Online music radio listening hours increased 37.6% to 6.67 billion in 2008, while in-stream audio sold improved by 46.1% to $74 million during the year, according to AccuStream iMedia Research. AOL’s Shoutcast platform remains the most utilized outlet for online music, capturing 52.5% of total time spent listening, followed by Clear Channel sites with 7.8%. Shoutcast cumulative music hours grew 47% in 2008 after a 47% rise in ’07.
Advertising Still Illusive
Despite revenue pressure in the form of higher royalties, advertising remains an illusive issue for most webcasters. In fact, ad-supported music hours as a percentage of total online listening has declined each year since 2005, registering 44.2% in 2008; a trend forecast to continue.
Shoutcast which clusters audiences along with thousands of channels and hundreds of independent webcast brands remains largely an ad-free environment. An analysis of ad-supported music listening reveals Clear Channel the market leader, with a 16.5% share, followed by AOL Radio with 13.2% share. The two major music radio subscription services have a combined 6.7% share, according to the report.
“Online music programmers are passionate about radio, and adapting their businesses to an inspired yet challenging marketplace. In 2009 their focus is on running lean, efficient operations, capping international streams while pitching local, regional and national (ad) avails,” commented research director Paul A. Palumbo.