Research Shows Web Radio Can Succeed

By | April 7, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Radio station web sites are succeeding in attracting significant local market audiences, according to The Media Audit.

We knew it all along. According to The Media Audit, a syndicated survey of both online and traditional media in more than 80 U.S. markets, twenty three radio station web sites are succeeding in attracting significant local market audiences. According to the survey data, 23 radio web sites in the US are attracting at least two percent of all adults in their immediate market. If the web site audiences were figured as a percent of just those adults with Internet access the percentages would double in most markets. All the data cited was obtained from approximately 120,000 phone interviews conducted during the past 12 months.

“We think two percent is very respectable at this stage of Internet market development,” says Bob Jordan, co-chairman of International Demographics, the research firm that produces The Media Audit. “The message here, we believe, is not that very few radio web sites are succeeding, but that radio can succeed on the web.”

According to The Media Audit data, the 23 most successful radio web sites in the 80+ markets covered are: WNNX-FM, Atlanta, 4.5 percent; KMJX-FM, Little Rock, 4.3 percent; WEGR-FM, Memphis, 4.1 percent; WIVK-FM, Knoxville, 3.5 percent; KFMB-FM, San Diego, 3.3 percent; WTKS-FM, Orlando, 2.9 percent (WTKS also has a 2.3 percent in Melbourne, and a 2.1 percent in Daytona Beach); KQRC-FM, Kansas City, 2.8 percent; KQRS-FM, Minneapolis-St. Paul, 2.6 percent; WDCG-FM, Raleigh-Durham, 2.6 percent; KRFX-FM, Denver, 2.4 percent; WGRF-FM, Buffalo, 2.3 percent; WRIF-FM, Detroit, 2.3 percent; WJJO-FM, Madison, 2.3 percent; WKLS-FM, Atlanta, 2.2 percent; WEBN-FM, Cincinnati, 2.2 percent; WNOR-FM, Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, 2.2 percent; WWDC-FM, Washington, 2.2 percent; WTOP-FM/AM, Washington, 2.2 percent; WFLZ-FM, Tampa, 2.2 percent; WBHJ-FM, Birmingham, 2.0 percent; WFYV-FM, Jacksonville, 2.0 percent; WJRR-FM, Melbourne (FL), 2.0 percent; and, WVKS-FM, Toledo, 2.0 percent. According to The Media Audit, The 2 percent cut off is arbitrary and has no significance beyond the context in which it is used in this study. There are approximately a dozen stations with 1.9 percent and/or 1.8 percent.

Speaking about the market opportunities for radio station web sites, Jordan says that it’s too early to tell what business models will prevail. “It’s impossible to develop a firm business plan for the Internet market [right now] because it is in such an early stage of development. If this were a basketball game, it would certainly be the first quarter.”

The Media Audit is a product of International Demographics, Inc., a 30-year-old Houston firm that is engaged exclusively in syndicated, multimedia surveys conducted at the local market level.

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