CBS Radio in The Internet Top 20!

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cbslogoI’m going to break with tradition and be cheerful this Friday the 13th, counter-intuitive as it may be.  I’ve got some positive news to share and hopefully it will help put a positive spin on this date which inspires such dread.

Ando Media’s monthly Internet Audio Top 20 (covering May – Sept.of ’09) has been released and CBS Radio is, in the words of Casey Casem, “top of the charts!” The study marks the first time that Ando has used the “one minute qualifier,” as opposed to the former “five-minute qualifier.” In plain English, they used to only count listening sessions of five minutes or more, now they count sessions of at least one minute. The five-minute marker was instituted in the days when terrestrial radio was the only means of consumption, something invalidated by the usage habits of Internet and mobile listeners of the modern day.

In addition, there are a number of new metrics being used that are geared for measuring the contemporary audience. Here is a quick rundown from Radio Online:

New metrics of “Session Starts,” “Average Active Sessions” and “Average Time Spent Listening” better capture the new methodology. Each metric is based on a one-minute qualifier. Session Starts is defined as “The number of streams of one minute or more that are started within a time period.” Average Active Sessions is defined as “The average number of streams of one minute or more that are active within a time period.” Average Time Spent Listening is defined as “The average number of hours for each session lasting more than one minute within a time period.”

To me, this looks like a very important shift. The rules are changing, and online aspects of radio are like nothing seen before in our industry. It only makes sense to develop and implement metrics that are geared towards the new tools and delivery channels rather than relying on standards that may no longer apply. Here is a bit more on that subject from the same article:

“The changes were made in response to requests from both the publisher and the agency community for measurement standards in keeping with other digital best practices. Terrestrial radio AQH and Cume measurements are not the best metrics for measuring today’s audience delivered via a digital channel and do not accurately pertain to online audio,” stated Ando CEO Robert J. Maccini.

It’s a brave new world out there, and it’s great to see how well radio is adapting to it. You see, CBS was not alone at the top. From the world of radio,  they were joined by Citadel, Entercom, and Cox Radio who also made it into the top ten. Four terrestrial radio companies in the Internet Audio Top 20 should help chase away some of those Friday the 13th apprehensions!

There were two other notable things about this report. Pandora online radio made its debut on the list, something I’m sure has Tim Wetergren doing a tap dance, and for the first time, domestic demographics were broken out separately. All in all, I’d say that the rest of the day looks cheerier after finding that out!

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