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RAIN 04/11: INTERNET RADIO SCORECARD FOR FEBRUARY

Posted on: 04/11/2008

LAST.FM BOOSTS TERRESTRIALSSHARE OF NET RADIO TRAFFIC: Terrestrial radio’s share of traffic to Internet radio sites continues to grow with the rise of (now CBS-owned) Last.fm, which posted a 39% gain in unique U.S. visitors from January to February (1.9 million), according to the new “Internet Radio Scorecard” from JPMorgan analyst John Blackledge. Terrestrial radio now accounts for 45% of traffic to all Internet radio sites. The study also reports unique visitors to Internet radio overall is up 7% from last year, yet among major Internet-only webcasters, traffic to Yahoo! Music, Pandora, and AOL Radio was mostly steady and WindowsMedia and Live365 traffic dropped (6.5% and 14.3%, respectively). Read the “Internet Radio Scorecard” for February here.

SEVERE PERCEPTUAL PROBLEMSFOR HD RADIO: Echoing the finding from the recent Arbitron/Edison Media “Infinite Dial” report, it seems nearly 2 out of 3 Americans have no familiarity with HD Radio. This study is from from American Media Services. And other aspects of consumer awareness of the technology aren’t much more encouraging. Only 1 in 3 have ever listened to HD Radio, and just over half of those surveyed preferred the sound quality of digital radio over AM/FM. “There’s no question that HD Radio has severe perceptual problems,” commented AMS Chairman Edward F. Seeger. Read an analysis of the report here.

PODCASTING HURDLES NOT CLEARED: Podcasting has underwhelmed audiences and failed to truly “disrupt” media business models, according to one analyst weighing in on the matter. Despite a chunk of passionate consumers who continue to stand by the tech, an article at the Industry Standard enumerates the way podcasting hasn’t lived up to a number of expectations. The main thesis: “Podcasting is hardly a mainstream media phenomenon or money-making machine.” The author also notes that “compared to radio programming, most podcasts sound amateurish and slow-paced, and the ability to find interesting programs is severely limited by the directories, rating systems, and search functions found on iTunes.” Read the whole analysis here.

RONNING LIPSET HIRES FORMER XM, YAHOO!MUSIC SALES PROS: Internet radio ad sales rep firm Ronning Lipset Radio today announced that it has expanded its sales force with strategic hires from XM Satellite Radio and Yahoo! Music. Dana Detlefson joins the company as Director of Sales, Southwest Region. Previously, she spent three years at XM Satellite Radio, most recently as Senior Account Manager. Angie May Cook has been named Director of Sales, Midwest Region. She joins Ronning Lipset from Yahoo! Music, where she was a Music Sales Specialist in charge of creating and selling sponsorships and custom music promotions to Fortune 100 advertisers. She was previously Director of Integrated Solutions at Emmis Communications.

RAMSEY SUGGESTS PROGRAMCHUNKSMORE APPROPRIATE FOR ONLINE MEDIUM: Today Mark Ramsay, in his Hear 2.0 blog, asks the question, “What kind of thing makes the most sense to stream?” He notes that radio and television both broadcast in “programs” (even songs are discrete blocks of programming, or “programs”). Yet television, unlike radio, changes its “message” with the change in “medium” when it shifts from on-the-air to online. It delivers “chunks” of programming. This is how iTunes and Podcasts and P2P networks work too. Maybe broadcasters, Ramsay reasons, “should be creating captivating ‘chunks’ and indexing them to attract as wide an audience as possible, one chunk at a time” instead of simply delivering a passive stream.

NAB DEVELOPING HD RADIO PROGRAM GUIDE: A program guide for digital radio listeners is in the works, with support from the project coming from the NAB. The broadcast group’s FASTROAD tech advocacy program has awarded the project BIA Financial Network, which will create an electronic program guide to give listeners and broadcasters a central listing of programming options. Radio World online reports that a managing partner of the Broadcast Signal Lab, another group involved in the project, notes that the guide will help listeners who seek “richer information and more flexibility to make better-informed decisions about their media choices.”



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