New Life For An Old Musical Style?

Who says classical music is having trouble finding a contemporary audience? According to the latest Arbitron webcast ratings, for December, 2000, classical music and internet-only webcaster ranked number one with the most aggregate tuning hours (ATH) for the month. ATH describes the sum total of all hours that listeners tune to a given channel.

According to the Arbitron ratings,, which is streamed and hosted by iBeam, had a total of 565,700 ATH for December. In addition, two other classical streaming audio webcast channels ranked in the top 25: Seattle-based KING-FM, streamed by RealBroadcast Networks, which ranked sixth with 199,700 ATH; and Washington, DC–based WGMS-FM, streamed by Activate and Global Media, which ranked 23rd with 94,700 ATH.

Arbitron's Joan FitzGerald explains the latest findings, saying that "although we saw a slight decrease in listening due to the holiday season, the number one ranking of and the strong showing of internet-only streamers MEDIAmazing and Cablemusic Network show that consumers want content they can't find through traditional broadcast media."

According to Arbitron, its webcast ratings currently measure 2500 Internet audio channels from most major radio networks and streaming web sites. Arbitron adds that these channels portray more than 13.8 million total hours of tuning in December. The company says that its webcast ratings represent a server-side measurement, which captures all listeners tuning to participating streamed media channels.