Revenue growth outpaced web music audience gains last year, study finds

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Issue Date: 
Mar 1 2012 - 11:30am

From Issue:

Web radio growthFor years, Internet radio and web music services have been growing their audiences but complained that revenues weren't keeping up. That all changed last year, says AccuStream Research, when for the first time revenue growth outpaced listening hour increases. Moreover, the research firm expects that growth will "continue unabated in 2012."

AccuStream's report (“Internet Music Radio and Track Play Growth 2012-2014: Listening and Monetization Analysis”) found that listening hours for "Internet music radio and track play" (presumably including services like Spotify and Rhapsody) grew 50.5% in 2011, reaching more than 1.3 billion hours monthly.

Meanwhile, mobile listening exploded: it grew 222% in 2011, according to AccuStream, and now accounts for 41% of hours streamed monthly. In 2012 70% of Pandora's listening is "non-PC," says the report, as is 50% of Slacker's audience.

Increases in monetization (including ad and subscription revenue) outpaced listening hour growth, with an advance of 64.6% in 2011. The study reports the industry generated more than $293 million in gross media spending (audio, video, display) and another $171 million in subscription revenue.

In late October 2011 SNL Kagan forecast that Internet-only radio stations would generate $293 million in revenues in 2011. That same study predicted AM/FM digital revenues would reach $713 million in 2011. Audio4Cast has more on SNL Kagan's predictions here.

AccuStream ResearchAccuStream expects the market to increase 78% in 2012, reaching 6.2 billion avails per month ("driven in part by Pandora's increasing focus on the in-stream audio format"). Audio fill rates will reach 60% this year, says AccuStream, with an eCPM (average equivalent CPM) of $6.80.

"Combined with an in-house sales force selling into top local DMAs where terrestrial broadcast radio advertising has historically been bought," writes AccuStream, "the audio format is moving to the forefront of the programmer's monetization initiatives."

You can find AccuStream Research's press release here.

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