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RAIN 04/30: CBS Radio likes Internet radio; preparing Pandora competitor for summer launch

Posted on: 04/30/2008

CBS ON INTERNET RADIO:THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE BUSINESS — WE GOTTA OWN THIS!“ Three top CBS Radio executives — Dan Mason, David Goodman, and Michael Weiss — brought their “Rethink: The Next Generation of Radio“ presentation to Chicago yesterday to a crowd of media professionals at the historic Chicago Theater (see background coverage here). CBS President/Digital Media and Integrated Marketing David Goodman said that the inspiration for the company’s aggressive new foray into Internet radio came when they realized the platform’s strength in reaching “this new daypart,” at-work listening. “This is an incredible business — we gotta own this!” was how he described their conclusion last year. Introducing their re-strategized online play as the “CBS Digital Radio Network,” Goodman said their goal is “to be Number 1 in Internet radio — fast!” CBS will roll out its new online player beginning in June, integrated with CBS and AOL Radio content, Internet-only stations programmed by CBS Radio employees, and Last.fm functionality.

CBS DEVELOPING PANDORA COMPETITOR: Part of CBS Radio’s new aggressive online radio strategy is a new “Play.it” custom music streaming service, which Goodman demonstrated on-stage at the event. The new site, being developed by CBS developers (i.e., independently of the CBS Interactive business unit), will allow users to build a customized channel by clicking and dragging artist icons on to a “bulls-eye” graphic. (The closer to the center the user puts, say, Bruce Springsteen, the more that artist is both heard and “influences” the other music that plays. See screenshot below.) Goodman claimed that is “the first time a visual tool has ever been used” to allows listeners to create a customized station; he said that users would be able to share their station and even collaborate with their friends on stations. CBS’s plans are to be “rolling out [the site] over the summer,” he noted.

CC, DI.FM, CBS TOP NEW WEBCAST METRICS RANKINGS: The Clear Channel Online stations’ combined 74,504 AQH (Average Quarter Hour) M-Su 6a-12m audience placed it atop the new Webcast Metrics ranking of Internet radio listening for March 2008. Digitally Imported Corporate (which includes Sky.fm channels) and CBS Radio’s online network followed, with 59,716 and 49,393 AQH, respectively. Over 2 million unique listeners tuned in to Clear Channel stations online in March.

To see a bigger version of this chart, as well as M-F 6a-8p “work day” numbers, click here.

RAIN ANALYSIS: As with the monthly comScore Arbitron press releases, note that this list is comprised only of a subset of Internet radio stations — those that are a client of the ratings company and agree to be included as part of the press release. The presence on the list of several Internet-only radio properties that you generally don’t hear a lot about is a reminder that hundreds of thousands of people every weekday are listening to radio stations via Shoutcast.com, the Winamp media player, and the “radio” listings in Apple’s iTunes software. (Go to www.shoutcast.com and check the upper-right corner for a current AQH count; this number would most likely include much or most of the iTunes listening.) Note, however, that such listening is relatively difficult to monetize, as those media players don’t permit video gateways, synchronized banners (i.e., banners synchronized with radio spots), or branded skins.

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  1. This whole ordeal with the royalties for internet radio and the 4 large companies is such a scam. They know exactly what they are doing. It’s so obvious that RIAA and SoundExchange are dragging their feet at the request of the big 4 like CBS because they were SOO caught off guard by the digital music revolution. I mean come on guys. You had YEARS to plan for this and you STILL couldn’t get it right until now. Watch the royalty thing get settled really quick now that CBS is getting into the game. What a joke. I am an independent artist too and I haven’t seen a DIME from internet airplay through BMI. What a scam.

    Matt · Apr 30, 09:25 AM · #

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