Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Broadcast Radio Continues To Strongly Dominate Listening"

Pardon me, if I join Katz in bragging a bit this morning:
“The latest findings bear out what we continue to find from all our research – and hear from consumers – that broadcast radio is still by far the overwhelming leader in audio listening,” said Mary Beth Garber, EVP/Radio Analysis and Insights at Katz Radio Group.  “Broadcast radio isn’t losing listeners – in fact just the opposite, which makes it clear that digital listening actually represents incremental listening.  So as digital listening – which is both AM/FM digital listening and personal music collection digital listening – continues to grow, it is an expansion of broadcast radio listening, additive to it rather than a substitute.  Research from Infinite Dial 2012 shows that digital listeners are also heavy broadcast users (3); digital extends the reach and popularity of broadcast radio to new devices and new listening opportunities. We're pleased with digital's growth and how it has added to the broadcast radio experience.”

Garber continued, “A digital-only ‘music collection’ audio service like Pandora only has 4.4% of total audio listening, even if you assume the Triton measurement of when the service is left on is comparable to the measurement of actual listening that Arbitron does.  That said, even though it is still a relatively small percentage of all listening, we remain excited about the role of digital listening in extending radio listening to new devices, further enhancing radio's role as the major mobile entertainment and information service to the consumer.”

In the most recent RADAR findings, the gold standard measurement system for radio, which measure national listening behavior from October 2011 to September 2012, broadcast radio continues to strongly dominate listening – reaching 243 million listeners per week and representing 92.4% of all listening (1).  In comparison, digital listening currently represents only 7.6% of all audio listening (2).

(1) RADAR 115 (Dec 2012, for period Oct 11 - Sep 12
(2) RADAR 115 (for period Oct 11 – Sep 12); Triton Digital Audio Top 20, Oct 11 – Sep 12;
(3) Infinite Dial 2012

Coincidentally, that news comes this week just as Canada's entire Astral Radio group gets ready for their annual "Have a Heart” Radiothon events in every one of their markets.  This annual 12-hour live broadcast calls upon listeners to help raise much-needed funds to support care for young patients, enable the acquisition of new specialized pediatrics equipment and provide parents with support services.  This year's will run from 6am to 6pm Thursday May 2nd and one hundred percent of the money raised during this nation-wide one-day event will stay in Astral communities to help babies and kids.

Actually, now that I think of it, there is no coincidence.  

The announcement could have come ANY day, and there would be many things to point to that radio's dedicated public servants are doing somewhere.

"Don't sell the ratings. Sell the reasons you HAVE those ratings,."
   - Mary Beth Garber



Karl Henkel, The Detroit News said...

Automakers have killed the cassette player, and CD players are taking a back seat to Bluetooth-connected iPhones.

The in-dash car radio, with its dials and knobs, isn't signing off yet. But it's past its prime in the eyes of some automakers, and most aren't prepared to spend much time or money tinkering with it. Instead, they're focusing on the next generation of in-car entertainment, such as Web browsing and music streaming. Startup automaker Detroit Electric plans to be the first without a radio when it rolls out its first car in August — audio will be delivered via smartphone.

"AM and FM as a delivering mechanism isn't going to be the most important in cars anymore," said Thilo Koslowski, a vice president at technology research firm Gartner Inc.

"By 2020, I feel very confident that many consumers will consume radio content through avenues other than terrestrial broadcast."

Inside Radio said...

Pandora says it had 8.05% of total U.S. radio listening in March from 69.5 million active users. That’s an increase from 5.73% a year ago.

But Katz Radio Group has run its own analysis of the ratings data, and says those numbers appear to be inflated. By Katz analysis, digital listening
represents only 7.6% of audio consumption — and Pandora’s share is closer to 4.4%.

Pandora has repeatedly declined to reveal the formula for how it comes up with its monthly statistics.

Katz says it used a combination of Arbitron and Triton Digital data. While that’s not ideal, EVP Mary Beth Garber says it’s meant to be a “reality check” against some of what the webcast pureplay has been feeding to investors and advertisers.

“What they’ve been putting out is smoke and mirrors at best,” she says.