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RAIN 9/30: At RAIN Summit East, Coleman Insights study examines Pandora's brand presence

Posted on: 09/30/2010

Today we continue our coverage of RAIN Summit East, which took place in Washington D.C. on September 28.

COLEMAN: PANDORA LEADS STREAMING MARKET, BUT IT’S NOT A “DOMINANT BRAND

Pandora may be the leading brand in the streaming radio market, but they’re hardly a “dominant brand” and the field is relatively wide open. That’s according to the findings of Coleman Insights’ new study “Successful Audio Streaming Strategies,” which was presented by VP Sam Milkman at this week’s RAIN Summit East.

About 28% of streaming consumers surveyed by Coleman had unaided-awareness of Pandora. 22% said they use the service regularly. That makes Pandora the leading streaming radio brand — Slacker and Last.fm had about 1% awareness each, for example. But Coleman says the company would need around 64% awareness and 40% usage to be considered a “dominant brand.” And that means there’s plenty of opportunities for other services.

On the whole, Coleman found streaming audio to be “an underdeveloped brand category.” In well-developed brand categories, consumers can usually name 6-7 brands but when it comes to streaming audio, consumers could only name 1-2. Many consumers “are not aware of the many streaming options available to them and have relatively shallow perceptions of the options they are aware of…It should send a loud message to streaming providers that they are not developing lasting brands.”

Additionally, the study further highlighted the struggles of AM/FM simulcasts. Coleman found that 77% of consumers could recall a pureplay brand, while only 33% could recall an AM/FM simulcast. Streaming consumers also use pureplay services more. Why the preference? Milkman stated that AM/FM simulcasts are “out of sync” with what consumers want: fast buffering, low spotload, music variety and personalization.

According to Coleman Insights, this “should serve as a wake-up call for terrestrial AM/FM broadcasters, who need to address challenges they face with consumers who already use streaming audio.”

To find success, brands should seek “ownership” of a single benefit for consumers and contrast themselves against the leading brand — either Pandora or broadcast radio.


Ando Media’s Paul Krasinski moderates a panel with Internet radio ad buyers at Tuesday’s RAIN Summit East. We’ll cover that panel in the coming days.

JACOBSDAVIS ON IN-CAR PANEL: SMARTPHONE IS THEHEAD-IN” FOR IN-CAR CONTENT, LIKE NET RADIO

“These little computers,” said Tim Davis of Jacobs Media at the RAIN Summit East panel about in-car Internet radio, “this is the ‘head-in.’ This is where it all comes from, this is my data plan…the only thing missing is a bigger screen. The cars will provide that.”

Roger Lanctot of Strategy Analytics and Carl Rohling of RadioTime seemed to generally agree that it might likely play out that way. Lanctot suggested that the smartphone could kill off web-connected OEM “head unit” solutions for Internet radio, and Rohling pointed out that it would be a way to avoid paying yet another monthly data connection.

However streaming radio arrives in cars, “2011 is going to be the year [for in-car Internet radio],” said Jake Sigal, founder/CEO of Livio. “I think we’ve all been waiting for it…the wave’s on the way.”

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT: MUSIC DOWNLOADS DO NOT COUNT AS PERFORMANCES

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled on Tuesday that music downloads are not performances and therefore does not require an additional licence and fee. The decision came as the result of ASCAP’s appeal of an earlier ruling in their case against Yahoo! and Real Networks. The Register has more coverage here.

PANDORA BRINGS AUDIO ADS TO TVs, BLU-RAY PLAYERS

Pandora is reportedly launching audio ads on a variety of new platforms, including “in-home connected devices such as TVs, Blu-ray disc players, table-top radios and other digital media players.” The initial roll-out of ads will be limited to 6 corporations a month. Switched.com has more coverage here.



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