On-demand streaming as radio programming’s crystal ball

Nielsen streams vs spinsMuch of the discussion around streaming music positions the medium as a rival to radio. But a new blog post from Nielsen explains how radio professionals could change their thinking to see on-demand streaming as a source of programming intel.

To demonstrate the potential association between radio programming and on-demand streams, Nielsen analyzed “Don’t” by Bryson Tiller. After making a start into streaming in February 2015 and surging on the online charts, his single began getting radio attention, which furthered his streaming growth and in turn brought him more interest on the airwaves. “Keeping an eye on streaming trends can also help programmers manage their playlists from one hit to the next,” Nielsen said. “This can be particularly helpful when new artists break out with a song and programmers need to know which subsequent tracks have legs and when to start playing them.”

Nielsen Coldplay analysisAnother interesting comparison is the disconnect between the streaming popularity and radio popularity of tracks by Coldplay. Even though they’re from older albums, “The Scientist” and “Fix You” are the band’s top streaming songs but have not been given the same degree of radio plays. This finding encourages DJs to remember to tap back catalogs to keep listeners happy and engaged.

Anna Washenko