Thursday, September 20, 2007

Streaming and At Work Listening


Surely you've caught that the audience for streams from terrestrial radio stations is growing at a very healthy pace. Some studies suggest a 20% growth and that terrestrial stations are outpacing many of the Internet only streams. A lot of this growth is no doubt coming from At Work listening. Now every computer on every desk and in every shop can become a radio and tune in stations without any concerns for steel beams, other equipment and weak signals that just didn't penetrate lots of offices with our broadcast signals. Now you can tune in anyone you want on-line.

We also know the importance of at work listening. The quarter hours recorded here are 2nd only the large in-car listening levels we have for radio. It doesn't matter if you look at PPM or Diary data, at work listening is huge. It's also not just an 'AC' thing, built on having 1 radio over a group of people or in a setting where clients would stop in and where we wanted that 'soothing' AC safe music. Anyone can pop on some headphones or just keep the level comfortable and listen at their desk or shop to whatever they want. We've seen Classic Rock take huge advantage here, Country is also making in-roads, and even the Urban ACs are showing growth here. Oldies and the Jack/Adult stations also have exploited at work listening.

ONE PROBLEM. Now Arbitron has declared that the streams on the Internet are NOT SIMULCASTS. The reason lies in the AFTRA union which wants extra royalties and payments for commercials using their talent and we now block those spots from the Internet streams. Arbitron makes a case that if you were to use the data with Internet streams included to place your buy the estimates would be mis-leading as the Internet audience would not be hearing your commercial.

The REALITY IS THE CLIENT DOES have a very clear option to getting their commercial heard on both the broadcast and the stream - DON'T USE AFTRA TALENT. We have many very professional options for you to make your commercial with talent that will show up on both sides of the simulcast.

Arbitron gets most of it's revenue from the Radio Stations. Why not take our side on this? It would really help our industry stake a clear claim on the new media of Internet streaming that is getting ready to explode as wifi becomes stronger.

While I do respect AFTRA and feel that we need to do everything possible to build talent into our products and that AFTRA has clearly helped that cause - we also have to survive to employ AFTRA talent. Arbitron doen't get any revenue from AFTRA - why satisfy a customer that isn't yours. Just treat the web cast as a simulcast and give broadcasters full credit. Simple enough isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thinking out loud: surely there are AFTRA voices on many of the nationally produced PSA's stations fill their online stopsets with. Or are these union voices donating their time for these spots?