The team at Bridge Ratings has been abuzz this week with the latest revelation about the data we're seeing for on-demand music streaming.
It seems that almost every day of reviewing the streaming data that crosses my desk reveals another series of golden nuggets about music consumption in 2015. This is a treasure-trove, my friends, and why more radio managers aren't paying attention is a mystery.
According to our friends at Nielsen Music, on-demand music streaming grew over by 50% in 2014 and all signs are pointing to growth exceeding that number by the time New Year's Eve 2015 arrives.
So, it's plain to see that this train is not slowing and that since over 80% of music consumption is done on-line music radio programmers have access to the SECRET WEAPON.
Now I'm here to report that while on-demand streaming yields poignant consumption metrics for radio stations and what they are playing on the air, there's an even more interesting finding that will further align broadcast music radio with the ability to best reflect its listeners' interests.
Now we can show not only the on-demand streaming behavior of your station's listeners, but we can see what songs your station is not playing that your audience is streaming!
Read that sentence again.
As a programmer of a music station with a desire to be as current as its listeners to know what songs are missing is the difference between simply playing the hits and knowing early what the hits are that your audience has already discovered and are consuming. These songs, too, should be on your air!
In a recent conversation with the programmer of a leading major market contemporary station, it wasn't long after she first saw the data I shared that she found four songs her audience was streaming that were nowhere on her radar. Her record label reps hadn't mentioned them because the songs aren't on the "work list". In fact, a week later when we spoke she relayed a conversation she had with one of her label reps who told her that she was playing the wrong song by the artist he was working. She laughed and told him that her audience had already discovered the song and was rapidly consuming it on line. She helped that label manager that day by giving him a heads up about a song they should be working because there was evidence of success.
I'm continually fascinated by this new technology that allows producers of media content the ability to know exactly what their listeners/viewers are consuming.
If broadcast radio is not paying close attention to the detail available through on-demand music streaming, it is missing another opportunity to advance its ability to mirror its audiences tastes.
And with today's fast-tracking music consumers who are exposed on multiple platforms to music they may enjoy, radio's only chance to be aware of the moving tides is to not only pay attention to on-demand streaming data but use it effectively.
Dave Van Dyke