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RAIN 10/30: eMarketer report shows streaming, terrestrial radio ad revenue moving in strikingly different directions

Posted on: 10/30/2009


A report from eMarketer predicts Internet radio stands to benefit as ad dollars migrate away from the suffering terrestrial radio industry to digital platforms. The report, published in September, points out that terrestrial radio saw an 18% drop in ad revenue from 2008. 2010 may be no better. “Radio ad revenues have dropped more severely in the wake of the economic crisis than ever before, and there is no significant rebound on the horizon,” the report states.

Meanwhile, ad revenue for Internet radio is growing and will continue to do so (though the study notes that “those gains are minuscule compared with the billions lost by terrestrial broadcasters”). This year, Internet radio and podcasts will generate $228 million in ad revenue — a 28% growth from last year. Over the next two years, eMarketer predicts, Net radio and podcasts will experience a growth of 137% to reach $394 million in ad revenues by 2011.

Internet radio is attracting ad dollars for a number of reasons, eMarketer states. Listener numbers are increasing steadily and, with the popularity of smartphones (which are “game changers” for webcasters), listeners are expected to flock to Internet radio even faster. Those listeners tend to be employed, educated, have high household incomes and are young — another plus for advertisers. Finally, Internet radio offers “more options for targeting specific types of consumers and better metrics for measuring ad effectiveness.” The report is available from eMarketer here.


Apple TV’s new 3.0 software update includes access to a directory of Internet radio streams, among a handful of other major updates. Apple’s network-connected TV streaming device previously could access Internet radio streams, but only through user-discovered hack-like tricks (MacWorld has more here). Now, Internet radio has it’s own section in Apple TV’s face-lifted interface.

Stations are organized by genre and can be favorited for easy access. Ars Technica’s Associate Editor Jacqui Cheng said Internet radio on the Apple TV is simply, “badass.” Ars Technica has more coverage on the Apple TV update here.


A new study from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research, which measures and profiles UK radio audiences) shows that radio listening via mobile and digital platforms is on the rise. Mobile listening hours increased 7.5% from last year, while digital grew 14%. Digital listening now makes up 21% of all radio listening in the UK, RAJAR reports (here). Internet radio listening accounts for 2.2% of all radio listening.


CBS Interactive CEO Quincy Smith, the driving force behind CBS’ purchase of Last.fm and CNET, is stepping down in 2010. However, according to CBS, Smith will “continue to be closely involved in CBS’s initiatives related to next-generation monetization of video, including oversight of the company’s effort to explore authentication as a new, additive method of distribution.” Smith has been with CBS since 2006. Radio Ink has further coverage here.

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  1. So this is good, I assume the apple TV uses the itunes radio tuner so depending on how many of those things were sold we’ll see a listener count boost off this.

    Matthew · Oct 30, 08:02 AM · #

  2. Just a minor clarification to your RAJAR story. Unfortunately, RAJAR does not measure time spent listening to radio via mobile phones. The question asked of respondents is “have you ever listened to radio via a mobile phone?” with “ever” meaning “ever in your lifetime”, hence the population answering “yes” increases every quarter or, at worst, would stay the same.

    Grant Goddard · Oct 31, 03:16 AM · #

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