4/16/13: Songza scores $3.8 million more in investment

Paul Maloney
April 16, 2013 - 3:20pm

Webcaster Songza now has $3.8 million more to build their business, following their latest round of funding. TechCrunch reported Sunday on the relevant SEC filing, and that Amazon is an "unconfirmed investor."

Songza is the service that offers different channels of music based on listeners' activities, moods, and time of day (a feature that Clear Channel pretty much copied with its "Perfect For" iHeartRadio feature it added in January). The service was launched by the team behind AmieStreet.com ("crowd-priced" MP3s), of which Amazon was an investor. 

Billboard says last June Pandora stocks "dropped 11.2% over two trading days shedding some $208 million of market value after BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield warned in a blog post that Pandora investors should be worried by the sudden rise of Songza." By July, Songza reportedly had 2 million active listeners, but CEO/cofounder Elias Roman tells Billboard that number is now significantly higher.

In August, investors put $1.5 million into Songza. Other recent successful webcaster investment rounds (from Billboard) include Earbits, Radical.fm, Senzari ($3 million), and TuneIn ($16 million).

Read more from TechCrunch here. The SEC document is here. Here's Billboard's coverage.

Paul Maloney
April 16, 2013 - 3:20pm

Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM yesterday officially launched its "personalizable" streaming radio component, MySXM. The service had been available on the web for a few months, and had pleased some early reviewers (in RAIN in February here and March here).

As of this week, it's also now available on Android and iOS mobile platforms.

MySXM listeners can customize 50 music or comedy streams by adjusting three "sliders." The sliders scale the proportion of material in the stream according to the slider settings. For instance, a listener may lean towards different levels of "Popularity,"  different "Eras," "Styles," and more.

The service uses music intelligence from The Echo Nest, which also powers custom streaming services like iHeartRadio.

Coverage from TheNextWeb is here.

Paul Maloney
April 16, 2013 - 3:20pm

We've covered a good portion of the content from the recent RAIN Summit West event (last Monday here and Wednesday here), and we'll continue to do so in the coming days. We were also happy to see coverage from some of our colleagues in the press (we rounded those up here).

We wanted to share with you some more of the perspective from Summit attendees and participants today. First, jacAPPS president Paul Jacobs, who was part of our "Dashboard Discussion," offers five "takeaways" on what he heard here.

First, Jacobs feels good about radio's efforts to evolve its content to digital (and "When we release the results of Techsurvey9 in two weeks, there will be even clearer evidence that this digital shift is taking place," he adds). Relatedly, he points out that a huge issue at the Summit (and the NAB, see Gordon Smith's speech, covered in brief here) is what role broadcast radio can play in the digital car dashboard.

Another Summit "takeaway" for Jacobs is that we're no longer in the "radio" business (if you think of "radio" as a device or platform). "Radio needs to shift our emphasis to a comprehensive sales approach that provides multi-platform, creative solutions for advertisers, because that’s where the dollars are going," he wrote. If the content is truly multi-platform and comprehensive, the sales effort needs to be too. Unfortunately, he felt the surge in creative thinking and entrepreneurship of new technologies and services, as we hunt for "the next big thing," is generating confusion, "the hazards of an innovative time," he suggests.

His final point (and one we've heard for years): the tech, the delivery, the bells and whistles are a sideshow. You will not win without great content.

Please also see Securenet's recap of RAIN Summit in RadioStreamingNews.com here. Securenet is an international radio streaming and hosting services provider, and company VPs Diego Baeza and Jarrod Mains attended the Summit.

Like Jacobs, they noted the emphasis put on in-dash access to digital audio content. Baeza came away confident that streaming's ad sales efforts were headed in the right direction. "Advertiser budgets are only increasing, so it's important to utilize your online stream as a revenue generating tool," he said.

For Mains, he mentioned "mobile" as a topic that kept coming up in discussions, and just how indispensible mobile phones are to consumers. He also added, "I found the 'International Trends in Online Audio' panel especially interesting as we do not hear what is going on overseas as much so it was great to see other countries are making strides in the digital landscape as well."

The next RAIN Summit event is RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 in Brussels, Belgium (which we announced here with followup yesterday here). See our confirmed speakers and register here.