RADIO – “CANNIBALIZE YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE WILL”
As one of the founders of Ando Media I keenly follow developments in measuring Internet radio audience. As can be seen in the following graph, terrestrial radio’s Internet radio audience has flatlined for some time, no pulse, no signs of life.
This data is taken from Triton Digital’s monthly audience ranker (formerly Ando Media). The slight dip in July 2011 represents a summer seasonal decline as this same listening pattern happened in 2010. Of course Pandora stands out on this graph. The top 5 broadcasters include Clear Channel and CBS. They have a long way to go to catch Pandora. I am hopeful that Clear Channel will close at least some of the gap due to its elimination of all ads in its streams and new customization options announced 9/8/11. The most recent Triton Digital ranker for September is too soon so reflect any impact these moves may have.
I have just read Steve Jobs biography. He stated that “if you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.” This is the position the radio industry is in. Many broadcasters are afraid that promoting their stream will result in declines in their over the air audience. Yes it may in the short term but long term it’s either offer the listener what they want or they will go elsewhere. Where did all of that Pandora listening come from?
This is the position the radio industry is in. All stations should cut back substantially on their ad units. This is one tactic that stations can take immediately and increase their audience. Sell two spots per hour make it a premium offering to advertisers. These two advertisers get audio, preroll and display opportunities. Make sure there are a number of different creatives for each ad type to avoid listener fatigue. This is only step one in what terrestrial radio stations that are streaming need to accomplish. Personalization and customization are next.
Registered Users ARE NOT Audience
Yesterday at the Radio Ink Convergence Conference in San Jose Slacker’s CEO stated they had 26 million listeners. In their IPO filing Pandora stated they had over 80 million registered users. I’m sure what Slacker’s CEO meant to say is that they have 26 million registered users. There is a big difference between registered users and audience. A large number of people may register and never use the service. Actual audience is measured by Ando Media (now Triton Digital). For the most recent data released, March 2011, Slacker and Pandora had an AAS of 39,697 and 599,214, respectively for the time period Monday-Friday 6 AM – 8 PM. AAS is defined at Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by the number of hours in the reported time period. TLH is defined as the total number of hours that the station has streamed during sessions with a duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period. AAS in general reflects the average number of people listening. For Slacker and Pandora this represents .15% and .75% respectively of their registered users. Both companies cannot monetize registered users, it’s the audience that actually use the service that matters.
ANGEL STREET CAPITAL INVESTS IN GOLOCAL
Angel Street Capital recently completed an investment in Go Local, LLC, the parent of Go Local Providence, LLC.
GoLocal24 is creating the next model for local digital news and information .
By providing high value local content, GoLocal24 is creating a highly efficient, scalable and highly monetizable mid-sized market model for next generation media.
In GoLocal24’s first market Providence, RI, GoLocalProv.com http://GoLocalProv.com> is the “go to” local Web experience that breaks the biggest local stories – sports, high school sports – GAME ON, weather, news, politics, arts, entertainment – and it allows users to go as deep as they wish. In less than ten months, the platform reached 30% market share.
Leveraging branded, credible, and respected contributors, GoLocal creates the content, social experience and advertising opportunity that is unmatched. Information is delivered through multimedia, written, and video platforms and, thus GoLocal24 is creating the model for local-content media.
ANGEL STREET INVESTS IN CMP.LY, INC.
Angel Street Capital has invested in CMP.LY’s Series Seed Preferred Stock offering. Tech Crunch coverage of the CMP.LY funding can be viewed at http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/23/cmply-raises-750k-seed-round/
CMP.LY’s patent-pending system of iconic compliance tools is the first, and only, commercial solution to address the unique challenges of disclosure in social media. CMP.LY codes and badges provide clear disclosure on their own and also link back to complete disclosures as required for regulatory needs and documented best practices. CMP.LY makes it easy for marketers to include the disclosures required by the FTC and the OFT in sponsored blog posts, Facebook updates, and even Tweets. The company is developing similar tools to allow companies to comply with FDA, SEC/FINRA and other regulations. The company also provides tools to document and report on compliance and measure campaign-specific ROI.
COUPON/DAILY DEAL IMPACT ON RADIO INDUSTRY
There has been an explosion in Deal a Day companies led by Groupon and Living Social. BIA/Kelsey estimates 2010 revenue for the industry at $873 Million and revenue continuing to grow in double digits. Deal a Day sites continue to add markets and many are establishing a local sales force. Coupons are attractive and can result in businesses attracting new visitors through the offer. In addition, business owners can easily quantify and measure the quality of the response, e.g. did it lead to other product sales. There has been criticism as to whether the bulk of coupon buyers are existing customers, while in part true, it also contributes to existing customer loyalty.
While some would argue that Deal a Day companies should be lumped in with Direct Mail, I believe Deal a Day companies do compete with radio for marketing dollars. Their establishment of a local sales force is highly troubling to the radio industry already struggling to eek out positive revenue growth. Many companies such as www.tencoupons.com, Deal Current, Second Street Media, Tippr, TownHog and others are aligning themselves with radio. These radio aligned Deal a Day companies will help those more innovative radio companies obtain a share of this market and reduce the risk of revenue loss.
Angel Street Capital Invest in Mercury
Angel Street Capital has participated in Mercury’s latest equity raise. Mercury (www.mpmri.com) has been in business for over 50 years providing direct mail and printing services. Over the last few years they have been transitioning their business into a digital marketing firm. Mercury works with customer data and develops strategies to enhance that data for more accurate and effective campaigns.
Mercury is developing the TWOBOLT Marketing Platform, an easy-to-use, online direct marketing solution designed specifically for small businesses. It offers multi-channel direct marketing services like print, mail, email, mobile, and social networks with NO installation fees or binding contracts . TWOBOLT delivers better response rates with measurable ROI through a simple, online interface.
Robert J. Maccini of Angel Street has joined Mercury’s Board of Directors.