Disappearing Voices

March 18th, 2014

NextRadio Hits 240,000 Downloads

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The latest statistics from Emmis regarding NextRadio show the popularity in the app is still on the rise. NextRadio allows listeners to access their favorite radio station on select Sprint phones without using data. In addition to the NextRadio app being downloaded over 240,000 times, listeners have tuned to nearly nearly 8,000 radio stations racking up over 190,000 hours of listening through the app since it was launched. In January and February of 2014, the average minutes listeners used the app jumped 62% and the average listening sessions every day was up 76%.

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March 12th, 2014

PPM Destroying Play By Play

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Katz Sports Marketing VP/D.O.S. Lauren McHale did not hold back about her feelings toward advertising agencies and how they treat play-by-play sports. “Agencies really bastardize our products,” she said. Play-by-play sports, especially for major league teams, has become big business. It’s a huge expense for radio stations and many bidding wars have broken out for the rights to broadcast games. In addition to taking a shot at agencies, McHale was very critical of PPM. “Arbitron [which is now owned by Nielsen] completely missed the mark. They spent a lot of time getting checks from us but not a lot of time explaining that the play-by-play listener was staying longer than 10 minutes.

McHale says advertising agencies need to understand play-by-play is a premium product. “They are so focused on the premium in the price, they lose sight of what the client is trying to achieve. I can’t blame agencies. That’s what they are hired to do, to look for premiums. Play-by-play is not only about ratings. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room.” McHale says this needs to be addressed. “It’s not an exact science. If we’re good at what we do, we can show them play-by-play is a premium product.”

Copyright © 2014 Radio Ink and MediaSpan

March 6th, 2014

Online Audio Listening is Booming

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According to the Edison/Triton study there has been tremendous growth in online listening. Nearly one out of every two Americans now listens to audio online. That’s up from 16% ten years ago. The 12-24 demo is the biggest user, with 75% listening online. 50% of 25-54′s listen online, followed by 21% of the 55 and over demo. Time spent listening online has grown as well, jumping from 6:13 per week in 2008 to over 13:00 in 2014. And, in car listening through a connected device is also up dramatically. In 2010 only 6% of the respondents in the Infinite Dial study said they listened in their car. Today, that number is 26%.

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March 5th, 2014

AM/FM Radio Still Dominates In-Car Listening

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While the battle for that valuable real estate on the automobile DASH rages on, radio still owns the ears of the consumer. Wednesday afternoon, Edison Research and Triton Digital presented some of their findings from the 22nd annual Infinite Dial study. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed in the study say AM/FM radio is their primary source for audio in the car. That was followed by the CD player (61%), MP3 Players (31%), Satellite Radio (17%) and Online Radio at 14%. AM/FM Radio also crushes online radio when consumers are asked how often they listen in the car.

When asked what they listened to in their automobiles, “Almost All of the Times” or “Most of the Times,” AM/FM radio was the answer by nearly six (60%) out of every ten respondent. Online radio was fifth at six percent. Looking ahead to whether an in-dash, or info-tainment system, will be important when they purchase an automobile, twenty-five percent said not very important and thirty-five percent said not at all important.

Read more from the Infinite Dial study at www.edisonresearch.com

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March 4th, 2014

Pandora Tops Brand Awareness

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Pandora continues to grow in usage, across all demographics. In the Infinite Dial study, Seventy percent (12 plus) are aware of the Pandora brand. Forty-eight percent are aware of iHeartradio. And, even though it launched less than a year ago, iTunes Radio is a close third at forty-seven percent with Rhaposdy fourth at forty percent and Spotify fifth at twenty-eight percent.

Thirty-one percent of consumers (12 plus) used Pandora in the last month, compared to iHeartradio’s nine percent. And, 22 percent used Pandora in the last week, compared to five percent for iHeartRadio. The study concluded that the majority of iHeartRadio users are listening to their local radio stations (54%), while thirty-nine percent are listening to stations outside their local listening area and thirty-two percent are listening to playlists they’ve created.

March 3rd, 2014

Is The FCC Looking To Backdoor The Fairness Doctrine?

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That’s what some lawmakers seem to be thinking in a letter written to new FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler from the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The opening paragraph highlights the importance of the commission’s removal of the Fairness Doctrine, calling it an intrusion into free speech. That’s followed up by a call to stop “this most recent attempt to engage the FCC as the news police.” What has lawmakers all twisted up is the commission’s November Public Notice announcing a field test for the research design of a multi-market study of critical information needs. The committee letter states, “The proposed design for the CIN study shows a startling disregard for not only the bedrock constitutional principles that prevent government intrusion into the press and other news media, but also for the lessons learned by the Commission’s experience with the Fairness Doctrine.”

The concern of the committee is that the study is seeking information on how all local news outlets select and prioritize news. The Commission also plans to ask journalists and stations about their news philosophy and why stories are rejected. The letter goes on to say, “The Commission is not a research institution but rather a government entity with authority to regulate some of the targets of the CIN study. The Commission has no business probing the news media’s editorial judgment and expertise, nor dies it have any business in prescribing a set diet of ‘critical information.’ These goals are plainly inappropriate and are at bottom an incursion by the government into the constitutionally protected operations of the professional news media.”

The CIN study would cost taxpayers $900,000. The committee would like answers to seven specific questions about how this would benefit the taxpayers by January 10.

Read the full committee letter HERE

March 3rd, 2014

NABOB: AFRICAN AMERICAN’S BLOCKED FROM BUYING STATIONS.

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3-3-14

In a commentary today, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters Executive Director Jim Winston specifically targeted the recent sale of WBLS and WLIB from YMF Media to Emmis. “The refusal of station owners to sell to African American buyers continues to wreak havoc upon the African American community. In the latest development, YMF Media has sold WBLS and WLIB – the flagship stations of Inner City Broadcasting Corporation’s former radio group – to Emmis Communications. This means that, of the 17 stations previously owned by Inner City, none have been sold to African American owned companies. Moreover, potential African American buyers report that offers comparable to the Emmis offer were rejected.”

Winston’s commentary went on to say that this reflects a lack of concern on the part of YMF and other station sellers to keep ownership of stations previously owned by African Americans in the African American community. “It also reflects a lack of policies in place at the FCC to encourage station sellers to sell stations to companies owned by African Americans.”

January 27th, 2014

The Event for People Passionate about Content: NAB Show April 5-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV

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NAB Show® is the world’s largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new devices in new ways. For more information visit:

http://www.nabshow.com/2014/about/

January 21st, 2014

Has Radio Become Too Boring And Repetitive?

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The radio industry is in a period where the shiny new object is getting all the attention (see Bill O’Reilly’s rant in story #2). The popular cry these days is that listeners more and more are turning to digital pure plays to get their music, leaving radio to cry on its old vinyl music collection in the back room. Another slam is that kids aren’t listening to the radio anymore. Edison Research provides a little insight into that (in story #3 today) at least as far as country music goes. Everyone knows TSL has been declining for radio. Respected researcher Gordon Borrell’s recent study predicts radio listening will continue to decline over the next five years.

Related Stories
(AUDIO) Daily Radio Listening Will Decline Over Next Five Years

And, although Nielsen (and Arbitron) consistently tout how radio has 90-plus percent penetration, and radio executives repeat that statement anywhere and everywhere, that number has not translated into more revenue, which is really all that matters. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published a piece on how radio’s fear of losing listeners has lead to playing popular songs longer, delaying the debut of new music.

So is radio playing the same songs over and over again? The Journal reports very much so, saying that has lead to radio offering less variety than ever. Clear Channel President of Programming Tom Poleman told the Journal, “That is partly because about 70 new Top 40 stations have sprouted up over the past decade, while stations specializing in rock and smooth jazz have dwindled.”

The Journal uncovered the following research. The top 10 songs last year were played close to twice as much on the radio than they were 10 years ago, according to Mediabase. The most-played song last year, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” aired 749,633 times in the 180 markets monitored by Mediabase. That is 2,053 times a day on average. The top song in 2003, “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down, was played 442,160 times that year. The top country song last year, Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel,” was played 229,633 times, while 2003′s top country hit, Lonestar’s “My Front Porch Looking In,” got only 162,519 spins.

The Journal story says this strategy is based on a growing amount of research that shows in increasingly granular detail what radio programmers have long believed — listeners tend to stay tuned when they hear a familiar song, and tune out when they hear music they don’t recognize. “The data, coupled with the ballooning number of music sources competing for listeners’ attention, are making radio stations more reluctant than ever to pull well-known hits from their rotations, extending the time artists must wait to introduce new songs.”

Vice President of Programming at Emmis’ Hot 97 in New York, Ebro Darden, told the paper he didn’t have the space to immediately add a single from Wiz Khalifa’s album O.N.I.F.C. when it came out last winter, even though he liked it, the record label had bought ad time, and Mr. Khalifa — who would come in to do promotional interviews — is one of hip-hop’s biggest stars. Darden said, “Taking risks is not rewarded, so we have to be more careful than ever before.”

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December 30th, 2013

Clear Channel Debt To Blame For Liberal Radio Failing

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Louis Errol is the political anchor of NY1 News in New York. He has an opinion piece in the New York Daily News about the format flip about to happen at WWRL-AM in New York (Errol was once the morning man at the station). WWRL is changing from “progressive” talk to Spanish. His reasoning for the flip is Clear Channel’s debt, not the possibility that listeners do not find liberals entertaining on the radio.

Errol writes, “The biggest pressures squeezing liberal talk radio are commercial ones. Deregulation of the airwaves allowed conglomerates like Clear Channel to borrow billions from Wall Street and begin buying up stations by the hundreds. Saddled with debt, Clear Channel has ruthlessly standardized its 840 stations and squeezed each for maximum profit. That meant eliminating progressive talk from its stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland.”

Errol also writers, “Angry progressives claim such moves could also have a political motivation: Clear Channel is owned in part by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Mitt Romney. That’s possible, but it wouldn’t explain the problems besetting stations like WWRL, which is owned by Access 1, a family-owned media company. Conservative radio hosts point to the struggles of their liberal rivals with great glee, but that is whistling past the graveyard. The reality is that conservative talkers are serving an aging, shrinking audience, while listeners who want a liberal take on the news can find it on hundreds of National Public Radio stations.

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