In the fall, when we did our last semi-annual PubMetrics presentation, the news about public radio live streaming wasn't great. After years of steady growth, we saw streaming cume and total listening hours level off.
2016 looks very different. Total listening hours are growing again, up 14% year on year for Q1 when we look at a broad range of 240 station streams. Cume is up 8%. More people are listening, and listening time per session also ticked up in Q1.
We're not alone. Commercial radio streaming is also seeing growth, with average active sessions up 15% year on year for Q1.
Is the election season pushing this growth? Maybe. Public radio news streams are up 15% in total listening hours and 10% in cume. We also learned that the entire news/talk category of live streaming (including commercial radio and public radio) has seen strong growth. In fact, it looks like commercial news streams are growing even faster than we are.
But music is growing too. Total listening hours to public radio music streams are up 13% (though cume is up only 3%). Classical and AAA formats are doing particularly well, whereas jazz is down a bit year on year.
How do we best take advantage of this growth spurt? If this is an election spike, how do we turn this audience into long-term fans (and members)?
For the full story, watch the PubMetrics video or download the slides.