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Pierre Bouvard: Pandora’s CFO Is Wrong

Tomorrow Media

tim_biopicBy Tim Moore



Pierre Bouvard spent time with Coleman Insights and Arbitron.  His crystalline insights are worthwhile in the following comments. Our thanks to Pierre and colleagues at All Access.

CUMULUS/WESTWOOD ONE Chief Marketing Officer PIERRE BOUVARD posted in a new blog, “PANDORA’s CFO is wrong: Radio listening remains remarkably stable.”

BOUVARD is referring to comments made by PANDORA CFO MIKE HERRING at an investor conference. He writes HERRING “claimed AM/FM listening levels are dropping. He is wrong. He claimed AM/FM only sells its reach and does not talk about time spent. Wrong again. So let’s take a look at NIELSEN ratings for persons 25 to 54. Radio’s total week average quarter rating from JANUARY through OCTOBER 2014 was 8.2. From the same period this year? 8.2. Flat. These NIELSEN ratings combine both reach and time spent. So, American AM/FM radio ratings are stable and strong.”

“EDISON RESEARCH’s ‘Share of Ear’ study,” continues BOUVARD, “which combines both time spent and reach to generate audience share, indicates that AM/FM is nine times bigger than PANDORA and 17 times bigger than SPOTIFY. PANDORA’s CFO says radio doesn’t talk about time spent. So let’s talk about time spent from EDISON’s ‘Share of Ear’ study. In an average day, Americans spend two hours and 13 minutes with AM/FM and only 16 minutes with PANDORA. So there you have it.”

BOUVARD also notes, “Let’s also look at daily reach from EDISON’s ‘Share of Ear.’ AM/FM reaches three-quarters of all Americans in a day — PANDORA 15% and SPOTIFY, only 5%. In a typical day in AMERICA, 85% of Americans do not listen to PANDORA and 95% do not listen to SPOTIFY.

Streaming services have been unable to prove that they can break an artist’s career. When more than 85% of Americans are not reached by an audio platform, it’s hard to create a massive hit.”