Privately held online radio listening platform AccuRadio has crossed the line to profitability, a business journey sought by many music services and achieved by few. The company, founded by Kurt Hanson in 2000, was profiled in Crain’s Chicago Business. (Kurt Hanson is Founding Editor of RAIN News.)
AccuRadio’s long history makes it one of the most venerable digital audio brands, preceding the launch of another pioneer, Rhapsody. By comparison, the market-leading Internet radio brand, Pandora, started its consumer service in 2004. Interactive service Spotify (which has an online radio component) launched in 2008, and came to the U.S. in 2011. During the industry’s formative years, AccuRadio was a proof of concept for Internet radio that informed and catalyzed the RAIN Summits which have grown into the leading trade conferences of the online audio ecosystem.
Its pioneer status is one distinguishing feature of AccuRadio; another is the service targeting and marketing focus. AccuRadio aims its 1,000-plus programmed genre stations to office workers in the 35-64 demo — an affluent niche for advertisers. The “Accu” in AccuRadio is well-earned; for example while many other music services are satisfied with one decade station for the 70s, 80s, etc., AccuRadio splinters each decade into 10-20 specialized listening experiences. The service offers over 40 classical stations, a clear signal that no music genre will be slighted.
The move to profitability has been powered by audience growth to a million registered users. The growth in listeners is reflected in rising stream activity. In the August edition of Triton Digital’s monthly Webcast Metrics Top 20 Ranker, AccuRadio led all listed services (including Pandora) in year-over-year growth of Average Active Sessions, with a 37% lift from August 2014.
In September of last year AccuRadio raised $2.5-million dollars from NantWorks LLC, headed by entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. The company signed digital audio ad sales firm AudioHQ to an exclusive representation deal last month.