Addressable Rankers, Please?
Last week Triton released its Webcast Metrics Ratings for Jan’18. The headline for this month’s report is that Spotify surpassed Pandora in Average Active Sessions (AAS) for Mon-Sun 6a-12md. At first glance this looks like a positive for Spotify and a negative for Pandora, but it also points to a larger problem in Triton’s approach to digital audio ratings measurement.
To date Triton hasn’t been able to breakout Addressable (ad supported) and Subscription (ad free) streaming listening. So both forms of listening are lumped into the same sandbox for one grand total number. If you dissect the two market leaders you’ll see 40% of Spotify’s audience is subscription-based compared to just 7% for Pandora. So wouldn’t it make sense to subdivide Spotifty’s number (60/40) into two separate rankers and do the same with Pandora’s number (93/7)?
Right now you may be asking why does this matter so much? The answer is in how these ratings are used. The only business use for Triton Webcast Metrics Ratings is to give streaming audio buyers directional data on audience scale, which is then used to inform media buys. Since subscription listeners don’t receive ads they’re effectively off the table for buyers, yet Triton still counts them in the tally. It’s the streaming equivalent of Nielsen measuring Network TV viewership and then also adding people who didn’t watch TV into the count. Nothing against the non-viewers, but they’re not relevant to Network TV ad buys.
For the record I’m in favor of Triton still publishing an all-in AAS ranker. I just think they should also breakout separate Addressable and Subscription rankers too. Triton’s current system is six years old and needs some updating. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, others are now getting into the digital audio measurement game. So it’s time for Triton to update their methodology.