Don’t Forget About Online Radio (Video Blog)

When it comes to streaming, video streaming has stolen the spotlight. It’s important to not forget about online radio and audio streaming. Take a look at CEO David Stubenvoll’s thoughts on online radio and how it shouldn’t be left out of the news.

Video Blog Transcript

Don’t forget about radio. Online video has gotten a lot of attention for good reasons. It’s exploding and tons of options are available. But online radio continues to grow. In fact, the number of listeners of online radio has doubled in the last five years. More interestingly, the number of folks that are listening to online radio in their cars is really expanding. It’s almost catching up to video. In fact, about 35% of cell phone owners have listened to online radio in their car. That’s pretty darn big.

A bunch of things are causing this and creating the push for online radio. One is certainly the ability of a Bluetooth connection for audio from your cell phone to your car. It makes connectiong to online radio a lot easier, and it allows you to easily bring your online stations with you. We’re building these habits at home and at work listening through our computers, and our connected devices allow us to bring that great content in the car because of that little Bluetooth connection.

In addition, other devices and types of content are expanding our relationship with audio. It’s not just music, right? It’s news. It’s sports. It’s weather. It’s live events. In our own home, we purchased an Amazon Echo, and with that purchase we’ve seen a resurgence in listening in our home.

The Amazon Echo is a little device that is voice activated, so we got over the drudgery of having to walk over to an iPad and flip on Pandora or Spotify. With Echo, we can just turn things on immediately, and we are finding that we’re doing that more often than we did previously. That little difference has allowed us to reengage with the habit of listening: listening to music, listening to weather reports, listening to news, listening to live events. And these little habits are driving a significant increase in online radio usage.

While the overall revenue of the radio industry has been a bit flat, the online component certainly has been growing strongly. In fact, with these new capabilities, this ability to reengage your old habits with some minor conveniences thrown in, it might just have the opportunity to raise those radio revenues further as they explore new business models and create new user experiences.

So don’t give up on radio. It’s a phenomenal medium, and it’s very important to the streaming industry. We’ve got tons and tons of customers streaming online radio, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you start seeing a resurgence of online radio consumption in your own life as well.

This is Dave Stubenvoll, CEO and co-founder of Wowza Media Systems. We’ll talk again soon.

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About Dave Stubenvoll

David Stubenvoll is a streaming-industry veteran, launching Wowza Media Systems with Charlie Good to fill a stark void in the industry: the lack of flexible, robust media server software on which to build reliable streaming. Wowza is Dave’s fifth new business venture, having previously served as entrepreneur in residence at Adobe Systems and as CEO/cofounder of Freeworks. Dave has also held senior positions at Intuit and served as president of GALT Technologies (an Intuit subsidiary).