Our very own Jim Tarantine and Zena Burns spoke with Broadcast Dialogues‘s Connie Thiessen about Futuri’s recent studies on podcasting and time-shifted radio content, and how broadcasters can take advantage of the growing digital audio space. They use their discussion on this podcast to discuss in-depth and answer the question, “What if radio was created after the internet?”
National study also contains insights on implications for radio
Las Vegas, Nevada, April 9, 2019 – Most podcast users are millennial males, listen weekly, and engage with podcasts at home, according to a major new study by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) and Futuri Media, a leading audience engagement and sales intelligence technology firm.
Results were presented at the National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show on April 9 as part of a panel discussion titled “Radio’s New Analytics: Understanding Listeners, Delivering Results.”
The study, which included a national survey and in-depth interviews, was conducted in February 2019 with 2,000 regular podcast users who listened to podcasts in the past six months, and 18 participants who gave in-depth interviews on their habits. The study did not define podcasting vs. other types of on-demand audio, and respondents self-identified as podcast listeners. The study results suggest that consumers now consider several types of on-demand audio to be podcasts.
While the study was not limited to those who use terrestrial radio, the sample was large enough that it delivered several insights on the radio format preferences of those who also listen to podcasts regularly.
The study found that nearly three-quarters of users have been listening to podcasts for less than three years and, on average, listen to 4 podcasts per week for either 30 or 60 minutes. Users listen to podcasts on multiple platforms, but YouTube is far and away the dominant platform (70%), followed by Spotify (34%), iTunes/Apple Podcasts app (33%), Pandora (30%), and Google Play music app (23%).
Not surprisingly, nearly 80% of survey respondents listen to podcasts on their mobile devices. What is somewhat surprising is that the users listen to podcast most frequently at home (3.9 on a 5-point frequency scale), followed by in vehicles (2.8/5).
Politics and Government podcasts are the most popular, with 15% listing it as their favorite genre. Music was next (11%) followed by interviews/conversations, comedy, sports and recreation and non-fiction storytelling, cited by 8 – 9% of respondents.
Listeners trust their podcast hosts highly, prefer host-read ads, and look for creative, informative, humorous, and integrated podcast experiences. They want to listen to hosts who are authentic, feel like a friend, and share the users’ passions and beliefs.
The study also found that among radio listeners who listen to podcasts regularly, 25-34 is the top age cell with both spoken word and music formats, with spoken word format attracting a more male audience (73% vs. 27% female), and music formats having a more even, but female-leaning split (51% female to 49% male). The top five favorite radio formats for regularly podcast listeners surveyed were Classic Rock (11%), Hip-Hop/Rap (10.9%), Country (10.4%), News/Talk (9.7%), and Alternative Rock (6.6%)
The study, which was supported by Futuri Media and their POST podcasting system, was designed and executed by UFCJC Telecommunication Professor and Director of Media Consumer Research Sylvia Chan-Olmsted with the help of doctoral student Ms. Rang Wang on the survey and undergraduate students in a capstone class who helped conduct the interviews. More insights from the study can be found at http://bit.ly/2019podcaststudy.
Boca Raton, FL, February 13th, 2019 – Millpond Equity Partners (“Millpond”) has made an investment in Futuri Media LLC (“Futuri” or the “Company”), a leading provider of SaaS technology for audience engagement and sales intelligence to broadcasters and publishers. Futuri, headquartered in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, offers its customers a comprehensive suite of products and services designed to drive audience and revenue growth and enhance sales team productivity. The Company’s audience engagement suite, including its POST podcasting and on-demand system and TopicPulse real-time social intelligence platform, provides tools that maximize ROI on content investments and enable creators to expand distribution. Futuri’s sales intelligence platform, TopLine, provides client sales teams’ data-driven intelligence and content designed to increase sales efficacy and productivity. Founded in 2009 by Daniel Anstandig, the Company currently serves more than 1,500 broadcasters worldwide that reach more than 100 million consumers daily.
“Futuri was founded with the mission of providing cloud-based technologies that enable broadcasters to capitalize on the rise in digital audio and video consumption. Our most important goal is supporting our clients’ success in using our platforms to drive audience and revenue growth,” commented Futuri Founder and CEO, Daniel Anstandig, “We put our skill and passion to work every day for the betterment of our clients and partners, and we saw the same integrity and spirit in Millpond’s approach. Millpond is the ideal partner to collaborate with us in continuing to deliver on our mission by broadening and enhancing our service offering and providing strategic guidance as we embark on our next phase of growth.”
“Futuri’s demonstrated ability to drive revenue growth for its customers has established it as the leader in its market and the Company has a terrific track record of delivering products and technology with a strong value proposition, leading to deep customer relationships. Futuri has a number of avenues for future growth and we are excited to partner with Daniel Anstandig and the talented, experienced team he has assembled to drive continued success for the Company and its client base,” commented Millpond Equity Partner Larry Shagrin.
The Futuri Media transaction represents the fifth platform investment for Millpond Equity Partners. Millpond is dedicated to investing in lower middle market business services companies.
Additional financing for the transaction was provided by JP Morgan Asset Management, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Oxer Capital, First Merchants Bank, management, and original angel investors, Zapis Capital Group.
About Futuri Media
Futuri Media is a global leader in SaaS technology designed to drive audience and revenue growth by deepening consumers’ trust in, affinity for, and loyalty to brands and the teams who represent them. Futuri Media’s audience engagement and sales technology, for which it holds 11 published or pending patents in 151 countries, is used by thousands of broadcasters and publishers worldwide. Named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s fastest- growing private companies for five consecutive years, Futuri Media’s best-in-class customer support is a key driver of its growth. Founded by CEO Daniel Anstandig in 2009, Futuri Media is dedicated to driving measurable success for its partners through innovative SaaS technology, proactivity, speed, and trust in all of its relationships. For more information, please visit futurimedia.com.
About Millpond Equity Partners
Millpond Equity Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in lower middle market, growth-oriented business services companies. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, the Millpond leadership team has nearly 60 years of combined private equity and operating experience, deep industry expertise and a track record of growing businesses and creating value alongside management teams. Millpond combines a partnership approach with extensive hands-on operational and investment management experience. Its experienced investment professionals work hand-in-hand with leaders of healthy and growing businesses, providing strategic guidance, resources and support while assisting those companies through their next phase of growth. For more information, please visit millpondequity.com.
Study shows that users of Futuri Media’s real-time, AI-powered show prep system have consistently higher CUME and AQH share than non-users
Cleveland, Ohio, October 17, 2018 – Futuri Media, a global leader in technology designed to drive audience and revenue growth for broadcasters, today announced the addition of new features to TopicPulse, its real-time, AI-powered show prep system, as well as the results of a new study from Nielsen Audio that shows its measurable results on time spent with radio.
TopicPulse is the only show prep system that uses artificial intelligence that combines real-time insights from Facebook, Twitter, and 100k+ other verified sources of news and information, paired with a team of moderators and content writers, to:
- Identify topics that resonate with a show’s specific target audience, including Audience, Demo, Format, Market, or Category, in real time;
- Determine which stories are about to go viral and which are burning out; and
- Deliver IdeaStarters™ copy points that can be used to kick off a conversation as-is on broadcast, station websites, or social media.
New features available to TopicPulse users include:
- The Rundown: TopicPulse users can now create an interactive show rundown by dragging and dropping stories and IdeaStarters™ into specific time slots and sharing the schedule with their team. The Rundown’s ‘What’s Missing?’ feature will surface the top five stories trending with a station’s audience that haven’t already been selected for its Rundown.
- 2018 Midterms Pulse: TopicPulse users can now see which stories related to the upcoming Midterm elections are trending with their audience. This feature is active for all News/Talk stations and available to all other TopicPulse users upon request.
The new features launch at a time when TopicPulse is demonstrating clear ROI for its partners. Nielsen Audio recently conducted a study that correlated ratings of TopicPulse users vs. average stations, and examined whether heavy users of TopicPulse correlated with even higher ratings. Key findings include:
- Stations doing real-time show prep with TopicPulse have 2x higher cume and AQH share in both P18-49 and P25-54 demos compared to average PPM measured stations.
- The more frequently TopicPulse stations use the system, the higher their average cume and AQH share. The ten heaviest users of TopicPulse, based on number of logins and minutes used, had +7.3% higher cume rating and +3% higher AQH share than average TopicPulse users.
- Morning Drive users logged into TopicPulse during the show had 48% higher 6a-10a M-F AQH share than stations that only log in the night before.
The study also determined that morning shows using TopicPulse consistently performed better in AQH share compared to those not using TopicPulse, a finding that was consistent across multiple formats and demos.
Index of AQH Share on TopicPulse client stations vs. average non-TopicPulse client stations during Morning Drive
- Rock / Classic Rock: 131% P18-49, 116% A25-54
- Top 40 / AC: 115% P18-49, 100% A25-54
- Country: 98% P18-49, 85% A25-54
- Urban: 37% P18-49, 22% A25-54
- N/T/S: 12% P18-49, 35% A25-54
“A solid blend of art and science is critical for making content decisions that will engage audiences in today’s fragmented media landscape,” says Futuri Media Senior Vice President of Operations, Todd Thomas. “We’re proud that the science TopicPulse technology delivers – a capability no other show prep service delivers – is delivering such a strong competitive advantage for our partners.”
Longtime radio programmer brings his talents to Futuri
Veteran programmer Scott Lindy has joined the Partner Success team at Futuri Media. In his new role, Lindy will work with Futuri’s radio partners to devise station-specific strategies for using the company’s audience engagement technology, like POST, TopicPulse, and #engage, to drive ratings and revenue growth.
Lindy, most recently Program Director at Cumulus Media’s country WKHX Kicks 101.5 Atlanta and Cumulus corporate Program Director, adds his more than 30 years programming experience to Futuri’s Partner Success team. In addition to Cumulus, he’s held programming positions at companies including iHeartMedia and SiriusXM Radio, and he’s served on the boards of directors for several industry organizations, including the Country Music Association and Country Radio Broadcasters.
“I’ve been a fan of Daniel Anstandig since the day we met,” said Lindy of the Futuri Media CEO. “I’m so excited to join the talented team and invigorating culture he’s built here, and to help our partners best use Futuri’s truly innovative technology solutions to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace.”
Latest product enhancement uses POST’s patented technology to make airchecking talent and pulling other audio assets easy.
Cleveland, Ohio, September 28, 2018 – Futuri Media, a global leader in technology designed to drive audience and revenue growth for broadcasters, today announced POST, the leading system for instantly converting broadcast content into podcast and on-demand content and distributing across multiple platforms, has added logger capabilities to its feature set.
Thanks to POST’s complete integration with a station’s audio-chain and board, the system identifies different types of breaks, so talent or producers can quickly grab the segment they’d like to push out – audio that’s PPM-encoded in relevant markets – add a fully-licensed image right from the system, and push out onto its websites and social platforms with one click.
Now, POST can also be used as a logger, making it easy for programmers to aircheck talent from anywhere in the world by logging into POST’s web interface. This new enhancement also enables programmers with regional and/or format-specific responsibilities to access all of their POST stations from a single login. A new, streamlined UI also makes it easier for sales teams to pull proof of performance assets from the system.
“POST is a fully-integrated on-demand and podcasting system that maximizes the ROI on broadcast programming in the on-demand space,” said Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig. “By taking advantage of POST’s complete system integration to make logger capabilities available to programmers, as well as making it easier for sales to pull proof of performance assets, POST becomes an even more integral part of today’s radio brand’s daily operations and growth.”
For more on POST by Futuri Media, visit futurimedia.com/POST.
ABOUT FUTURI MEDIA
Futuri Media is a global leader in SaaS technology designed to drive audience and revenue growth by deepening consumers’ trust in, affinity for, and loyalty to brands and the teams who represent them. Futuri Media’s audience engagement and sales technology, for which it holds 11 published or pending patents in 151 countries, is used by thousands of broadcasters and publishers worldwide. Named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years, Futuri Media’s best-in-class customer support is a key driver of its growth. Founded by CEO Daniel Anstandig in 2009, Futuri Media is dedicated to driving measurable success for its partners through innovative SaaS technology, proactivity, speed, and trust in all of its relationships.
With robust digital offerings, radio can maintain its place as the no. 1 in-car media
Radio enjoys the enviable position as the most popular in-car media, but the car is quickly emerging as the new battleground for audio. As more vehicles with advanced entertainment systems and WiFi connectivity hit the road, drivers can tune into online radio or apps for their audio, and that’s giving radio new competition.
According to Edison Research’s latest Infinite Dial report, 56% of drivers named AM/FM radio as their top in-vehicle entertainment choice, but that slipped from 63% just two years ago. At the same time, digital audio increased its share from 8% in 2016 to 12% in 2018 and podcasts inched up from just 1% to 3%.
At the upcoming 2018 Radio Show in Orlando, Edison Research will share new data on in-car listening, which is sure to garner plenty of attention. Radio currently enjoys a strong position and is often the only time many consumers are using the radio. Among overall respondents, 54% say they only listen to AM/FM radio in the car and 62% of 13 to 34 years old say the car is the only place they tune in to radio.
As more cars feature advanced and integrated technology, broadcasters need to be ready with their digital products. Streaming audio services, including Pandora, iHeart Radio and Spotify, are pre-loaded in some car systems, and a growing number of new vehicles also feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which allow in-dash screens to mimics a smartphone screen so drivers can easily access any apps, including audio apps. By 2025, the Radio Advertising Bureau predicts all new cars rolling off production lines will be connected to the Internet, giving drivers access to an unprecedented number of entertainment options.
But, here’s the good news for radio: Local broadcasters are well-positioned to embrace new in-car technology and, potentially, to grow their in-car audience. Along with traditional AM/FM listening, radio stations can offer drivers high-quality live streaming audio and on-demand content, including podcasts, and deliver it all through the latest in-dash systems. If a driver has a radio app on their phone, it appears on CarPlay or Android Auto. Drivers with cars that feature Alexa voice-technology can even use that to access their favorite radio station skills.
To stay ahead, radio stations need to make sure their digital products are cutting-edge, including high-quality live streams that offer a seamless listening experience, intuitive apps, a strong lineup of podcasts, and easy-to-use Alexa skills. After all, these are the key ingredients to any positive digital audio experience and the car is no exception.
At Futuri Media, a global leader in SaaS technology for broadcasters and media companies, our solutions make it simple to create, distribute and share content across digital platforms — including the car — and to produce and integrate ads for digitals channels. Our audience engagement suite features:
Futuri Streaming offering the finest-quality streaming audio to your mobile app and web player through our reliable technology solution with 24/7, VIP support.
Futuri Mobile: an interactive audience experience featuring more than 50 customizable features, including contests, push notifications, audio and video streaming, podcasts and more.
Our custom-built Alexa skills can deliver your content, promotions, and sponsor messaging to Alexa-powered smart speakers.
The upcoming 2018 Radio Show, will feature more insights about this latest Edison research study on in-car audio data. Join broadcasters on Sept. 25-28 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf-Astoria in Orlando, FL, and hear Edison’s Larry Rosin share the latest findings on in-car audio data from Share of Ear, Infinite Dial, and NPR.
Futuri Media is a proud sponsor and contributor of the 2018 Radio Show. To schedule time at the show and learn more about our audience engagement technologies and how it can help brace your brand for the future, contact Futuri Media here.
To boost engagement, broadcasters and digital publishers need to educate consumers
The biggest hurdle to growing podcasting may be helping consumers understand exactly what a podcast is and how to find it.
New data from Edison Research notes that 64% of Americans, of 180 million people, say they’ve heard of podcasts, up from just 22% in 2006, but only 17%, or 48 million, have ever listened. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.
“The number of people who actually listened to a podcast in the last week is significantly smaller than those who are familiar with the term,” Edison said. “The key…is understanding why those people familiar with the term ‘podcasting’ have never listened.”
With producers and podcasters’ help, Edison estimates that podcasting can attract 100-million listeners, a critical threshold to be considered mainstream media.
What are the biggest obstacles to growth? The answer is surprisingly simple: Many Americans don’t understand how to find and stream podcasts, while others have misconceptions, like thinking podcasting will eat up a user’s data plan. Among those who don’t listen to podcasts, 37% said they don’t really understand what podcasting is, while 48% said they weren’t sure how to listen; while 65% say there are so many podcasts, they don’t even know where to begin.
With high-quality and engaging shows for every niche and interest imaginable, the podcast industry is booming. More advertisers are signing on to the medium and local broadcasters are upping their podcast game, launching new shows and adapting on-air content for podcasting.
To grow the audience, local broadcasters can spread the word, offering tips on where to find podcasts and how to stream, and regularly promoting their podcasts. Use on-air promo time to discuss podcasts and post regularly on popular social media channels. On-air talent can promote their podcasts or talk about their own favorites, then remind listeners how to find their own unique content. Providing the early podcast education is critically important and here’s why: in the recent Edison study, most Americans don’t know that 80% of smartphones are preloaded with a podcast listening app such as Apple Podcast.
At Futuri Media, a global provider of SaaS technology for broadcasters and digital publishers, our platforms make it quick and easy to create on-demand content for podcasting, and to share that content across all media channels.
Our POST system makes it virtually effortless to produce podcasts for both Android and iOS devices.
“POST is extremely flexible for editing and including OTA or original content,” said Sophie Fry, Futuri’s SVP, Sales. “With POST, we can help broadcasters create, edit, craft, and distribute whatever programming content and advertiser sponsorship platforms the station desires.”
- In-studio, touch-screen system so hosts and producers to quickly and easily capture audio and convert it into podcasts.
- Ad-insertion, allowing stations to deliver custom messaging inside podcasts.
- Easy distribution to multiple digital channels, including Facebook, Instagram, station websites, and more – with fully licensed images available to attach to podcast content to make it even more discoverable.
For high-quality streaming, Futuri Streaming, provides the best-in-class streaming experience available on the market today. And, with our custom-built Alexa skills, we can incorporate your podcasts for playback on any Alexa-enabled device.
Want to learn more about how we can help grow your podcast production and sales? Contact your Futuri Media partner or reach us here.
As more consumers buy in, voice-activated speakers reach 18% of US homes
Smart speakers are going mainstream. About 43 million Americans are now speaking commands to Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices on their kitchen counters and nightstands. Voice-activated speakers are being consumed by 18% of U.S. homes, up from 7% a year ago, according to a new report from Edison Research and NPR.
The uptick comes as smart speakers expand from tech-savvy “first adopters”, who have owned devices for more than a year, to a larger group of “early mainstream” consumer adoption which is creating a boon for audio content providers.
“Those homeowners who have had smart speakers for at least a year are now the number one device for consuming audio,” noted Tom Webster, Senior VP of Edison Research. “This has profound ramifications for anyone in media and advertising. For millions of Americans, smart speakers are truly the new radio.”
Edison reports that smart speaker owners use their device to listen to audio more than on any other device, including AM/FM radios, computers, and speakers connected to smartphones. Among all smart speaker owners, playing music was the most popular request, while, among all audio formats, news and current affairs were the most popular content with smart speaker owners.
From live streaming to podcasting, broadcasters can benefit from the smart speaker revolution. Consider these new findings:
- 72% of early mainstreamers and 69% of early adopters listen to news and current events via smart speakers
- 37% of owners are listening to 2+ hours of news per week on smart speakers
- 39% of early mainstreamers listen to at least one podcast per week on smart speakers, as do 32% of first adopters
- 29% of early mainstream owners say their smart speaker is replacing time spent with TV
- 38% of early mainstreamers say they purchased the device in hopes of reducing screen time, as did 20% of early adopters.
As the user base grows, early mainstream owners are using smart speakers for more commerce and everyday tasks, including ordering food, making calls, getting traffic reports, researching products, and shopping. From early adopters to early mainstream owners, all are consistent in their desire to add more speakers to their homes. Among mainstream consumers, 58% want additional devices, while 44% of first adopters planning to buy additional smart speakers
For media companies, this data reaffirms early actions to the smart speaker space is critical and education about available skills to the consumer marketplace must start now. At Futuri Media, a global leader in SaaS technology for broadcast and digital publication, we believe voice-activated technology offers more than just significant upside. By creating custom skills, media companies can expand their audience, increase engagement, provide new distribution for content, and deliver a fresh advertising channel for clients.
With our custom-built Alexa skills, our clients can deliver high-quality streaming audio and on-demand content across Amazon’s speakers, which include the Echo, Dot, Show and Tap. That includes your podcasts, live audio and even exclusive content for smart speakers.
Consumers turn to digital in the summer more than any other time of year. Engage your audience across all digital platforms using technologies proven to boost both audience engagement and revenue.
This summer, as more Americans stream audio in cars, on smart speakers, Bluetooth devices, and smartphones, online audio is primed to be more popular than ever. For radio broadcasters, this equals new opportunities to engage with audiences and attract advertisers.
In recent years, online listening for both radio broadcasters and pure play services has been booming. About 57% of Americans, or 160-million users, are streaming digital audio weekly, up from 53% last year and just 17% in 2010, according to the latest “Infinite Dial” report created by Edison Research. The average listener consumes more than 13.5 hours of digital audio per week, including music, spoken word formats, and podcasts.
In-car digital audio is also rising in popularity, 44% of consumers listening in-car, up from 40% in 2017 and 21% in 2013, Edison reported.
Meantime, radio stations are working to maximize new revenue streams from digital platforms. Last year, radio digital ad revenue jumped 13.4% to $700-million and is expected to reach nearly $800 million this year, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates. On a per station level, digital accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year.
At Futuri Media, a global leader in SaaS software for broadcasters, our solutions make it simple to create, distribute and share content across digital platforms, and to produce and integrate ads for digitals channels.
Futuri Streaming delivers the finest-quality streaming audio to your mobile app and web player through our reliable system and comes with 24/7, VIP support.
Our team can create a custom mobile app just for your station. Optimize mobile with Futuri Mobile, our app platform that boasts more than 50 customizable features, including contests, push notifications, audio and video streaming, and more.
POST, our exclusive content delivery and management system, enables on-air talent and producers to easily create digital content, including podcasts. The in-studio, touch-screen system makes it simple to grab and upload content for digital and on-demand listening, and to create exclusive digital audio.
To help monetize digital, POST’s audio is PPM encoded, which enables broadcasters to measure their digital listening in the same ratings system as on-air audiences. POST also offers ad-insertion to create custom messages for podcasts and digital audio.
With #engage, our interactive programming tools, stations can keep up with trending topics. Our customized actions, including song alerts, text and email notifications, push alerts, and song voting, boost mobile and social engagement. Stations can sync social posts to song lists.
Our custom-built Alexa skills can deliver your content, promotions and ads to Alexa-powered smart speakers.
Keep up with your audience’s trending chatter with TopicPulse, a real-time monitoring system that tracks the stories of interest to your listeners and provides fodder for on-air, online and social posts.
Let us help you be the soundtrack for the summer. Contact your Futuri Media partner rep or contact us here.