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RAIN 8/4: Arbitron now confirming new ratings platform capable of including pureplays, mobile listening

Posted on: 08/04/2011

SPOKESWOMAN SAYS NEW SERVICE WILL MOST LIKELY ARRIVE IN THE COMING YEAR

An Arbitron spokeswoman today offered more confirmation to Inside Radio about the company’s plans to measure Internet radio listening.

The publication reports that the total audience measurement initiative will be able to include both broadcasters and pureplays — confirming earlier speculation (here). A pureplay webcaster only streams online (like Pandora), as opposed to AM/FM stations that stream online in addition to their over-the-air broadcasts.

Additionally, the new measurement service will have the capability of tracking online listening as well as mobile listening (Arbitron acquired a mobile measurement company earlier this week, RAIN coverage here).

The spokeswoman said the service will probably arrive within the coming year. Subscribe to Inside Radio here to read their full coverage.

Arbitron CEO William Kerr said in July that the new platform will be the first to combine over-the-air and Internet audience measurement (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).

RAJAR: UK WEB RADIO LISTENING UP FROM LAST YEAR

Internet radio’s listening share in the UK was 3.2% in Q2, up from 2.9% year-on-year. That’s according to RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), the official radio audience measuring body in the UK.

The new ratings include the impact from Radioplayer — the UK’s all-in-one Internet radio platform — which launched on March 31 (RAIN coverage here. Media Week has more coverage here.

SONOS CO-FOUNDER PREDICTS THE DEATH OF THE RECEIVER

Sonos’ Tom Cullen says he doesn’t “believe receivers are long for this world.” Cullen is co-founder of the company that makes wireless devices to stream hard drive and Internet content (e.g. Internet radio) throughout the house. “We play in a market full of companies that haven’t made meaningful changes to how they do sound in 20 years.”

His argument basically boils down to the prediction that more and more content will be delivered over a network (either from the Internet or from a disk drive somewhere in the house), and less and less from “physical” sources (Blu-Ray or DVD players, CD players, etc.). Modern televisions can handle the job of any necessary “source switching.” As most Sonos units have the amplifier (and speakers) built-in, the two main jobs (switching and amplification) of the receiver are thus conceivably done elsewhere. (Of course, surround sound fans will still need a decoder/processor and multi-channel amplification for their home theater needs.)

Read more from CNet News here. The Boston Herald has a good review of the new Sonos Play:3 system here.

MERRILL LYNCH ANALYST OPTIMISTIC ON NET RADIO, GIVES PANDORA A BUY RATING

Merrill Lynch analyst Nat Schindler this morning gave Pandora a Buy rating, saying, “We believe Internet radio enables a better experience with 1-to-1 targeting of both content and advertising, and Pandora is, by far, the largest Internet radio service.”

He cautioned investors that Pandora “is still very early in its development of a true competitor to traditional radio,” but said “we are excited about Pandora’s opportunity and competitive position.” Forbes has more coverage here.



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