As we've stated many times before, there's no real way to prove the number Pandora states every month is accurate. In fact, Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews, on the company earnings call Thursday, started his statement out with, "By our own estimates..." McAndrews went on to say Pandora now has 10 percent of all listening in the United States, which is up from 9.1 percent one year ago. McAndrews also said, "Third-party measurement confirms the scale of the Pandora audience. As measured by ComScore, Pandora had 87.8 million total unique visitors in March."
For the first quarter of 2015 Pandora reported total revenue of $230.8 million, up 19 percent from 2014. Advertising revenue made up $178.7 million of that total: $181.1 million came from moble, up 23 percent, and local advertising revenue was $43.3 million, up 67 percent. There are now 3.8 million paid Pandora subscribers. The company did report a loss of $48.3 million in Q1, widening from $28.9 million a year earlier. The company expects to cross the billion-dollar revenue mark in 2015, forecasting a total of between $1.16 to $1.18 billion. The company also gave guidance of $280 to $285 million for Q2.
And that's just the sellers in the local markets where they compete against you for radio dollars. The company actually has hundreds more selling the product and is also ramping up its efforts to implement programmatic buying in the very near future. In addition to all the sellers, the company also reported it now has 194 software engineers working at the company, an increase of 50 percent, doing product development.
In our next Radio Ink Live webinar, Tuesday, April 28 at 11AM (Eastern), Media Staffing Network Founder and President Laurie Kahn details exactly how you can and should hire high-quality employees. After successfully placing people since 1993, Kahn has become the go-to specialist in training radio station personnel on how to hire and retain the best people for your radio station. Stations lose too much money every year hiring the wrong people. Laurie Kahn will help you eliminate that problem during our April 28 webinar. REGISTER FOR OUR NEXT WEBINAR HERE.
Last week, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture announced its plans to shut down the FM radio band in its country in 2017, choosing to instead only use the better-quality DAB+ digital broadcasts. The proposal is up for a vote soon. There is now growing opposition to the Norway FM shutdown, but even if it takes place, there are major differences between the situation there and the state of radio in America. Read more...
Cumulus is being sued by a company called CMI Films, which is claiming copyright infringement. WLUP/Chicago created a promo for a vacation giveaway in 2014 that used the familiar elements of the "remarkable mouth" commercials, with the camera zooming in on the model's mouth while she lip-synchs the voices of the station personalities. CMI Films owns the rights to that style of advertisement and is now seeking financial damages and more.
Cumulus Media has announced that WKOS in Tri-Cities, TN (Johnson City/Bristol/Kingsport) has changed from the new-Country NASH to the classic-Country NASH Icon format. Although the station now has a new line-up, J.B. Stone remeains as WKOS Program Director.
After WTMJ/Milwaukee morning news anchor Jodi Becker told the story of Ben Nelson, an eight-year-old who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and couldn't use his school's playground due to his wheelchair, the station and its "WTMJ Cares" started a fundraising campaign to help create a playground that can also be enjoyed by special needs children. WTMJ and Ben Nelson's family had a goal of raising $38,000 to create this accessible playground. WTMJ listeners and station sponsors rallied by raising over $50,000 in donations.
WNRW/Louisville helped a local listener reconnect with her half-brother, who she had never met and had been searching after for 17 years. As part of the station's RAKE campaign (Random Acts of Kindness Everyday), the station aired the listener's story and pushed it via social media until the half-brother was found in another state and they were connected by phone. Next week, the half-brother will fly from San Diego to Louisville to meet his half-sister for the first time, live on the station's airwaves.
House Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Anna Eshoo have re-introduced the bill named "Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act." This is the second spring in a row the two have introduced the bill, with the first one dying in Congress last year. The bill demands media companies that own both radio and TV properties not be allowed to collect retransmission fees from cable and satellite companies for their TV stations, unless they are willing to pay performance fees for music played on their radio stations. One new addition to the 2015 proposal is a ban on allowing the FCC to mandate FM radio chips in mobile devices.
In response to the introduction of legislation Thursday by House Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Anna Eshoo that would block a TV station from receiving retransmission consent payments if its parent company also owns a radio station that does not pay a performance royalty, NAB Executive VP of Communications Dennis Wharton pointed out that while this proposed bill has two House Reps behind it, the NAB-supported Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes new performance royalties being imposed on radio, now has 166 co-sponsors in the House and 13 in the Senate. READ MORE...
According to The Miami Herald, prosecutors will not charge Miami morning man Lazaro “DJ Laz” Mendez in the boating accident that killed 23-year old Ernest Hernandez in March 2014. The boat got stuck in a sandbar and Hernandez and others were helping push it when he was fatally sliced by the engine’s propellers. Prosecutors concluded there was no evidence that Mendez was drunk or acted with the “reckless disregard for human life” needed to prove manslaughter. Mendez hosts mornings for Cox's HITS 97-3, WFLC-FM.
Highly-regarded veteran programmer Jack Swanson has been named director of news and programming for KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM/San Francisco. He replaces Ed Cavagnaro, who previously announced his retirement from radio.
"Voltair is just another way to game PPM, which is nothing but a big game anyway... Does it seem wrong that you have to buy a device to play this game with the rest of the fittest? Sure. But what about PPM doesn't seem wrong?" Those are the thoughts of media strategist Mark Ramsey, who like so many other radio industry bloggers, looks at what Voltair means for radio. Ramsey's take is that regardless of whether Voltair works or not; regardless of whether it fixes an inaccuracy within PPM decoders or not; there is still one thing it cannot do: create engaging radio product.
The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the 2015 regional winners of the Edward R. Murrow Awards on Thursday. The awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio and other forms of media. This year, RTDNA awarded 673 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 14 categories, including Overall Excellence, Breaking News, Investigative Reporting, and Website. More...
Saga Communications' Milwaukee Radio Group has re-branded WKLH/Milwaukee as Hometown Rock 96-5 WKLH. This replaces the previous branding of "Milwaukee's Classic Rock." With the new branding comes a new logo as well. The music stays in the Classic Rock format, but shifts ahead more into the 1980s with less 1970s tracks.
Alpha Media Louisville has promoted Ben Davis to Operations Manager for the company's five-station cluster. He has been serving as Program Director and morning show co-host for WDJX. He will retain his morning show, but is now searching for his own replacement as PD. Davis replaces George Lindsey, who exited in March for a radio opportunity in Houston.
Connoisseur Media has named Shawn Reed (Shawn Kozlowski) as the new Program Director for WWHX/Bloomington, IL. Most recently, he served as APD and afternoon host at WXCL/Peoria. He also has programming and on-air experience from stations in Missoula and Fargo. Reed replaces Chris Ryan, who is now PD of sister-station WRTS/Erie, PA.
Earlier this week, Hubbard Radio's WIL/St. Louis announced its longtime morning show host Cornbread was exiting the station as of Friday. His last day on the air was turned into a fun celebration and a live remote, called "Cornbread's World's Largest Farewell Pajama Party." Cornbread also received a proclamation designating Friday, April 24, 2015 as the official "Cornbread Day" in the City of St. Louis.
It's time to make your nominations for one of our most popular lists of the year. The 2015 Most Influential Women in Radio list will be released on June 16. Here's your chance to have your say. Go to our nominating form HERE and send us your nomination. YOUR DEADLINE IS MAY 1.
CBS Radio has named Charese Fruge VP of programming and operations for the company's six-station cluster in Houston. Additionally, Fruge will serve as PD for music stations KHMX and KKHH. Fruge takes over for Bruce Logan who will remain in Houston as CBS Radio's VP of programming for the entire Houston. In fact, Radio Ink has been told Logan's contract has been extended through 2016.
CBS Radio Las Vegas has promoted Cat Thomas (pictured) to vice president of programming for the company's six-station cluster. Thomas will continue to serve as the program director for KXTE-FM, KXNT-AM/FM, and KXST-AM. Thomas replaces Charese Fruge, who has been promoted to VP of programming and operations manager for CBS Radio Houston. Also promoted to PD are APDs John Bernard and Jonathan Campbell.
Horizon Broadcasting Group - Central Oregon General Sales Manager Kenn Brown has announced his retirement after 43 years working in radio. He will step down at the end of June. Succeeding him will be Nancy Wirth who has been a senior AE with Horizon since 2011.
Dave Foulk, a longtime newsman for WOKI/Knoxville, spoke to WATE-TV about his battle against Stage IV colon cancer, which spread to his liver. While the prognosis last summer was grim, after months of medical procedures, Foulk considers himself to be cancer-free. Foulk said: "The reason I am being so open about cancer is because melanoma killed my mother. Prostate cancer killed my father. My being so open is driven by hope that maybe one person will hear me talk about it, be open about it, and kind of make light of it, and go ahead and get checked."
Alpha Media Richmond announced the hiring of Tiffany Brown to the role of promotions director for WLFV-FM, WARV-FM, WBBT-FM, and WWLB-FM. She comes to the Richmond cluster after almost five years in the promotions department for WWCW/WFXR-TV in Roanoke.
In the newest issue of San Antonio Current Magazine, KTFM afternoon personality/APD Tony Cortez was voted as the market's #1 radio host. Cortez commented on the win, saying: "I'm still going bananas over this! Thank you to all of our amazing listeners for voting."
iHeartMedia announced that its streaming music service iHeartRadio is now an app available for the new Apple Watch. The iHeartRadio for Apple Watch integration will allow users access to all of the service's live radio streams, on-demand programming, and custom stations.
(By Jeff Schmidt) Chris and I were recently on a conference call with an executive team that is considering purchasing our training. We asked the conference organizer what we had done to make it to the short list of people who were presenting. She said, "You followed through with information when you said you would, and you followed up when you said you would..." READ JEFF
By Loyd Ford) There is a secret that is most difficult for some to learn when it comes to social media. It relates to consistency and prolonged effort, strategy and a willingness to learn to connect like no one else with listeners you want to attract and influence. In fact, here is a list of secrets. READ LOYD
Thanks to Robert Sobczak for sending us this Blast From the Past. This is Larry Anderson at WGR in Buffalo. As a teenager and president of his High School Radio Club, Robert set up tours of Buffalo Radio stations. He took this picture in 1979. Read More About This Blast From the Past...