RAIN 4/26: More radio websites streaming, but profits slip according to new survey
SURVEY: PERCENTAGE OF RADIO WEBSITES MAKING A PROFIT DIPPED “MODESTLY”The annual survey from the Radio Televeision Digital News Association (RTDNA) and Hofstra University found that the percentage of radio websites making a profit fell in the last year, as did those breaking even. Both drops were “modest,” RTDNA/Hofstra states. Additionally, the percentage of radio sites losing money rose. Not great news, but the survey did find that radio stations are increasing their use of audio streaming and blogs, but that the use of pictures and news video dropped slightly.
As these results appear in the “TV and Radio on the Web” portion of the survey, radio’s figures are compared to those in TV where the outlook is a bit more positive. More TV sites are making a profit and those with larger staffs “are more likely to make a profit.” Interestingly, where in TV the complexity of websites depended on how large the station was, in radio there was no such relationship between complexity and market. Find out more from RTDNA/Hofstra’s press release here.
NYT PREVIEWS APPS IN FORD FIESTA, CLEARS UP TERMINOLOGYThe New York Times’ Wheels blog last week covered Ford’s coming integration of certain smartphone apps (like Pandora) into dashboard radios, which RAIN’s covered in the past ( here, here and here). The article does clear up a bit of Ford’s terminology, though, which had been confusing us (and maybe you, too).
From what we can tell, “Sync” is the overall voice-controlled dashboard system, which is being upgraded to interact with smartphone apps. “MyFord Touch” refers to the fancy new touchscreen user interface coming to the the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX this summer (RAIN coverage here). “AppLink” is the Ford software that allows app developers to build dashboard-friendly smartphone applications. Make sense? So while MyFord Touch is only available in certain vehicles, the app-friendly Sync update will be rolled out to all Ford cars with Sync next year — making this a pretty big step forward for Internet radio. The 2011 Ford Fiesta (pictured above) will be the first car to support AppLink.
While only three apps will initially be compatible with Sync (Pandora, Stitcher and Twitter-client OpenBeak), AppLink could open the door for other Internet radio services, too. “[Ford] said that it was looking at a ‘long list’ of potential applications, which makes one wonder if there’s a Ford App store in the company’s future,” the NYT reports (here).
JACOBS: BROADCAST RADIO ADS COULD TAKE A LESSON FROM APPLE’S iADTo Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media, the most insightful take-away from Apple’s debut of mobile advertising platform iAd is Steve Jobs’ quip, “Most of this mobile advertising really sucks, and we thought we might be able to make some contributions.” Jacobs applies the lesson to broadcast radio: “A better ad program can be a difference maker…It’s not just that Pandora, for example, runs fewer commercials than most FM stations. It is about the quality of radio advertising in the current environment.
“When spots are cranked out assembly-line style,” continues Jacobs (pictured right), “and when there’s one beaten down person producing them for an entire cluster, no one benefits.” You can read his full blog post here.
Additionally, Kurt will publish a report from Radiocamp 2010 in a few days. He reports that there’s plenty of exciting Internet radio action going on in Europe, “in some areas, ahead of the U.S.” Stay tuned for more.
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