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Monday, November 19, 2012
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Listen to Mobile Listening Data

Last week I spent a majority of time on mobile visitors. I'm in the early stage of creating iterations of RadioRow's site design for mobile devices, i.e., the code-writing which differentiates viewing a web site on a PC from a mobile device. Crunching numbers is what brought "mobile" to priority one for me. Data says I need to focus on improving the experience for mobile users.

I see a drastic rise in the numbers of people visiting this radio portal by mobile device.

The site was designed long before there was any mobile device. Time on page and bounce rates for mobile users indicate adjustments need to be made, or I risk losing in the future.

"Do you believe that your station is prepared for the next listener iteration of expectations?" The future is something that's not given a lot of thought in the radio industry, probably because of the constant affirmation that radio will always be there.

But, what of radio will be there?

How long will AM broadcast last as a viable business if vehicle manufacturers are announcing they will no longer include it in the dash-mounted receiver, as one recently did? Consider to what extent FM will "penetrate" the market as the transition to a digital dashboard does away with the in-car tuner.

Where will revenues settle, and how will they be reported if radio industry players are not cooperating in reporting network sales to RAB and Miller Kaplan? (Read the disclaimer at the bottom of Page 1 on the RAB Q3 2012 report.)

While we massage facts, putting radio industry revenues in the best possible light, look into that "future." Look forward to a day when we have mobile listening as a primary means of receiving a radio program (possible 10 years from now), and see if your current station's approach to mobile doesn't need its own "iteration."

Are you delivering an optimal experience for mobile users at your web site? To help you see why time needs to be spent in this area, digest these numbers; they represent how the percentage of mobile device listeners (above) are split between smartphone and tablet listening at RadioRow.

We are transitioning to another phase of audio entertainment, and advertiser desire. As you look at the radio industry today, do you think it is ready?

Do you believe that your station is prepared for the next listener iteration of expectations? Tomorrow is going to be too late to start the change.

For nearly 15 years we've heard an enormous amount of talk about how the radio industry is keeping pace with technology. There is some movement within. Just let me caution that relevant to what is being done by companies specializing in the digital audio world today, the whole of the radio industry needs to put much more effort into where mobile is going - not where it's at.

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