3/25/13: Tomorrow is here: RAIN Summit panel addresses in-car Internet radio

Paul Maloney
March 25, 2013 - 1:15pm

In today's USA Today "Money" section (here), journalist Chris Woodyard suggests the very existence of AM/FM radio may be endangered by a wave of Internet-delivered audio entertainment in the car.

Most of us closer to the webcasting, broadcasting, and automotive industries doubt IP-delivered content in cars spells doom for American broadcasters. But that's certainly not to say it's not a crucial issue. Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs wrote last week (here), "The automakers are perfectly content to give consumers lots of choice and let Darwinian-driven choice take over. May the best content win. And that’s where radio needs to rethink its assumptions and givens."

RAIN Summit West (now just two weeks away on April 7 in Las Vegas) leads off by picking up this very important discussion. Moderated by Roger Lanctot from tech-focused research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics, the "Dashboard Discussions" panel will hash out some strategies for competing for the attention of drivers and passengers with a world of media options at their fingertips.

Paul Jacobs is president of jacAPPS, the mobile development division of Jacbos Media. At January's Consumer Electronics Show, Ford Motor Company named jacAPPS a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink (RAIN coverage here). Paul (pictured top-right) returns to RAIN Summit to share his insight on this topic. (Another panelist from the application side is TuneIn Radio's Carl Rohling.)

Chia-Lin Simmons is VP/Marketing & Content for electronics maker Harman International's Aha unit. Aha delivers entertainment and information content to connected vehicles, mobile phones, and in-home devices. She's responsible for all marketing strategy, she works to secure content partnerships, and she co-markets the Aha service with affiliate car makers, OEMs, and electronics makers. Simmons (left), who also co-hosts the On Digital Media podcast, will be a part of the panel. (Panasonic is another electronics manufacturer innovating in-car integration of mobile content. Panasonic's Hakan Kostepen will join us too.)

Obviously, we wouldn't have this discussion without hearing from broadcasters. Entercom Director/Digital Operations Amy Van Hook (lower-right) is a seasoned radio and digital veteran whose experience includes time as COO of radio-focused streaming media company Liquid Compass and Susquehanna Radio as Group Director of Interactive. Entercom makes its streams available in the TuneIn directory, works with social radio service Jelli on more than 100 of its stations, and is experimenting with on-air/online royalty deals with record label groups.

Read more about our "Dashboard Discussions" panel in RAIN here.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while space is still available, via the RAIN Summit West page. And look for the RAIN Reader Discount Code in the P.S. of your RAIN Daily e-mail (subscribe here).

Paul Maloney
March 25, 2013 - 1:15pm

On Friday we addressed the topic of broadcast radio and royalties, and the real possibility that the matter is the top sticking point for Internet radio's efforts to "normalize" what it pays to use copyright sound recordings (see Friday's RAIN here).

Inside Radio says the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is focusing on freshmen House members in its lobby for support of the anti-royalty resolution, the Local Radio Freedom Act ("That Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station."). Of 109 House members who've signed on, many are newly elected members.

What's more, apparently Virginia NAB member stations have met with House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (who represents that state, pictured). Any bill on this matter would most likely have to get through Goodlatte's committee (The House Judiciary's subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing on the Internet Radio Fairness Act in November that was almost completely taken over by music industry advocates' calls for a broadcast royalty, in RAIN here).

Goodlatte himself says he advocates royalty "fairness" and want to work towards new legislation as a solution to the matter of royalties for broadcast radio. Read more from Inside Radio here.

Paul Maloney
March 25, 2013 - 1:15pm

Sirius XM Radio will air content from "TheBlaze" -- the "multi-platform news, information, and opinion network" of former radio and TV personality Glenn Beck. Beck's online stream "TheBlaze Radio Network" will be added to the SiriusXM Internet Radio lineup, and the network will produce hourly radio newscasts for the SiriusXM's conservative talk channel "Patriot."

TechCrunch reported that TheBlaze is looking to raise $40 million in new investment. According to SEC filings, Beck's group has raised $1.5 million so far, and its current revenue is between $25-100 million!

Read more from Radio Online here and TechCrunch here.