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Amazing Webcaster is #1

NMC/Radio and Records eChart main column as published in the 3/23/01 issue of R&R The latest weekly results are in for MeasureCast, the most recent entrant into the online web ratings field. And out of all of the sites MeasureCast measured, the number 1 most listened-to web audio is heard on: MEDIAmazing.com. Who???

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Not having heard of them before reviewing MeasureCast's results, I went to the site expecting a marvel of modern dynamic HTML 4.0+, with Shockwave and rollovers and confusing navigation, the works. I found nothing of the sort. I found a Spartan site with nothing more ornate than the use of frames. The links were straightforward, the channel makeup selection fairly standard, and the audio easy to get to; their WindowsMedia player was customized with a skip button and a rating button. A nice couple of touches, but nothing revolutionary: just plain music, programmed to your liking.

This was certainly nothing I hadn't seen before on lots of other sites, sites that spent lots of money trying to get my attention. Why then, did this site come in ahead of a whole host of perennial favorites, including every ABC Radio property from Smooth Jazz 105.9 in DC to the runner up on the list, WABC-AM/77 in New York? And not just barely ahead, but in cume listeners, close to double WABC's numbers.

I asked Bill Piwonka, MeasureCast's marketing director to explain this. Aside from the fact that no one in the space is really ranking everyone yet, he credits the listener-formatted approach at MEDIAmazing. "If I'm at work, I might want a softer approach, but not just soft rock, or not just smooth jazz. I want my blend of soft. There's no one station that can do that for you." And what about brand awareness? "To be honest, I hadn't heard of them until we started working with them, either. I think it really is a testament to the simple, get it done attitude of their site. It loads fast, and it works." Sounds like the Denny's of web audio.

Close. Henry Callie, one of only two (yes, two) guys that make up the entire company, says they do things differently. "We're not going to be one of those companies that are here today and gone tomorrow. We do things for good business reasons, not to feed our egos. I want to make money, not impress the media." Phil Torcivia, the coding brains behind the outfit, says the listeners do all the work. "We use listener's ratings to drive the playlists. No PD's, no consultants - just the listeners." Listeners that made them number one.

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