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Hardly Dead: Streaming Radio Grows Despite Setbacks

The number of people listening to streaming audio over the Internet has continued to increase despite the decisions made by some traditional AM and FM stations to pull their programs off the Internet.

That’s the word from MeasureCast, which reports that its Internet Radio Index for the final full week in April increased 2.4 percent-from 132 to 135-demonstrating that listeners are not abandoning Internet radio. MeasureCast’s weekly index tracks the total number of hours streamed by on-line broadcasters, and is a representation of the trend in Total Time Spent Listening across a spectrum of stations. Internet-only stations have been receiving more attention in recent weeks. In fact, 14 of the top 25 stations in last week’s list were Internet-only webcasters, compared to just five in the MeasureCast standings for the week ending April 1.

“While recent events have temporarily forced some terrestrial broadcasters off the Internet, clearly, people continue to listen to on-line radio stations,” says MeasureCast CEO Ed Hardy. “Internet radio continues to grow. We’ve seen a 35 percent increase in the total number of hours streamed since January. Moving ahead, industry leaders have to band together to negotiate around the obstacles put in their paths so they can continue to build their audiences.”

Many broadcasters (including Emmis, Cox, ABC, and Clear Channel) discontinued streaming on-air signals in early April when they were notified that AFTRA would begin to charge up to 300 percent more in fees for on-air spots that are also transmitted on the Internet. The new fees were written into AFTRA’s Recorded Commercials Contract, which was signed in October 2000.

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