Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.


'Staggering' Pandora Fact of the Day
-- One in five people aged 12 to 24 have listened to Pandora in the past month, according to a new study by Edison Research. Eleven percent has listened to AM/FM online streams while 8% has listened to online radio other than Pandora. Edison was blown away by its finding: "These are some staggering figures - not only have 20% of 12-24 year-olds listened to Pandora in the past month, but 13% have done so in the past week - and this is nationally representative, projectable research data. While we have seen server-based metrics that have demonstrated Pandora's incredible growth over the past few years, this level of recalled listening amongst 12-24 year olds is truly a significant finding."

Edison wasn't amazed just by the popularity of Pandora but by the listenership achieved by other online radio stations: "Even taking Pandora out of the equation, the reach of online-only radio from services such as Slacker, Accuradio, Last.FM and others is nearly equivalent to the online reach of their tower-laden cousins. The 'long tail' of independent online radio in other words, is nearly the same size as the dog in terms of reach." (Edison Research blog)


Cord-Cutting + Cable TV
One analyst is telling people to cool down after a recent Credit Suisse report about the high prevalence of cord-cutting, its downgrade of cable industry companies and its upgrade of Netflix.

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield has found that only 8% of those surveyed were willing to give up cable TV if it meant missing sports, reality shows or premium channel programming. Greenfield found the percentage that was likely to actually switch to Internet from cable was closer to 5%. And even in that case he says such a switch would take years to play out. Cord-cutting might sound "cool," Greenfield concluded, but few consumers will actually follow through.

Cord-cutting has been a hot topic this year. While there seems to be a near-universal understanding that Internet viewing has become a common, mainstream activity, there is much disagreement on the degree to which consumers are willing to give up cable TV. Just as many people say the CD is dead, plenty of people are saying cable TV is dead.

Just how dead is cable TV? It's down, but definitely not dead. In August, new data from SNL Kagan showed the number of pay TV subscribers in the U.S. declined for the first time in history in the second quarter. Six out of eight cable TV operators reported their worst subscriber losses over during the period. SNL Kagan analysts have plenty of explanations for this drop that don't include cord-cutting: the recessions, last year's broadcast digital transition and the housing market slump.
(Crain's New York, NewTeeVee)


Net Neutrality Bill Dead?
-- Rep. Henry Waxman's net neutrality bill has failed to get Republican support and is considered by many to be dead. Some in Washington, however, are saying the bill could move on without a consensus. From The Hill's Hillicon Valley blog: "Waxman may move forward with a bill that does not get full agreement from all sides in the debate but that seems to have enough support to pass the House, three aides said. As Congressional staffers weigh input from public interest groups and cable, phone, and Internet companies, their consideration has in part turned to whether moving without the approval of certain major stakeholders would sink the bill, the aides said." (Reuters, The Hill)


Liz Phair On 'Sticking It To The Man'
-- Liz Phair writes at the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog prior to this weekend's Matador Records 21st anniversary concern in Las Vegas: "In the early nineties, many of the bands on the label and Matador staffers themselves came from well-educated, upper middle class backgrounds and we wasted no time putting all that good grooming to use "sticking it to the man." We made up outrageous bios to pass on to legitimate publications like Newsweek and People, we encouraged provocative answers to dull interview questions, basically trying to channel a kind of late-stage Beatles malaise, believing this to be the only way to force mainstream media to focus on the songs and not the performers. The music was all that was left standing once we were finished with our schoolyard shenanigans." (Speakeasy)