Web Radio Pulls In `Respectable' Numbers

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Twenty-three radio Web sites attract significant local market audiences, according to The Media Audit, a survey of both online and traditional media in more than 80 U.S. markets.


According to the survey of 120,000 consumers, 23 sites attract at least 2 percent of all adults in their immediate markets. "We think 2 percent is very respectable, at this stage of Internet market development," said Bob Jordan, co-chairman of International Demographics Inc., Houston, which produces The Media Audit. Two percent is relatively high, since at least 15 to 20 stations compete for listeners in most areas.


Broadcast Web sites grab only 4 percent of their markets and newspaper Web sites attract 10 percent of their markets' adults, Jordan added. "The radio market is much more fragmented than that of TV broadcasts or newspapers," he said.


At the same time, only about 170 of 3,100 radio stations captured more than 1 percent of their immediate markets.


The most successful stations included WNNX-FM, Atlanta; KMJX-FM, Little Rock, AR; WEGR-FM, Memphis, TN; WIVK-FM, Knoxville, TN; KFMB-FM, San Diego; and WTKS-FM, Orlando, FL.


The most popular format was album rock, followed by classic rock. None of the top 23 stations had contemporary, alternative, black gospel, ethnic, easy listening, classical, oldies or jazz formats, according to The Media Audit.


"The only meaning we could attempt to glean ... is that radio formats that generally attract younger audiences were more successful on the Web than formats that generally attract older audiences," Jordan said.


The audit affects marketers' decisions about how to divvy up their online and offline advertising budgets. On Web radio, brands can be marketed both within the streaming broadcast and on the station's site.


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