As more AM/FM radio listening takes place online, a trend only accelerated by the pandemic, the number of station streams showing up in the ratings is on the rise. According to an Inside Radio analysis, 75 radio station streams appear in Nielsen’s Holiday 2020 PPM ratings for the 48 markets measured by the service. This doesn’t include non-subscribers or stations that opt into total line reporting, which combines their on-air and online audience estimates into a single number.
Entercom sports “The Fan” WFAN-AM/FM New York (660/101.9) holds the distinction for the largest online share – a 1.1 AQH total week 6+ share in the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) market, along with a 0.6 in the New York metro and a 0.1 in the Middlesex-Somerset NJ market. Thanks to audience churn from the Christmas format and listening disruptions during a month of holiday merriment, the numbers are down from the “December” survey (which is mostly November) when “The Fan” stream had a 1.7 on Long Island and a 0.9 in New York.
“The Fan” is one of only three station streams to make the Holiday book in the New York market. The others are classic hits sister WCBS-FM (0.2) and Newark Public Radio jazz WBGO (0.1)
Entercom doesn’t do total line reporting, choosing instead to monetize its online inventory separately via Radio.com. That may partially explain why the company has the most station streams in the Holiday PPM ratings. Its hot AC “Alice@97.3” KLLC San Francisco’s online stream registered a 0.5 in the San Jose book and a 0.2 in San Francisco. Co-owned news/talk KMBZ-FM Kansas City had a 0.5 for its stream in the Holiday survey. Other Entercom station streams to make the book are hot AC KALC Denver (0.4), adult alternative WXRT Chicago (0.3), sports WJFK-FM Washington (0.3), sports KRLD-FM Dallas (0.3), sports WMFS-FM Memphis (0.3), sports KGMZ San Francisco (0.2 in the San Jose market), hot AC WTIC-FM Hartford (0.2) and hot AC KAMX Austin (0.2).
Apollo/Cox Media Group also has a big chunk of station streams showing up in the ratings, led by soft AC WFEZ Miami, which pulled a 0.8 in the Holiday survey. Apollo/CMG placed three other station streams in Miami’s Holiday book: adult R&B WHQT with a 0.6, and hip-hop/R&B WEDR and CHR WFLC which each had a 0.1. Elsewhere CMG’s stream for classic hits KONO-FM San Antonio managed a 0.6, urban AC WALR-FM Atlanta had a 0.5, adult R&B WCFB Orlando (0.5), soft AC WDUV Tampa (0.5), CHR WAPE-FM and soft AC WEZI Jacksonville (0.4), CHR WBLI Long Island (0.3), AC WSB-FM and classic hits WSRV Atlanta (0.3) and country KCYY San Antonio (0.3). Apollo/CMG station streams in San Antonio, Tampa and Houston posted a 0.2.
Public radio is the other entity with numerous station streams to make the Holiday PPM book. Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB-FM Portland achieved a 0.8 for its stream. The University of Maryland’s jazz/news/talk WEAA Baltimore notched a 0.6. The University of South Florida’s news/talk/jazz WUSF Tampa posted a 0.5. And Mount Hood Community College jazz KMHD Portland came in with a 0.5.
Nearly one third of station streams that made the Holiday book did so with a 0.1.
Of course Nielsen doesn’t measure out of market streaming, which for many stations represents a major part of their online audience.
Meanwhile, the portion of listening to U.S. AM/FM streams that occurs on smart speakers climbed to 22% in the month of December 2020, up from 19% in December 2019 and 17% in December 2018, according to Triton Digital. That represents a 29% increase in the share of AM/FM streaming taking place on smart speakers in two years.