Bridge Ratings: Net Radio Streams Up, Terrestrial Streams Down
September 14, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS reported last week (NET NEWS 9/10) that BRIDGE RATINGS would release a report showing that Net pure-play listening is up, while terrestrial radio streams are down. That complete report has been released.
There has been considerable interest in the growth of Internet radio listening in recent years, especially with the arrival of Internet Radio measurement company ANDO MEDIA. Founded in 2004, ANDO MEDIA is the leading provider of real-time audience measurement and ads management solutions for the Internet audio market.
With recent BRIDGE RATINGS studies showing accelerating growth among Internet radio listeners of all ages, BRIDGE wrote they were "curious as to the growth as reflected in ANDO MEDIA's "Webcast Metrics" numbers which are generated real time by actual listening."
They took the "Webcast Metrics" figures from ANDO MEDIA's NOVEMBER 2009 release and compared them to those of JUNE 2010.
The numbers reflected represent ANDO's "Average Active Sessions" metric which is a measure of the average number of streams of one minute or more that are active within a time period. The time period reflected is MONDAY through FRIDAY 6a-8p.
Total Measured Listening
BRIDGE chose to compare Average Active Sessions (AAS) because it represents the number of average simultaneous listening sessions that are occurring during a specific daypart.
The total AAS of all the stations in NOVEMBER 2009 was just over 742,000. By JUNE 2010, that number had grown by almost 25% to 916,193, a significant growth spurt in just eight months.
Terrestrial Simulcast Streams vs. Pure-Play (Internet-Only) Streams
As part of the BRIDGE RATINGS analysis, they looked at each measurement period by isolating into two groups the total average active session numbers by those terrestrial radio stations that stream and those pure play, Internet-only, streaming stations.
With 23% growth in Average Active Sessions between NOVEMBER 2009 and JUNE 2010, the share of measured online listening changed quite a bit -- to a virtual 50/50 tie. The pure-play stations increased from 35% of the pie to 49% with PANDORA increasing the most in the number of Average Active Sessions (251,066 to 418,933 ...+67%).
"The trend is quite revealing. Literally all of the growth between NOVEMBER 2009 and JUNE 2010 was due to the increase in listening among those pure-play Internet stations that were measured by ANDO.
Consumers Speak Out
In a JANUARY 2010 BRIDGE RATINGS analysis, online Internet radio listening was dominated by AM/FM radio simulcasts. This report found that 84% of the total online Internet radio listening group regularly listened to AM/FM simulcast streams in a typical week; 62% regularly listened to pure-play Internet radio streams.
The report showed that these two groups often listened to both types of streams but terrestrial streamers predominately spent most of their time with terrestrial simulcast streams and vice-versa.
In the follow-up study fielded for this report, a change in behavior is underway. Based on behavior tracking through the first eight months of 2010, BRIDGE RATINGS' proprietary predictive analysis suggests that without renewed programming and marketing strategies, terrestrial Internet stream audiences will continue to decline through 2014.
Satisfaction levels among AM/FM simulcast streamers has plummeted overall as Internet-only or Pure-Play Internet radio stations, led by PANDORA, are gathering momentum as primary listening posts for Internet radio listeners in general.
A MARCH 2010 BRIDGE RATINGS study focused on Streamies perceptions and found that almost half of those interviewed were spending more time with Internet radio than they were six months previous.
"Clearly this new study reflects a changing landscape. We wanted to know why current Internet radio consumers have been listening less to terrestrial simulcasts online and why they are projecting continued reduction in listening unless listening options change," wrote BRIDGE.
Why The Change?
The BRIDGE panel of 2,771 persons prefer the ability to customize their content. Nearly 80% of those questioned, say they listen to less terrestrial simulcasts are doing so because they can customize with Pure-Play Internet radio options. "Too many commercials" ranked second.
BRIDGE concluded, "The Internet has proven its ability to rapidly move and change consumer tastes and preferences. The technology simply makes decision-making easier. Consumers are smarter than ever due to their interactions on the Internet. Nowhere is this more evident than in online radio listening. As recently as JANUARY of 2010, our studies reflected a positive perception among consumers of terrestrial radio online simulcasts. Yet, as the year has unfolded, Pure-Play Internet radio listening has out-paced terrestrial radio primarily on the back of PANDORA. Online measurement firm ANDO MEDIA confirms this growth without a doubt when analyzing ANDO's Average Active Sessions (AAS) from NOVEMBER 2009 and JUNE 2010. Future ANDO reports will no doubt include additional Pure Play radio networks."