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MeasureCast Unveils Internet Radio Index

MeasureCast (www.measurecast.com) launched its weekly "Internet Radio Index," which will show listening patterns for Internet radio.

The index has a starting value of 100, starting in early January. Each week, it shows how listening hours have changed from that base week. Last week, the index was at 148, which means that listening time has increased 48 percent since January.

According to Evan Oster, VP of research at MeasureCast, the index is essentially a "broad measure to give you a sense of direction in streaming media usage."

MeasureCast created the index by picking a group of top 50 stations and measures how their "total time spent listening" changes from week to week. "We looked at how indices are put together and how the S&P makes their index," said Oster.

Oster says the company is prepared for criticism. Perhaps the biggest flaw of the index is that it only measures companies using MeasureCast's system. While this gives an overall picture of the 1,000 stations currently measured by the company, it doesn't give a full view of the entire Internet radio sector.

MeasureCast must also keep the index honest by adjusting for stations that are added or removed. Oster said that if it adds a new station, another station will drop off the bottom of list and it will adjust the base accordingly. "Just the act of adding stations doesn't change value of the index," he explained.

Although the company isn't averse to releasing the raw numbers, it's using the index to make it easier for companies, agencies and advertisers to get the "touch and feel" on overall usage over time. "This is an easy to use metric to gauge the growth of Internet radio," said a MeasureCast spokesperson. "Part of what we're doing is educating advertisers and agencies."

MeasureCast also announced its weekly Internet radio rankings, with MEDIAmazing topping the list.

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