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RAIN 8/13: CBS Radio says growing digital revenues spurred by online ratings spike

Posted on: 08/13/2008

CBS: ONLINE OFFERINGS A BRIGHT SPOT AMID RECENT RED INK: Though CBS president Dan Mason admits that, “Advertising is going through some difficult times now,” he asserts that the company’s online offerings will continue to grow, providing a bright spot amongst shrinking ad revenues. CBS Radio’s online streams experienced a 65% increase in cume from May to June — thanks to the incorporation of AOL’s online radio — and claimed the top spot in June’s Arbitron Online Radio Ratings survey (RAIN coverage here). “The message for advertisers is to look at how we package and display content, and put it across various platforms,” Mason said. For more, read Market Watch’s coverage here.

PANDORA CTO SAYS WINDOWS MOBILE PLAYER STILL IN DEVELOPMENT, BUT PROGRESSING: Pandora is still “actively developing” a player for Windows Mobile smart phones, according to CTO Tom Conrad. The development of such a player has been delayed by deals with other mobile carriers and the difficulty of creating players for different handsets, each with different firmware. Conrad states that the advent of standardized mobile devices like the iPhone and the coming Google Android OS may help Pandora, and other webcasters, “avoid this trap.” For more, read WMPoweruser.com’s coverage here.

THE NEW UTILITIES OF THE 21ST CENTURYSEND SOME CONSUMERS INTO THE RED: A plethora of subscription-based gadgets and services are swarming consumers “that might not seem like a lot individually, but can add up to hundreds of dollars in new expenses.” IndyStar reports on a number of families and individuals who have seen their monthly bills soar from cell phone services, music downloads, movie rentals, Internet connections, and online games. “It’s not even an optional cost. It’s the cost of my lifestyle,” says Jordan Edelson. “I consider it just another bill, like the electric bill,” reported Jessica Spencer. “[Consumers] tend to think of [these services] as the new utilities of the 21st century.” Read the full article here.

SLATE CITES DIGITAL MUSIC DEVICES AS EXAMPLES OF DECLININGPLANNED OBSOLESCENCE: Slate uses digital media devices as examples of an influx of products that improve over time rather than slowly becoming worthless. The Sonos digital music system, the iPhone, and even the Zune are cited as devices capable of being updated with new features. “It used to be that a gadget worked the best on the day you bought it; every day afterward, it would fall deeper under the shadow of something newer…[but now, gadgets] gain new functions and become easier to use, giving you fewer reasons to jump to whatever hot new thing is just hitting the market.” Read the full article here.

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  1. PR won’t pay the bills.

    CBS web performance means very little to the company’s financials. While the audience size is about what a 10 or 11 share NYC radio station would deliver, its revenue generating potential is limited – maybe $10 million /year if they do a fabulous job of selling it (the reasons are multiple – AFTRA rules, adding lots of ads to AOL radio would send listeners packing, etc.).

    When a company generates revenues in the billions, ten million isn’t even a rounding error and neither is 20 or 30 million. Actual dollars generated is a much more important number than growth percentage.

    Bob Bellin · Aug 14, 05:39 AM · #

  2. All real internet radio stations have the capability to stream on Windows mobile right now as-is. Some broadcasters like me have made pages which the listener is redirected to if they visit the site with a mobile browser: www.oldies104.net/wap.html

    Matt Gunter · Aug 14, 08:10 AM · #

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