SOURCE: MediaSpan

October 24, 2005 10:24 ET

MediaSpan Study Finds That Interaction With Radio Station Websites Growing via Podcasts and Streaming Music

Suggests That Stations Adapt Innovations to Enhance Loyalty, Expand Audience

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 24, 2005 -- A recent survey of almost 35,000 MediaSpan Network site visitors finds that local radio station website visitors are actively accessing their local sites to stream music and download podcasts. Half (50%) of all site visitors across all formats and demos go online at least monthly to stream their favorite station and 11% download podcasts.

Talk formats have the most active downloaders of podcasts. About a quarter (24%) of visitors to "Sports Talk" stations go online at least weekly to download podcasts of their favorite programs while "News Talk" falls closely behind with 22% of those surveyed making at least weekly downloads.

"Clearly, broadcasters who offer integrated online programming via innovative features such as podcasting and streaming will meet audience demands and strengthen their relationship with their audiences," says MediaSpan CMO Mark Zagorski. "By providing these services in a local environment, stations can compete online with the large streaming portals that have been challenging them for listener mindshare," he adds.

The study also found:

Younger skewing formats also fare well in the podcasting arena, as CHR/Top 40 stations had the highest percentage of "occasional" downloaders (at least once monthly) at 53%, closely followed buy CHR/Top 40 at 50%.

The Apple iTunesTM service dominated the music services that survey respondents who bought music online (18%) use, with 48% saying they used iTunes, more than double the Napster users (22%). Music downloaders (both paid and "unpaid") continue to be younger and more apt to listen to urban/hip hop and alternative rock, as 30% of Alt Rock station visitors downloaded music at least weekly, while 28% of Urban station site visitors did so as well.

Despite the interest in podcasts, streaming is still the highest used interactive feature for online radio station sites, with 50% of users going online at least monthly to stream their favorite station. Younger skewing formats such as Urban and Alt Rock had the highest proportion of avid daily streamers with 27% and 17% respectively, with 47%/40% streaming content from their favorite station at least once a week.

Half of all visitors to "Adult Rock" and 43% of listeners to "Modern AC" visit their local station websites to stream music at least weekly (the highest among any format). Since these formats also tend to skew heavily female online (61% and 80% respectively) plus have a high proportion of people between the ages of 30-44, (44% and 51%) one might consider the most active radio streamers the "at work moms" -- a very attractive demo for advertisers.

The overall survey audience overskews on broadband penetration, with 69% of radio website visitors having broadband at home, making them a ripe target for rich media ads via audio and video streams and other interactive tools.

"There is a huge opportunity for stations and advertisers to gain consumer loyalty through streaming. Whereas overall 50% of respondents visit sites (including non-broadcast radio) to stream music and other programming, only 28% seek it on the radio station sites surveyed, either because it is not offered or the experience is poor. Nearly half (44%) said they would visit the local radio site if a quality streaming service was offered. This is a big opportunity for local stations to continue to extend their brand, and stop online erosion from streaming portals," concludes Mr. Zagorski.

The MediaSpan study of nearly 35,000 radio listeners across all formats in major U.S. markets was performed by Frank N. Magid Associates.

About MediaSpan

MediaSpan powers digital content management and online marketing solutions for the world's leading media companies including ABC Radio, Gannett, Infinity, Scripps and Media General. Over 4,500 newspaper, radio, and television properties leverage MediaSpan's digital content management, online marketing, web publishing, e-commerce and online promotional solutions.

For advertisers, the MediaSpan Network leverages our local media relationships with over 4,000 customers to deliver an unparalleled national online advertising opportunity for marketers. MediaSpan Network sites reach over 5M Unique Visitors each month worldwide, and cover 300 top U.S. DMAs. For print publishers, MediaSpan's Media Software (Harris & Baseview) business unit provides mission-critical back-office, pre-press infrastructure tools designed to enable newspapers to efficiently deliver their product to consumers across traditional and digital platforms. For broadcast radio, television, and newspapers, MediaSpan's Online Services business unit, provides a comprehensive suite of Internet solutions designed to integrate on-air and online marketing programs to grow new revenue.

MediaSpan is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., with offices in Ann Arbor, MI; Melbourne, FL; New York, NY; and San Clemente, CA. Investors in MediaSpan include Covestco-Seteura, LLC, Rustic Canyon Group, and Southeast Interactive Technology Funds.

Contact Information