm (we last reported on Yasuda's Feed Media, parent to Blip.fm and Fuzz.com, here) will handle the regulatory and payment issues for entrepreneurs and site owners looking to license music online, such as Internet radio.

TechCrunch writes that for a monthly fee, Feed.fm will "add the service’s stations to their site or app. They can also build stations from their own personal collections. And Feed.fm offers an analytics dashboard and A/B testing so publishers can quantify that the music is improving engagement and see how their visitors are engaging with the music."

Yasuda told TechCrunch early testing reveals sites that use music from the Feed.fm service got a 20%-400% bump in average time-on-site, and some e-commerce sites saw sales increase as much as 20%.

Read more in TechCrunch here.

Apple iPhone event, including iTunes Radio launch, today

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:10am

from today's early edition:
Today's the big day Apple is expected to launch (in the U.S. only) the long-awaited iTunes Radio webcasting service (at 1pm ET, 10am PT). We'll be following live-blogs from sources like Mashable here and GigaOm here.

While we wait, there are several "what to expect" round-ups out there. Glenn Peoples at Billboard says his sources say to expect an ad every 15 minutes (which is far less than broadcast radio...but it'll be interesting to see how the audience reacts) on the free version.

One unique feature will be the service's integration with Apple's voice-command function, Siri. You can see a cool video demo of that here.

Peoples also mentions "featured stations," and a screenshot that shows options like "If You Like Bruce Springsteen..," "Country Summer Songs," and "Trending on Twitter." There will be over 200 genre stations.

Instead of a "thumbs" rating system to customize the channel, listeners will award songs a "star." There will also be "slider" customizations (for example, adjusting between "Top Hits" and "Discovery" to adjust the amount of unfamiliar music that's played), like Slacker or SiriusXM's mySXM webcast service.

iTunes Radio will also offer some exclusive music and promotional tracks (we learned about this when details emerged about Apple's licensing terms -- see RAIN here).

Read more in Billboard here. See Tom Taylor's coverage in Tom Taylor Now here.

New study predicts Pandora will continue to dominate concentrated Internet radio industry over next few years

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 12:00pm

Research firm IBISWorld has released a paper that reports powerful growth over the past five years in Internet radio listening, driven by the surging number of mobile connections.

However, the firm predicts that growth will slow somewhat in coming years, the industry will remain concentrated and dominated by leading webcaster Pandora, and that the current royalty rates keep significant profits elusive.

The "Internet Radio Broadcasting in the U.S.: Market Research Report" paper reports 53% annualized growth in the number of mobile Internet connections powered 16.5% annualized growth of Internet radio listening beginning in 2009. IBISWorld estimates industry revenue to have grow an annualized 42% to $766.7 million over the five years ending in 2013, including growth of 13% this year alone.

Looking forward, researchers predict growth in Net radio usage will slow as the industry matures. Plus, "without music royalty reform, it will be difficult for the industry to achieve significant profit growth," the company's press release reads.

The researchers predict continued dominance by Pandora in the coming years, as it will be difficult for new competitors to attract audiences away from established players. Apple's forthcoming iTunes Radio will likely have the best shot, but even so, industry concentration will likely remain high.

See more from the report here.

Apple reportedly has all finalized deals with all major labels and publishers in time for WWDC

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 12:15pm

[From Monday's early edition:]

Today's the day -- Apple is widely expected to unveil its long-awaited Internet radio product to developers today at its Worldwide Developers Conference. The service is expected to launch for consumers in September, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Launch of the new service was delayed by negotiations with music labels and publishers, and the final deals weren't finalized until late last week (see RAIN here) (the final publishing holdout, Sony/ATV, has apparently reached an agreement with Apple -- see CNet's reporting here).

The Journal reports that two of the tougher matters to settle were "the point at which Apple must begin sharing ad revenue with the labels and the minimum guarantee it would offer as an insurance policy." There was also disagreement over "whether Apple will have to pay for songs listeners skip — it won't under some deals — and how well it should compensate music publishers."

All Things Digital's Peter Kafka writes today that "If Apple wants to generate real ad money for iRadio, then that means it has to try to crack the market for radio ads. And that is a very, very un-Appley business.... It doesn’t really matter what kind of precision targeting the Internet offers — the bulk of that $14 billion comes from local ad sales," he wrote. "And it’s a slog." Read more from Kafka here.

According to the paper's sources, Apple will pay the labels about half of the ad revenues, with publishers getting only 10% (which is actually more most webcasters and broadcasters pay).

Read more from The Wall Street Journal here.

AdAge says better targeting of iAds on Apple net radio service will make them more lucrative

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 10:50am

Apple and Sony Music have reportedly reached an agreement to license Sony-owned sound recordings for Apple's upcoming Internet radio service. Sony Music was the final major label holdout; Warner Music and Universal (including EMI) are already in.

"As of earlier this week, the company had yet to sign up Sony/ATV, Sony’s music publishing arm," All Things Digital Peter Kafka wrote today (here), meaning it's not yet full-steam ahead for what the press has called "iRadio."

"But the gaps between Sony/ATV and Apple were supposedly smaller than the ones Sony Music and Apple were looking at a few days ago."

It's expected that Apple will announce the service at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, and make the service public later this year. As an Internet radio service, it's most obvious competitor out of the gate would be webcasting giant Pandora.

Paul Resnikoff at Digital Music News points out (here): "So, kill Pandora, kill? Not exactly: just recently, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy noted that Pandora's extremely-huge audience makes it nearly-impossible for Apple to boot the app off its iOS deck. Then again, that's what they said about YouTube."

The new Apple service will compete with Pandora not only for listeners, but for advertisers as well. Earlier this week we reported (here) that Apple was retooling its underperforming iAds program to support the webcasting service. AdAge says (here) using the iAd service for the Net radio product will allow Apple "to retain a higher percentage of that ad revenue compared with other iAd inventory. Currently, 70% of iAd revenue is given to publishers who monetize their apps using the service, according to Apple's iOS developer program." According to sources, Apple's deal with music rights holders calls for the company to turn over 10% of ad revenues.

AdAge also reported Apple's service will allow advertisers more accurate consumer targeting than would-be rival Pandora. Pandora steers appropriate ads to listeners based on age, gender, and area code (as supplied by listener). "If a Pandora user changes his or her permanent residence and fails to update their zip code in his or her Pandora account, the ability to target ads based upon location is nullified," AdAge wrote. "Using iRadio on an iPhone will give iAd the ability to more precisely target ads to users based on location." And better targeting can command higher advertising rates.

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