Streaming May Be Hurting Stations

Triton analytics tells us that when we compare the third quarter of 2013 with the third quarter of 2014 of NPR stations, troubling things are happening:

  • Streaming cume is down 5%.
  • Listening time per streaming station is basically static.
  • And while actual listening sessions are on the rise, listening hours are only up 9%.
  • News is growing more than music as audiences move to digital.
  • Streams from larger stations are growing more slowly than the ones in small and medium markets.
  • Smartphone streaming is up 108%.
  • Listening apparently is growing more on home sites of radio stations as we note that aggregators such as TuneIn have leveled off.

What do we make of this?

The rush to digital with existing radio content may be backfiring. Short listening sessions calls for caution.

On-air listening is down – Nielsen reports time spent listening is down 3% last year. That’s bad enough, but TSL has been down every year since the early 1990’s when these figures were first tracked – a disturbing sign.

Encouraging is that streaming starts seem to come from home station websites.

Perhaps we should devote time and attention to building the local connection and add more content that could be accessed from there alone.

When I do my Philly Media conference March 18th I want to discuss how to create audio content for bingeing – just like Netflix.

Binge listening is the main message for streamers and there are new and unique things radio stations can do to create this complimentary content.

Relying on station streams doesn’t make money and is a pain to operate. You can put the stream up there but if that’s all, you risk sitting out the digital revolution.

To be honest, radio listening is declining and digital content is changing.

Good time to tackle these issues.

Here’s the curriculum for my March 18th Philly media conference:

  • What You Need To Know About Reimagining Radio
  • Mastering Digital – What Works, What’s in the Pipeline.           
  • Protect Your Station Against Competitors Who Drop Their Rates
  • Latest Breakthroughs For Attracting Money Demos
  • Changing the Way We Talk To Audiences
  • Key Strategies To Protect Your Radio Station
  • New Content Businesses Ripe For Radio
  • Salvation for AM Stations
  • FM Protection Against Streaming Music Services
  • The Trick To Real and Lasting Success For News/Talk/Spoken Word
  • Dire Warning About Podcasting
  • The Best New Radio Format No One Is Doing
  • Expanded Group Questions & Answers

Here’s the conference link