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Audio: How Far Will Digital Go?

By Laura Houston Santhanam, Amy Mitchell and Tom Rosenstiel of PEJ

Probably the biggest development in the audio landscape in 2011 came in the growth of people listening on digital mobile devices. And one of the prime arenas for device use was car listening, the long-established domain of AM/FM radio.

Traditional radio is by no means a thing of the past. The vast majority of Americans still report listening to AM/FM weekly, and the bulk of audio revenue remains tied to that traditional platform. But as many as 38% percent of Americans now listen to audio on digital devices each week, and that is projected to double by 2015, while interest in traditional radio — even the HD option — is on the decline.

Spot advertising still dominated radio revenue streams in 2011, but its growth was sluggish. Meanwhile, digital advertising sales increased at the fastest rate but made up the smallest piece of radio’s overall revenue. Forecasts do not indicate much change in this trend during the years to come.

Within traditional radio, news/talk/information stations have again grown in number over the year before and are expected to continue to do so, thanks in part to invigorated political advertising associated with the 2012 presidential election. Some stations also have even switched from news/talk to all news. The evidence, however, suggests that this does not necessarily equate to more resources devoted to news gathering and reporting. Indeed, it can mean just the opposite.

At the same time, NPR underwent a year of upheaval.  Key members of its upper management left or were fired. The network was the focus of threats from Republicans in Congress about federal funding, although their proposed cuts did not pass the Senate. In the end, fewer people listened each week to NPR in 2011, though the number of member stations increased, as did NPR’s total operating budget, thanks in part to a boost in fund-raising from private sources.

Audience

For all the changes in technology, local AM/FM radio has largely retained its presence in people’s lives over the last decade, at least at the most basic level. In 2011, nine out of 10 Americans age 12 or older1(93%), used or owned an AM/FM radio, according to Arbitron, a drop of only 3 percentage points since 2001. This puts AM/FM radio second only to television as the medium most prevalent in people’s lives.2 Two-thirds of traditional radio listening occurs away from home, largely in automobiles.3

There is also evidence in the data that people listen to AM/FM out convenience rather than out of deeper appreciation for the content.  Less than a quarter of adults, 22%, said in a 2011 survey by Arbitron that they “love” local AM/FM radio. This is far less than those who reported “loving” other audio devices, including the iPhone (66%), Android smartphone (49%), digital video recorders (48%), iPod (46%), broadband internet (46%) and even satellite radio (39%).

This question was new for Arbitron in 2011, but the finding reflects a sentiment similar to that registered by an earlier form of the question.  In 2007 and again in 2010, Arbitron asked whether different platforms and devices had a “big impact” on people’s lives. The last time the question was asked, about 20% attributed that sentiment to local AM/FM radio, well behind broadband internet, the iPhone and television.

Perhaps more important, the survey results raise the possibility that if these newer platforms were more easily accessible, they might continue to take market share. In 2011, one-third of all Americans (34%) said they listened to either streaming AM/FM versus internet-only services, such as Pandora, or both in the previous month. Among those who listened to both (9% of Americans), the percentage who mostly listen to AM/FM streaming has leveled off, while those who listen only online is on the rise.4


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One of the most important battlegrounds over the next year will again be the car, where a good deal of traditional radio listening occurs. And the momentum continues to shift. The number of people who used their cellphones to listen to online-only radio in their cars nearly doubled in 2011, to 11% compared with 6% in 2010.5 This listening is most prevalent among the young, which suggests the trend may grow as more of this tech-savvy cohort hit driving age. Nearly one-fifth (19%) of people age 18 to 24 reported streaming Pandora through their cellphones or mobile devices and into their cars in the previous month, roughly three times that of  those age 25 to 34 (6%) or those aged 35 to 44 (7%).6

Moreover, this smartphone use is increasingly built around mobile music apps that take listeners not to digital versions of AM/FM stations but to online-only services like Spotify, Mogg or Rdio. These apps enable users to synchronize their online radio accounts with their phones.7 Already, an estimated 38% of people listen to music on their mobile devices weekly, and that number is expected to nearly double by 2015.8 As more people turn to smartphones and away from other technologies, like laptop and desktop computers, smartphone use is likely to grow more pervasive.9

Add to this the fact, noted in this report last year, that more automakers are installing technology to access the internet in automobiles. Taken together, the elements are all there for digital listening in cars to increase, which will almost certainly further dilute the influence of AM/FM, even if some of this digital listening is to those stations on digital streaming.

HD Radio

In addition to streaming their broadcasts over the internet, the other major attempt by AM/FM to push back against new digital rivals was HD radio, which allows stations to provide multiple channels aimed at niche audiences with high-quality sound. According to the latest data, the evidence is only increasing that HD has failed to take hold.

Many people are aware that HD radio exists, but very few adults express interest in it. From 2006 to 2010, the number of people who said they were interested in HD radio never rose above 8%. In 2010, the last year that Arbitron reported asking this question, only 7% of respondents saying they were very interested in HD radio.10 Additionally, the number of stations adding HD signals fell once again in 2011, continuing a downward trend first seen in 2006. Only 17 stations added HD signals for a total of 2,103 in late 2011, compared to 21 added stations the previous year.

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The automotive industry has helped keep some lifeblood in HD.  Though in 2011 just 2% of people age 18 or older reported using HD radio in their primary vehicle, Cadillac announced in that fall that it would roll out HD radio as standard equipment in some of its spring 2012 models.11 The disappointment with HD spurred some radio companies to take other steps to bolster future audiences. Clear Channel Radio and Cumulus Media teamed up in an effort to gain access into the growing discount-coupon market. By December 2012, Clear Channel Radio will air discounts to listeners of its 850 stations with Cumulus Media’s daily deals network called SweetJack, which exchanges promotions to local businesses for deals advertised on-air and online.

At the same time, Cumulus Media will broadcast its 570 stations on iHeartRadio, the online radio platform that Clear Channel has put forward.

In many respects, iHeartRadio was Clear Channel’s competitive response to Pandora. Launched in 2008, iHeartRadio boasts that its mobile app has achieved 34 million downloads and offers customers far more songs – 11 million – than Pandora (800,000 songs at the time of Pandora’s IPO in 2011)12 and most other Internet service competitors. Listeners can stream any of the available AM/FM stations that belong to Clear Channel or, with the company’s 2012 agreement, Cumulus – a combined total of 1,420 stations. In addition, people can hear customized services built around a particular artist, genre or personality. With the increased use of smartphones that deliver audio content to listeners on the go, iHeartRadio may continue to assist AM/FM radio with finding a place in people’s cars and on mobile devices. But it is competing in an increasingly crowded market of mobile audio apps.

Radio Economics

The economics of audio, by contrast, still tilt heavily in the direction of traditional radio broadcasting. As in other media sectors, this has been the innovator’s problem, trying to invest in new technology when the old is what generates the most money.

In 2011, total radio revenue grew, but more slowly than the year before. And traditional spot advertising, which dominates radio revenue, was flat, a condition that is expected to continue in the future. Meanwhile, digital platform spending, the smallest piece of the pie, is projected to have the steepest upward growth trend. Just as we see in audience trends, the challenge will be who will capture that digital market share.

Over all, radio revenues grew by about 1 percentage point to $17.4 billion in 2011, according to data from the Radio Advertising Bureau. This was far less than the 6% revenue growth in 2010. That, however, was when radio revenues had more ground to regain after the recession took its toll.


Most of this revenue came from broadcast radio, but that is the sector that is not expanding. Revenues from traditional spot advertising shrank by 1 percentage point in 2011, to $14.1 billion. That followed 6% growth in 2010.

At the same time, digital revenues grew by 15% but provided less income, with $709 million for the year. While actual dollars from digital revenues were the fewest by far, the rate of growth was the largest seen among all radio revenue streams.

By 2014, total radio revenues are expected to return to the 6% annual growth rate seen in 2010, Veronis Suhler Stevenson predicts. Broadcast stations will still dominate, but most of that growth will come from new technology in online and mobile services.


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A Big Year for Internet Radio

Internet audio services, such as Pandora, SlackerRadio or Spotify, saw important developments in 2011. Along with more people tuning to internet audio, Pandora Media made an initial public offering of its stock, and a competitor, Spotify, made its debut in the U.S. While Pandora and Spotify are not the sole competitors in online-only audio, they have an established presence and brand that makes them increasingly recognizable.  For all the growth in digital audio audiences, however, a sustainable business model has yet to fully emerge.

The fanfare surrounding Pandora Media’s initial public offering was something of a landmark for the fledgling internet audio industry.  Pandora, launched in 2005, sold 14.7 million shares to raise $234.9 million on its first day on the New York Stock Exchange.13 It had come a long way from 2009, when the company stood on the verge of bankruptcy. After its first quarter as a publicly traded company, Pandora reported an increase in sales and users. Its position for growth, however, was tempered by payouts stipulated by its shareholder agreement as well as escalating royalty fees and other costs related to acquiring music and content.14

For the year, Pandora attracted $274.3 million in revenue, but more than half of that – $148.7 million – went to pay royalties to music companies and artists. Despite nearly doubling revenues over the year before, Pandora still came up $16.1 million short for 2011. 15

With its IPO well-received initially but its value tapering off over time, Pandora commands 5.6% of all hours that Americans spend listening to traditional broadcast, online or satellite radio.

A key part of Pandora’s future may be whether it can successfully expand to mobile. In 2011, mobile made up 70% of all usage. Also, the number of hours people spend listening to Pandora grew faster on mobile devices (164% year over year) than on laptop or desktop computers (12%). 16 Over all, its users consumed 8.2 billion hours of music during the year.17

In fact, Pandora stirred controversy when, in December 2011, it measured audience listening using average quarter hours, the same metric that Arbitron uses to measure traditional AM/FM radio and that then determine advertising rates. Arbitron has not measured online listenership and challenged the legitimacy of Pandora’s use of the measure to compare18 traditional radio and online audio audience estimates.19 By the end of 2012, however, Arbitron hopes to launch a mobile audience measurement device called the 360, a portable people meter to capture listenership growth with relying on a telephone line.20

Regardless of how they are measured, there is clear affection for these newer forms of listening. Three out of four people say they like or love satellite radio and that they like or love Pandora, more than the 69% who said they like or love traditional AM/FM radio. Still, online audio in general received less enthusiasm (53% liking or loving it generally).  Portable devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad inspired the greatest affection.

The expanding pool of Internet audio competition is another challenge for Pandora. For the moment, the primary competitor is Spotify, a European-based free music-sharing company launched in 2008 that made its American debut in July 2011. Its delayed arrival into the United States was attributed largely to record label resistance.

Once record companies relented, in the hope that Spotify would make them money, the company joined with Facebook and offered free sign-up to new users through Facebook accounts. Spotify later put some limitations on the free sign-up. Facebook users now receive six months of unlimited use. Then they either face a cap on their usage each month or can opt to pay a monthly fee for continued unlimited service. Spotify also later launched Spotify Radio, a service that mimics many of Pandora’s functions while also claiming to offer enhanced usability, such as unlimited channels and skips of songs that a listener does not want to hear.

These strides place Spotify and Pandora closer to competing head-to-head, but it will probably be some time before Spotify can claim equal footing. Worldwide, Spotify reports 10 million registered users, or people who have opened accounts, and 2.5 million paid subscribers,21 the latter largely accelerated by the company’s U.S. debut.22 By comparison, Pandora reported 100 million registered users in the United States and 40 million active users (those who logged in within the last month).23 Since then, Pandora reported having 125 million registered users, but as of press time, Spotify has not yet made public how many new registered users it has.

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Despite the fanfare of Pandora’s IPO and Spotify’s U.S. arrival, industry followers like Mashable’s chief executive, Pete Cashmore, have said it is too soon to know if social music outlets hold a sustainable business model.24

“Is this thing too good to be true?” Cashmore said to attendees of the Mashable Media Summit in November 2011. “Getting all the music you can listen to virtually for free or for $10 a month across all your devices: Is that sustainable? People love it, but is it great for the music industry? Is it something they’re really going to buy into? We don’t know yet.”

Satellite Radio

The first of the major challengers to AM/FM broadcasters, satellite radio, grew in audience and revenue in 2011.

Total revenue from subscriptions in 2011 amounted to an estimated $2.7 billion, up 7% over the previous year. The firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson estimates that satellite audio services will continue to grow revenues steadily, reaching $3.6 billion by 2015.

At the same time, satellite audio is projected to receive more revenue when compared to online and mobile audio revenues. However, online and mobile revenues are expected to grow at a faster rate than satellite radio revenue in the coming years. Both are forecast to grow more aggressively than traditional AM/FM revenue.25

The U.S. satellite audio industry is a single company, SiriusXM. The company reported $3 billion in revenues and nearly 21.9 million subscribers in 2011, up 1.7 million subscribers from the previous year. But some of these subscribers are not happy with the company’s recent announcement that it would raise prices. The announcement drew comparisons from some industry analysts to Netflix, which received a great deal of customer pushback when it adjusted its fee structures. Sirius XM justified the decision as a way to preserve premium customer content without commercials, Sirius’ chief executive, Mel Karmazin, told Reuters.26

During the Reuters interview, Karmazin relayed confidence that younger audience members would appreciate SiriusXM’s “curated content,” much as they do iPods, and would not be priced out by the price hike.

The company also hopes that its star hosts can help attract new subscriptions. Howard Stern, the popular Sirius XM talk radio host who in December 2010 signed a contract to receive $80 million per year (a cut in pay amounting to $20 million annually from his initial contract), also is going to host America’s Got Talent on NBC.27

Talks continued about whether SiriusXM might be bought by Liberty Media. Liberty has owned a 40% stake in SiriusXM’s shares since buying them in 2009 when SiriusXM faced bankruptcy. In 2011 and into this year, rumors abounded about whether Liberty would buy a bigger stake in SiriusXM, enough to control the company three years after throwing the satellite radio company a life raft.

Podcasting

The use of podcasting hit a plateau in 2007, and has largely stayed there with a steady following since. As of 2011, 45% of Americans report knowing what a podcast is, about on par with awareness levels since 2007. However, only one-quarter of Americans reported listening to podcasts in 2011, up marginally from 23% during the previous year. Only 9% of people reported that they “love” podcasts, according to Arbitron’s data.28

The volume of podcasts is also fairly steady. The number of available podcasts totaled more than 91,000 in 2011, compared to nearly 90,000 the year before, according to PodcastAlley.com. This rise was not as sharp as the jump from 70,000 podcasts in 2009.

The percentage of radio outlets offering podcasts rose to more than one-third in 2011, up from 23% during the previous year, according to Robert Papper, professor of journalism at Hofstra University. By comparison, the segment of television stations that made podcasts available grew to 14%, up from 10% in 2010.

Despite minimal growth in listenership in the general population and some news outlets dropping their podcasts, a number of news outlets, including as NPR and Slate, have reported a rise in podcast downloads. For Slate’s audience, says Andy Bowers, the internet magazine’s executive producer of podcasts, the platform has come a long way from simply repurposing the Slate’s articles when it began in 2005.

Slate now offers nine podcasts, featuring mostly content original to the podcasts. Audiences often remain engaged with Slate.com through the podcasts, Bowers said, but he declined to provide the number of downloads.

One of the biggest contributions that podcasts give the magazine is “a voice and personality beyond the printed word,” Bowers said. And as more people are expected to use smartphones and other mobile devices, he also anticipates more news organizations to turn to this platform to reach their desired audiences.

“Up until now, cars have been one of the few places where we spend significant time yet where we haven’t been deeply connected to the internet,” Bowers said. “And since it’s dangerous and foolish to text, read or watch video while driving that leaves audio as the best medium for the road. … I plan to keep introducing and producing podcasts that become important additions to people’s lives, with the hope that as a commuter gets in her car for a dreary drive to work, she’ll think, ‘Fantastic – Now I get to hear my favorite Slate show.’ ”

What does this mean? The podcast, while still hitting a significant segment of the population, appears to be losing momentum in general terms. Also, audio services may need to consider varying the selection of platforms and devices where they find themselves so that their potential users might find them.

News/Talk/Information

Where does news fit into the audio landscape? Answering that question is always a challenge. Satellite radio contains news channels. Internet services such as Pandora are music driven. For the most part, news, along with its bigger sibling, news/talk/information, is a creature of traditional AM/FM.

These format categories are somewhat loose. Stations self-identify whether they are news, news/talk or news/talk/information. Still, the broad category of news/talk/information (encompassing all of these stations) continues to rank among the most listened-to formats.

About one out of every eight people, or 12% of the U.S. adult population age 12 or older, listens to news/talk/information radio, according to Arbitron data. That comes close to the 13% of people who listen to the No. 1 format of all, country music.29

While this is slightly fewer people than listened to news/talk/information in 2009 (12.9%) and 2008 (12.6%), it is expected that even more people will tune into news/talk/information stations with the 2012 presidential campaign under way.

The number of news/talk/information stations rose in 2010, the last year for which data were available, continuing an upward trend that began in 2007. In 2010, there were 3,795 stations that identified themselves as news/talk/information, up 10% from the previous year and a jump by more than 1,000 stations since 2008, according to Arbitron.30

The number of all-news stations also increased. While a much smaller universe than news/talk/information grouping, the number of all-news stations reached 33 in 2010, up from the 30 stations that Arbitron reported in 2009, and 27 in 2008. The reasons for the increase are varied. According to Arbitron spokeswoman Kim Myers, stations may have been reclassified as all-news, given a new format by their corporate owners, had an AM station add an FM signal or there may have been an increase from the public radio sector. Some stations have been changing their format from news/talk/information to all news, often as a cost-saving measure. In some cases, removing the “talk” also means being able to eliminate many local on-air staff where they existed.

One station to go through such a change in 2011 was KGO 810, a Cumulus Media property in the San Francisco Bay Area that was one of the last remaining news/talk stations in the nation that largely featured locally generated content. When the ratings system switched from diary to the new people meter method (which electronically tracks actual listening rather than compiling self-reported habits), the station’s ratings sank sharply and dropped its market ranking from first to seventh place. In response, Cumulus pulled the talk component, switching to all news and a much-reduced staff.  A small but loyal cadre of listeners tried to get businesses to pull their ads and protested outside of the station, holding signs that read “Occupy KGO.” But Cumulus did not reverse its decision.

NPR

Over the last 20 years, as more commercial stations moved to syndicated talk and away from local news, one of the big winners in the audio landscape was NPR. In 2011, NPR had what could be described as a mixed year.

It began amid controversy, firings in top management, and political debate over public funding. (Read about it in last year’s report.) By the time the year was over, fewer people were tuning into NPR programs each week, but there was a boost in the number of member stations, fundraising was up, and the strategy that had been put in place to move more to the web and mobile markets continued.

The troubles of 2011 began in March when conservative activists pretending to represent a Muslim-affiliated trust used a hidden camera to record NPR fundraising executive Ron Schiller saying that the Tea Party was racist and that NPR did not need federal funding. The video went viral, stirred outrage and prompted calls for new leadership and the end of public funding to the organization. Within days, NPR president and chief executive Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron Schiller), who had come under criticism previously on other matters, resigned. Ron Schiller, who had planned to leave NPR later for another job, left immediately instead. In March, the Republican-led House voted to end federal funding of public broadcasting altogether. The bill failed to pass in the Senate, and the effort to end subsidies of public broadcasting was abandoned in April as part of a temporary deal to prevent a government shutdown.

For much of the year, NPR was led by an acting CEO, NPR’s general counsel, Joyce Slocum. In December 2011, the board hired Gary Knell, who had worked for more than a dozen years as president and chief executive of Sesame Workshop. The news side, meanwhile, was managed by Margaret Low Smith, who has served as NPR’s acting president of news since the resignation in January 2011 of Ellen Weiss, who left after firing commentator Juan Williams in late 2010. There were other departures as well, notably Dick Meyer, the executive editor, who left for the BBC.

For the year, NPR’s overall listening audience also fell.  Total weekly listenership for NPR slipped just over 1% to 26.8 million people in 2011, down from 27.2 million in 2010. As the table suggests, this is the first NPR audience drop in several years. The number of member organizations was 268, the same as in 2010. Those organizations, however, managed more stations, 789 compared with 764 the previous year. In total, 944 stations aired NPR programming, including stations that are not operated by member organizations.31



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The most positive note may have been financial. The budget for the 2012 fiscal year (October 2011-September 2012) grew 7% from the previous year, to $173.7 million, according to NPR’s internal accounting.

At least part of that financial boost stemmed from NPR’s fundraising efforts through sponsorship. This form of fundraising allows corporations and foundations to help cover reporting and production costs by underwriting stories and programming. During the previous fiscal year, NPR experienced record-breaking levels of sponsorship, collecting $50 million. That amounted to 24% year-over-year growth, NPR reported.

The news divisions benefited directly. Its 2012 budget grew 7% as well to $70.7 million. Half of the added dollars were targeted toward coverage of the 2012 election and the Olympics. More staff was hired as well, growing 9% to 365 (345 full-time and 20 part-time workers).

By the end of the first quarter, though, industry forecasts grew more sobering, and NPR scaled back its fund-raising projections.32

That means it also had to adjust how it planned to spend its money. So far, it is unclear how the organization’s financial expectations will pair with its economic reality.

In general, much of the strategy that Schiller helped put in place, to move NPR beyond radio broadcasting, continued, a sign that her grand plan was still broadly supported. (NPR changed its name from National Public Radio in 2010 to reflect this change in strategy.) Many of these efforts moved beyond the main website, NPR.org, whose audience in 2011 reached an average of 17.7 million unique monthly visitors, according NPR’s internal data, up from 13.9 million in 2010.

More progress was made in mobile apps, social networking and local blogs. NPR reported that by the end of 2011, its apps for iPhone, iPad and Android had nearly 6 million downloads (the apps were first launched in mid-2010). And despite an overall plateau in podcast listening, NPR’s podcasts saw audience growth with 28 million monthly downloads, up from 23.3 million in 2010.

In social media, NPR also made headway in 2011. For example, the network ranked third among Facebook Top 10 fastest-growing news pages, after CNN and Fox News.33



NPR furthered its use of Twitter as well. In a 2011 PEJ studyon how mainstream news outlets use Twitter, NPR ranked fourth in the average number of followers per Twitter feed, behind only ABC News, MSNBC and CNN.34

And while NPR’s main Twitter feed did little information-gathering through the tool, its senior strategist for social media, Andy Carvin, has developed a reputation for conducting a vast degree of reporting through his individual feed. In 2011, he covered the Arab Spring through his prolific use of Twitter, live-tweeting uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa, including more than 800 tweets from Libya on the day when opposition forces stormed Tripoli. Part of his success through this platform was aided by his small army of 54,000 followers who retrieved tips that he went on to post.

To tap into the growing number of people listening to internet radio, NPR launched a web app called Infinite Player in November 2011.  Described as “Pandora for public radio,” the app employs an algorithm that allows users to give a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to content. These preferences inform the app about what to give the user and offer a lower-maintenance alternative to podcasting.35

If NPR can attract new audiences to its projects across nontraditional platforms and continue to get funding to cover associated start-up costs, it could make up for the loss of terrestrial listeners.

“We need to reach audience in ways convenient and accessible to them in emerging and traditional platforms,” NPR’s new chief executive, Gary Knell, tweeted during a live Twitter chat.36

Talk Radio

Michael Savage and Glenn Beck swapped places in rankings of talk radio personalities in 2011. Beck lost listeners on radio during the year in which he also lost his program on Fox News and started his own online outlet, Glenn Beck TV. Savage, the conservative talk show host from San Francisco, attracted 9 million weekly listeners, while Beck dropped to 8.5 million listeners each week, according to data from Talkers. Those numbers put Savage third in the lineup of the most popular talkers, and Beck tied with Mark Levin and Dave Ramsey for fourth

The No. 1 spot continued to belong to Rush Limbaugh, whose audience is an estimated 15 million weekly listeners, a number unchanged from the year before. Sean Hannity maintained his spot as the second-most-listened-to talk radio host, with 14 million weekly listeners.

In February, Cumulus hired Mike Huckabee to go head to head against Limbaugh in the noon-to-3 p.m. talk radio timeslot, syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere. Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate and current Fox News Channel host, is scheduled to begin work in April. This is not the first challenger to take on Limbaugh, who has been a talk radio host for almost 25 years. Cumulus has indicated that Huckabee’s show will be cheaper than Limbaugh’s for stations to purchase, making it potentially more accessible for stations that may be priced out of airing Limbaugh’s show.37

Limbaugh also faced wide-ranging criticism and an advertising boycott in early March after he criticized a Georgetown Law student named Sandra Fluke, describing her on-air as a “prostitute” for supporting Obama Administration policy requiring that contraception be included in health care plans.38 In the following weeks, at least two dozen Limbaugh advertisers39 announced they did not want their spots aired during the program, and Limbaugh issued a public apology. Organized opposition on social media may have helped fuel the advertising boycott.40

Continue Reading Audio: By the Numbers

Endnotes

  1. Arbitron. “Radio’s Audience Continues to Grow.” Dec. 5, 2011.
  2. Arbitron, “The Infinite Dial 2011.” April 5, 2011.
  3. Arbitron. “Radio Today 2011.” Sept. 22, 2011.
  4. Arbitron. “The Infinite Dial 2011.” April 5, 2011
  5. Arbitron. “The Infinite Dial 2011.” April 5, 2011.
  6. Arbitron. “The Road Ahead 2011.” Sept. 15, 2011.
  7. Mashable. “8 Digital Trends Shaping the Future of Media.” Mashable Media Summit 2011. Nov. 9, 2011.
  8. Reese, Stephanie. “Quick Stat: 79.3 Million People Listen to Internet Radio Weekly.” eMarketer. July 14, 2011.
  9. West, Darrell M. “Ten Facts about Mobile Broadband.” Brookings Institution Center for Technology Innovation. Dec. 8, 2011.
  10. Arbitron. “The Infinite Dial 2010.” April 8, 2010.
  11. O’Neill, Brendan. “Cadillac becomes the first US auto manufacturer to include HD Radio technology… but will anyone listen?” Radio Survivor. Dec. 6, 2011.
  12. Pandora Media, Inc. “Form S-1 Registration Statement under the Securities Act of 1933.” Securities and Exchange Commission. February 11, 2011. Washington, D.C.
  13. Spears, Lee. “Pandora Rises in Biggest Internet IPO Boom Year Since 2000.” Bloomberg. Sept. 20, 2011.
  14. Letzing, John. “Pandora Sales Nearly Double, But its Outlook Is Cautious.” Wall Street Journal. Nov. 23, 2011.
  15. Sisario, Ben. “Pandora Revenue Misses Expectations.” New York Times. March 6, 2011.
  16. Gobry, Pascal-Emmanuel, and Blodget, Henry. “Pandora Still Growing Like Gangbusters – Now 4% of Total US Radio Listening.” Business Insider. Nov. 23, 2011.
  17. Sisario, Ben. “Pandora Revenue Misses Expectations.” New York Times. March 6, 2011.
  18. Traditionally, radio listenership was tracked using a diary system, whereby people wrote down how much and what radio they listened to. These handwritten records are gradually being replaced with Arbitron’s PPM, or portable people meters. These devices use electronic signals to monitor the time people spend listening to the radio and what they are listening to.
  19. Radio Ink. “Online Measurement. Arbitron Warns: Be Careful.” Dec. 20, 2011.
  20. AllAccess. “Arbitron Touts New PPM 360 Meter, Plans to Retain MRC Accreditation.” March 7, 2012.
  21. PaidContent. “Is Spotify on Track to Hit 100 Million Users?” Nov. 29, 2011.
  22. Sweney, Mark. “Spotify Tops 2.5M Paying Users.” The Guardian. Nov. 23, 2011.
  23. Kessler, Sarah. “Pandora Hits 100 Million Registered Users.” Mashable. July 12, 2011.
  24. Mashable Media Summit 2011. “8 Digital Trends Shaping the Future of Media.” Nov. 9, 2011.
  25. Veronis Suhler Stevenson. “Communications Industry Forecast 2011-2015: Broadcast and Satellite Radio.” September 2011.
  26. Russian, Demian. “Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) CEO Mel Karmazin at the Reuters Global Media Summit: Video.” Reuters. Nov. 29, 2011.
  27. Moraski, Lauren. “Howard Stern: ‘Feelings are going to be hurt.’” CBS News. Dec. 16, 2011.
  28. Arbitron, “The Infinite Dial 2011.” April 5, 2011.
  29. Arbitron. “Radio Today 2011.” Sept. 22, 2011.
  30. Arbitron. “Radio Today 2011.” Sept. 22, 2011
  31. NPR provides PEJ with internal data on audience, staffing and financial information.
  32. Rehm, Dana Davis, Senior Vice President NPR Marketing, Communications and External Relations Division. E-mail to PEJ. Jan. 31, 2012.
  33. Sonderman, Jeff. “TV and radio outlets lead Facebook’s fastest-growing news pages.” Poynter Online. Dec. 7, 2011.
  34. Holcomb, Jesse; Gross, Kim; and Mitchell, Amy. “How Mainstream Media Outlets Use Twitter.” Project for Excellence in Journalism. Nov. 14, 2011.
  35. Phelps, Andrew. “NPR’s Infinite Player: It’s Like a Public Radio Station that Only Plays the Kinds of Pieces You Like, Forever.” Nieman Journalism Lab. Nov. 16, 2011.
  36. NewsWorks. “Twitter chat with NPR’s new CEO Gary Knell.” Dec. 1, 2011.
  37. Radio Ink. “Cumulus Challenges Rush with Huckabee.” Feb. 9, 2012.
  38. A Timeline of the Rush Limbaugh Vs. Sandra Fluke Battle.” Business Insider. March 6, 2012.
  39. Siegal, Robert. “As Advertisers Flee, Is Limbaugh Losing That Much?” NPR. March 8, 2012.
  40. Stelter, Brian. “After Apology, National Advertisers Are Still Shunning Limbaugh.” New York Times. March 13, 2012.