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Internet radio rankings show Pandora’s #1 but broadcast is #2

I’ve been enjoying Jennifer Lane’s Audio4cast blog because she cuts through the growing avalanche of stories and fluffed up press releases to highlight just a handful of important news items in the internet radio world each week. She recently wrote about Triton Digital’s top 20 US streaming audio rankings for May, observing that Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio service stands at #2 with a 7% growth in audience over April.

Pandora continues to dominate, however, with more than six times the number of average active sessions 6 AM to 12 AM. By comparison, Clear Channel has just over three times the sessions as third ranked CBS Radio.

What I find interesting is how broadcast radio otherwise dominates the rankings outside of Pandora. Sixteen of the top twenty are broadcast companies.

What I found surprising is that just one station, New York Public Radio’s WNYC, is ranked at #19, though with an average number of sessions that’s only 2.5% of Clear Channel’s. In fact, there’s a pretty big divide between the top 5, which includes the nation’s three biggest radio chains along with Slacker Radio, and the rest of the list.

These rankings tell me that–like it or not–there’s still power in owning tens, hundreds or thousands of stations and aggregating them together onto one online platform. #4 Slacker Radio is actually a hybrid since it aggregates both original content and channels alongside broadcast content from ABC and ESPN. This leads me to wonder if public radio as a whole would show a strong ranking if there were a unified platform for listening, a la iHeartRadio. While there is the Public Radio Player mobile app, it’s not a full web accessible platform or portal. Of course, Clear Channel has begun signing up public stations to stream via iHeartRadio, which muddies the water a bit.

The fact that traditional broadcast is second only to Pandora in online listening demonstrates clearly that radio is not dead, and that listeners want to hear real radio stations, even if they’re using a computer or mobile device.

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