Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research, crossed the ocean with a message for the European radio industry:
“Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable.”
The occasion of this brisk admonition was Radiodays Europe, an annual conference held this year in the Dublin Convention Center. Rosin brought new research with him (“iTunes Radio: Lessons from America”), based on The Infinite Dial 2014 survey but unreleased when that project was unveiled. The new material quantified how iTunes Radio listeners discovered the service, how they use it, and to what extent they like it. From the Edison site: “With Apple possessing the clout and the reach to launch iTunes Radio in Europe, Edison’s presentation was designed to give European broadcasters a preview of what they might expect from an iTunes Radio launch in their local and national markets.”
In other words, here comes more disruption. Spotify and Deezer are popular on-demand services in Europe, but iTunes Radio (like Pandora, which offers no indication of a European expansion soon) is specifically Internet radio, not an interactive jukebox, and therefore presents more direct competition to terrestrial listening.
Aside from the austere advice, one of the most interesting points Edison’s research uncovered is that iTunes Radio has created “new time” for listening — like a new daypart for 41% of survey respondents. That result matches up with Edison’s consistent messaging over the past six months or more, that the listening pie is growing bigger, and it’s a great time to be in the audio content business.