Like the melting of the snow, the falling of the leaves, and "lambs and lions coming and going," Internet radio listening tends to slip in the warm weather months every year (see last month's ratings coverage here), and just as quickly start ramping back up as we near fall and then the holidays.
We'll likely see this trend soften as mobile and in-car become more typical listening methods, but even the mature broadcast radio medium generally sees its listeners looking to disconnect a little bit when on vacation or enjoying the outdoors.
Most every broadcaster and webcaster saw AAS (Average Active Sessions) improve in the just-released August Internet Audio Top 20 from Triton Digital. Non-commercial Christian broadcaster EMF's AAS grew 17% over July, while ESPN went up 13%, and Cumulus stations collectively added about four-thousand active sessions (in the Domestic Ranker, M-Su 6a-12M).
The rankings themselves remained mostly static. Pandora remains the monster of the industry, with an August AAS (1,282,444 U.S. only, M-Su 6a-12M) seven times that of the nearest competitor, Clear Channel (183,452). Pandora added 68-thousand average sessions over last month; its AAS is up 89% so far in 2012.
The distant-yet-solid second-place Clear Channel has actually more than doubled its AAS over the past 12 months (up 122%). We'll be looking for a bump following this weekend's iHeartRadio Music Festival in next month's report.
For months now, battling it out over slots 3, 4, and 5 have been Cumulus, CBS Radio, and Internet-only webcast service Slacker. (For perspective, the 46-48-thousand AAS each pulled in August is merely a quarter of Clear Channel's online figure.) Cumulus' (including the former Citadel stations) strong month was powered, it seems, by a remarkable 1.13 average time-spent-listening. That gave it the #3 slot over CBS and Slacker for the first time.
(The chart above shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through August 2012. Note that Pandora's AAS numbers from December 2010 through mid-August 2011 were affected by the omission of tracking code in some of its mobile apps. Click to view in full size.)
The Triton Digital Webcast Metrics Top 20 Domestic M-Su 6a-12M ranking is below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of July 2012’s ratings here.