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Online radio crosses mobile threshold.

 

New Triton Digital listening data confirms it’s a mobile world for online radio.  More than half of internet radio listening (56%) occurred on mobile devices in March, up from 46% one year earlier.   Triton also says Pandora’s mobile listening cap is paying off for rival webcasters.

Mobile consumption was the fastest growing online audio segment in March.  But pureplays are growing mobile audiences faster than broadcasters.  Mobile listening to pureplays during the Monday-Sunday, 6am-midnight daypart leapt 23% from February to March while broadcast streams had a 5% increase.  In January, Triton showed broadcast radio streams with an 80/20 split in favor of listening on desktops, while pureplay publishers tracked in the opposite direction with a 70/30 split in favor of mobile listening.

Looking to target the holes in its chief rival’s service, pureplay webcaster Slacker launched a $5.5 million marketing campaign in mid-February.  Based on internet radio ratings for March released yesterday by Triton Digital, the investment is beginning to pay off.  Average Active Sessions during the Monday-Friday, 6am-8pm daypart rocketed up 22% for Slacker, as the webcasters blew past both CBS Radio and Cumulus to rank third among Triton’s domestic top 20.  The increase follows a 3% boost by Slacker in February.  The campaign includes a 30-second online video ad that attempts to reposition Pandora as a repetitive music machine with limited selection and Slacker as more human with playlists created by music experts and a larger music library.

Pandora meanwhile is headed in the opposite direction.  After jumping 8% in February, Pandora fell 4% in March but still remained miles ahead of all contenders with 1.8 million Average Active Sessions.   March was the first month the pureplay imposed a 40-hour monthly limit on mobile listening to its free service and that could have driven some audience over to Slacker and other webcasters.

Apart from Slacker, the other big online radio gainer in March was Univision, which vaulted 22% after posting a 12% increase in February. Other double-digit gainers include NPR (up 18%) and Emmis (up 11%).   Clear Channel remained in second place (first among broadcast streamers) and grew 3% to 309,871 Average Active Sessions — more than four times that of third place Slacker.

View Triton’s full March online radio ratings HERE.


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