Charlottesville, VA - May 4, 2010 - While some radio stations struggle with Internet streaming, some leading companies are finding big success with Internet radio streams, as a recent study from SNL Kagan reports.
While the major radio broadcast names such as CBS and Clear Channel Communications are receiving the bulk of Internet radio ad revenues, based on publicly reported data, on the strength of their well-established local audiences, Internet radio pureplay Pandora Media has shown it can be profitable without the tower component, doubling its revenues and audience in 2009.
However, the Internet radio sector is becoming increasingly competitive in 2010 as result of a convergence of factors: the popularity of free mobile radio apps; the recent acquisitions by News Corp. of Imeem and iLike.com, to be incorporated into the MySpace Music site; Apple's purchase of Lala.com; the release of Slacker 3.0; and newcomer Goom Radio's offering many alternatives for listeners.
According to the Arbitron-Edison Research Infinite Dial 2009 study released April 8, 2010, the weekly average online radio audience remained steady at 17 percent of the age 12+ U.S. population through February 2010. After growing from 33 million in 2008 to 42 million in 2009, the online radio audience has leveled out as broadband penetration among those who have Internet access has matured at 84 percent.
The study also revealed that the percentage of monthly online listeners streaming Internet-only stations has overtaken the percentage listening to AM/FM stations' simulcast streams, at 55 percent versus 40 percent.
In terms of 2009 annual revenues for the online radio sector, the Radio Advertising Bureau reported digital radio revenues among the broadcasters were up 13 percent to $480 million as total radio ad revenues for the period were down 18 percent.
Pureplay Internet radio revenues are estimated to be less than half the radio station online totals, with Pandora the largest of the group after more than doubling its listener base through the success of its mobile apps as well as through partnerships with over-the-top TV-box and Internet-connected TV device manufacturers.
In SNL Kagan's updated 2010 analysis of the Internet radio space, the firm developed a table of major providers sorted by average monthly unique users and categorized by number of stations for each player, business model (free ad supported or subscription), music download capability, song library, mobile application and reported 2009 revenue, if available. The top results of this data:
|Streamer||# of stations||2009 revenue ($million) |
|News Corp/MySpace Music||personalized||490 (est.)|
|Clear Channel Radio (Iheartradio) ||750+||175 (est.)|