Radio executives were quick to react to Pandora’s Friday white paper which quotes a recent Edison Research study that says consumers switch radio stations 22 times during their commutes. Of course, the automobile is extremely important to radio because it’s where most listening is done. Cumulus/Westwood One CMO Pierre Bouvard was the first to strike back at Pandora in his latest blog. Bouvard says Pandora is clueless about listening in the car and barely anyone listens to them while driving.
Bouvard took a shot at the recent changes at Pandora as well: “Lots of turmoil these days at Pandora. A steady stream of sudden executive departures. Stalled audience. Spotify and YouTube eating their lunch among 18-24s. Recently Pandora issued a piece on channel switching based on an Edison study of in-car listening.”
Bouvard says radio managers and sellers need to know that most channel switches Edison observed do not count in Nielsen ratings. “Nielsen requires at least five minutes of listening in a fifteen minute period for audience credit. Advertisers can be assured they are buying sustained listening to a station. They are not paying for short bursts of switching.”
Bouvard also says AM/FM crushes Pandora in the car. “AM/FM has a 72% share of listening in the car. Pandora has a 1% share. Podcasting is as big as Pandora in the car. This is according to Edison Research’s ‘Share of Ear’ study from Q4 2015. AM/FM is 72 times bigger than Pandora in the car.”
Bouvard says it’s easy to be envious of AM/FM’s massive reach and huge in-car audience. “Sixty-six percent of streaming occurs at home as background music. AM/FM is a foreground medium with 64% of time spent occurring away from home. AM/FM is the soundtrack of the American worker. Pandora wishes they were used in the car; but barely anyone listens. Pandora’s bigger issue is YouTube and Spotify and hoping that they don’t become the MySpace of streaming audio.”
Check out Bouvard’s new Blog HERE