Classical Stations Win Top Rankings

Over-the-air classical music broadcasting is becoming increasingly rare, but classical has got a huge listenership on the Internet, according to a survey by rating service Arbitron, Inc., which early this month announced that three classical music stations were among the five most listened to on the Internet.

Seattle classical station KING-FM (98.1MHz) was number two among all Webcasters, with 516,100 aggregate tuning hours. (Confusingly, Cheyenne, Wyoming also has a KING-FM, at 97.9MHz. That broadcaster is a classic rock station, pumping out "real rock'n'roll 24 hours a day.") Virgin Radio UK was ranked number three with 360,600 hours, despite having technical problems during the month of November.

WQXR-FM, the classical station of the New York Times, achieved fifth place with 275,000 hours in the service's November Webcast ratings. Arbitron defines "aggregate tuning hours" as "the sum total of all hours that listeners tune to a given channel." Cablemusic Classical Christmas reached ninth place with 128,800 hours. ClassicalMusicDetroit, a newcomer to the ratings, claimed the number 22 spot with 66,500 hours.

The top rank among individual broadcasters in the Arbitron ratings was grabbed by MEDIAmazing, which logged 600,800 aggregate tuning hours.

Perhaps indicative that Internet use is on the rise in the Hispanic community, Spanish contemporary station ClubRadioMix made the Webcast ratings for the first time in November, with 93,100 hours. The rankings "are based on those stations and channels that have provided Arbitron with access to their server data," stated the Arbitron announcement. "The ratings may not reflect all tuning for the measured stations or channels, since Arbitron may have received incomplete server data or some data that was not usable."

Arbitron also ranks network broadcasters, as opposed to individual stations ("channels," in Arbitron parlance). Among the networks, Live365 was number one in November—its third consecutive month at that position—with 4,654,300 hours. Cablemusic Networks hit number two with 799,000 hours; Public Interactive reached number three with 779,300 hours. Sixth position was secured by Classic Radio, Inc. with 516,100 hours. The complete lists of the top 75 channels and Top 25 networks are available on the Arbitron Website.