Amazon testing drones and listeners aren't testing streaming services

The guardian reported yesterday that Amazon is currently testing the drone delivery at their version of a “black site” that is just 2000 feet from the United States border in Canada. This comes off the other Amazon announcement yesterday that they will be competing with the likes of Angie’s list by providing plumbers, electricians, and even goat herders –who knew? What is interesting about this story is not that Amazon wants to do this, which we have talked about. What is interesting is they are testing right now because the last time they were dealing with the FAA the certification took so long that the drone Amazon wanted to use was obsolete and using a new version didn’t comply with the certification.

I am not sure your thoughts on drones but I honestly feel that there isn’t any stopping drones and drone technology becoming as common as smartphones. What is up for debate is if the government is going to work with the technology or fight it until the innovation out guns legislation. Drones are coming and Amazon is the company who will get it done, even if the flights need to originate out of Canada which is not the way this should work out.

The iHeart Radio music awards were live Sunday night so it feels right to talk about a panel discussion that looked at consumption of streaming music services. The panel happened in New York between the crew at Pandora, Spotify, and Trition Digital and some of the insight that came from the panel was super interesting. First there are 4 million people streaming digital audio right now, as in right this very second. All things considered that number isn’t that great, however that number jumped from 3 million to 4 million in less than 12 months showing the growth of what is happening.

Nearly 70% of the 12-24 demographic listen to what they define as “online radio” which includes things like Pandora and Spotify where most of those listeners gravitate and the rest stick with my theory that talk will have a place as ESPN ranks high in the research.

The other interesting tid bit is that the average listener consums only 1.6 services a week showing that there is very little if any overlap so if you are an iHeart fan you stay there, a Beats fan, Spotify fan, or Pandora fan you are likely not to roam which when you pair that with the growth could be a great play for advertisers.

Here is where you need to be careful. Just like when I say pageviews or likes are really weak metrics when it comes to audio click thru rates aren’t the metric because most start the audio and place the thing in a pocket, even impressions aren’t as robust on the streaming services as they are everywhere else. Music provides a deep connection with a user, these services need to figure out a metric to measure that level of engagement. So the app that can curate better than the rest and measure the engagement is going to be the one that wins.

Could the Apple/beats platform be the one? Beats left a lot to be desired so we shall see. Have a great Tuesday and let me know if I can do anything for you or on twitter @polymathandvine. 

Eric HultgrenComment