Billboard publishes early beta phase data from Free All Music

A Look At The Early Numbers: Free All Music
April 13, 2010 - Digital and Mobile

By Glenn Peoples, Nashville

Free All Music, currently in private beta, shared some statistics with Billboard it says show the service has started off on a positive note. The private beta testing period lasted from mid-December to mid-February.

-- FAM says it achieved a 94% average completion rate for its pre-roll video ads, the major feature of the ad-supported site. Consumers get to pick the ad they want to watch. Once the ad is done the music download becomes available. The company compares that to an industry average of 64% (for 30-second videos) it cites from a December 2009 YuMe Networks Metrics Report. The video ad component is especially important. As a study by comScore and Starcom USA indicated, the number of U.S. Internet users who clicked on a display ad in a month dropped 32% from July 2007 to March 2009.

-- The site experienced click-through rates (CTR) of 0.54% for display ads. In 2008, according to Doubleclick’s 2008 Year-In-Review Benchmarks Report, the average U.S. CTR was 0.1%. FAM says it achieved a whopping 7.29% CTR on the channel landing pages. Those pages, seen after a person watches a video and downloads a track, contain banner ads of the track’s sponsors.

-- In its weekly emails, FAM achieved a 50% open rate and a 32% CTR. Those compare well to the 18.4% and 3.4% media and publishing averages cited by email marketing firm Mailchimp.

-- Facebook adds an important dynamic since 77% of FAM members use the service, versus 34% of all online adults, according to a February 2010 Pew Internet report. After a FAM user downloads a song, there is the option to share with Facebook contacts a FAM link to that song (along with a message). Because the songs are free, a user can easily go from a friend’s update to downloading the very same track. In this way, FAM enables social networks to recommend downloads. That’s a step beyond simply sharing the artist and title of favorite or currently playing songs.