The Southern California Broadcasters Association has released what it calls a “White Paper Report” comparing broadcast radio listening and Pandora listening. Much of the market research material was provided by Bridge Ratings Services and Scarborough Research.
The SCBA says of its study, “The effective commercial environment and growth in total broadcast radio listenership in Southern California continues to be the workhorse for most media planning and client advertising. However, the marketing flash and aggressive press coverage provided to the Pandora Internet music service has given the pureplay the critical hype and awareness that all start-ups desperately need to become relevant to its core audience and advertisers.”
It points to growth of radio listenership between 2008 and 2014 of 7.4%.
In comparison, it points to a slide in Pandora satisfaction over time. It says that “Pandora prime listeners began the service in December 2009 with an 88% high satisfaction level but after only 1–2 years, that satisfaction rating drops to 72% and then plummets to 48% after three years and more of the service. This is significant customer dissatisfaction that only gets worse in more recent surveys. Listeners surveyed in June 2014 with 75% satisfaction levels drops to 60% after 1–2 years and then deteriorates to 35% after three years and more.”
Using the research the SCBA says, “It’s clear that any Internet music service is in trouble when its prime new users begin the service at six sessions per day and 64 minutes of supposed actual listening but drop their sessions down to one per day with only 19 minutes of listening time at 25 months or more.”
The SCBA also points to superior commercial retention of radio listeners. “Consumer recall of audio commercials heard on broadcast radio is dramatically better than those heard on the Pandora Internet music service,” it says. Adding, “the ability to recall an audio commercial heard on broadcast radio was listed as 91% of all 4,400 radio respondents. That figure remained remarkably consistent over a 24-month period. By a stark contrast, the Pandora listeners … only 49% could recall audio commercials. Further weakening the Pandora commercial recall environment was that after the same 24-month period, only 20% of Pandora’s best listeners could still recall the audio ads they heard on the music service.”