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RAIN 7/22: New Arbitron earnings report sheds more light on combined Net radio measurement service

Posted on: 07/22/2011

INTEGRATED SYSTEM WILL INCLUDE AM/FM, WEB LISTENING…POSSIBLY PUREPLAYS?

Arbitron’s Q2 2011 report (here) includes an update on the company’s development of an integratged over-the-air and Internet radio measurement system.

“This planned new service would be the first combined audience measurement of both over-the-air radio audiences and Internet audio audiences with the latter based on server-side metrics for streamed radio broadcasts and pure-play Internet audio programming,” said William T. Kerr, President and CEO of Arbitron (pictured below), echoing statements he made in April (RAIN coverage here).

Currently, the sole ratings service for the U.S. Internet radio industry is Triton Digital Media’s Webcast Metrics (formerly known as Ando Media).

“We anticipate our digital radio service, when launched, will address an important market need for a total audience measurement service,” continued Kerr.

Radio Ink reports the service may involve pureplay webcasters. Slacker says they’ve had discussions with Arbitron (more here).

Arbitron has been talking about measuring Internet radio audiences since late last year (here). It hired then-COO of Ando Media Paul Krasinski in January 2011 as SVP of Digial Media and Analytics (more coverage here).

Arbitron has, in the past, rated Internet radio streams, originally with its “Arbitron Webcast Ratings.” Later, it revamped the service after acquiring Measurcast technologies. Most recently, it rating Net radio listening as a joint project with comScore (read RAIN coverage here). The service ended quietly in early 2009 (more coverage here).

OXENFORD REMINDS RADIO THAT STREAMING LICENSES DON’T COVER PODCASTS, ON-DEMAND CONTENT

Alarmed at finding that broadcasters are producing podcasts with music or offering music as on-demand streams or downloads, industry attorney David Oxenford penned a new blog post specifying just what is allowed, and what isn’t.

“Broadcasters need to know that they are asking for trouble when they provide services like podcasts, downloads and on-demand streams containing music without getting specific permission from copyright holders to do so,” he writes. “These uses are not covered by the SoundExchange royalties paid for webcasting, nor (in most cases) by your ASCAP, BMI and SESAC royalties. “

Oxenford, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, continues: “The royalties paid to SoundExchange are for the right to publicly perform sound recordings in a noninteractive manner. In other words, they only cover streams where the user cannot get a specific song when they want it, and where listeners do not know the order in which songs will be played.”

Oxenford has many more details in his post at the Broadcast Law Blog here.

USRN, CUSTOM CHANNELS LAUNCH LIVE COUNTY MUSIC WEBCAST

United Stations Radio Networks (USRN) and Custom Channels have launched a new Internet radio stream that plays only live country music recordings. The web-only station is part of a new country music website from USRN: Country Music on the Road. You can find the website here and more coverage from All Access here.

BURNS STUDY OF WOMEN RADIO LISTENERS: NET RADIO WILL IMPACT IN-CAR LISTENING, WEBSITE USAGE FLAT

Alan Burns and Associates yesterday hosted a webinar outlining results from their new study of 2,000 women who listen to AC or CHR. The study found that Internet radio isn’t eroding AM/FM listening and, while in-car web radio won’t kill AM/FM, it will certainly “lower usage somewhat.”

Burns also found that radio website usage has flat-lined among the women surveyed: 27% said they’d visited a radio station website in the past week, up from 26% last year. Awareness of web services like Pandora exceeded awareness of iHeartRadio or HD Radio.

Alan Burns and Associates will host a second webinar about the study next Thursday, July 28. Find out more here. Radio-Info has more on the story here.



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