4/30/13: The Detroit News: Internet and music streaming automakers' "new priority"

Paul Maloney
April 30, 2013 - 11:50am

"The in-dash car radio, with its dials and knobs, isn't signing off yet. But it's past its prime in the eyes of some automakers, and most aren't prepared to spend much time or money tinkering with it. Instead, they're focusing on the next generation of in-car entertainment, such as Web browsing and music streaming. Startup automaker Detroit Electric plans to be the first without a radio when it rolls out its first car in August — audio will be delivered via smartphone."

A pretty interesting take from one of the nation's carmakers' hometown papers, The Detroit News. The article's subhead reads: "AM-FM not dead yet but music streaming, Internet new priority."

We've covered the evolution of in-car audio from broadcasting to streaming a lot, both in this newsletter and at the RAIN Summit. You've certainly be reading it for years, and you've probably already experienced it. The ability of the drivers and passengers to access online-only audio content has long been heralded as perhaps the most important watershed for the emergence of Internet radio and its ability to compete with broadcasters. 

It needs to be stressed that no one here is saying radio as a medium -- or broadcasters or broadcast companies -- is on the way out. In fact, those professionals and operations will be more important than ever. The "radio" that will disappear from car dashboards is the AM/FM receiving appliance. Thilo Koslowski, a vice president at technology research firm Gartner Inc., told the paper soon it will simply make more sense to deliver content via Wi-Fi or data plans.

Read the article in today's The Detroit News (also the source of the image) here. (H/t to Tom Taylor Now)

Paul Maloney
April 30, 2013 - 11:50am

Arbitron will reportedly relax some of its terms under which a broadcaster's online stream can be considered a "simulcast."

Until now, Arbitron would consider a station's stream a "simulcast" only if it were 100% identical to the on-air broadcast -- content, ads, everything needed to be the same (and aired at the same time) on the stream as was aired on AM or FM. This means a station stream that substitutes on-air commercials with "online-only" ads, public service messages, promos, or other content, in the stream is not a "simulcast" -- and thus its streaming audience cannot be combined with its on-air audience for ratings purposes.

Beginning in May, the ratings company will allow a "simulcast" broadcast to substitute ads to streaming listeners outside the station's metro area with different ads from the same advertiser. All other content outside of commercials must remain 100% identical.

This change allows stations to "fulfill an advertiser's request that locally advertised specials not be heard outside the local market yet still qualify to receive Total Line Reporting," Inside Radio reports today. Radio can add its digital listening towards its total audience numbers, as well as sell combined on-air/online ad campaigns even for advertisers who want to restrict specific messaging to within the metro.

Inside Radio writes that some broadcasters say McDonald's and Subway directed stations to remove certain spots from their streams for this very reason.

Paragon consultant Mike Henry wrote of many mid- and smaller-sized broadcasters moving towards fully-simulcasting (that is, not changing ads for streaming) because of its inherent advantages. He blogged, "This shift is interesting because it pits the streaming strategy of major groups such as CBS and Clear Channel in one camp, and the mid-sized and smaller groups in another camp. The majors are apparently betting on a streaming sales future, while the other groups are retrenching behind towers and their broadcast sales."

Read more in today's Inside Radio (subscribe here) and from Paragon here.

Paul Maloney
April 30, 2013 - 11:50am

TargetSpot's Eyal Goldwerger (pictured) has stepped down as CEO as part of what's being called a "planned reorganization." He will continue to advise the company's board, and he remains a shareholder.

TargetSpot is the largest online audio sales network. Goldwerger delivered a "POV" address at RAIN Summit West earlier this month in Las Vegas (coverage of his speech, and audio, is in RAIN here). Goldwerger joined TargetSpot as CEO in 2009. CRO Mitch Kline and CTO Leigh Newsome will serve as "co-CEOs" to replace him.

News also broke this morning that satellite broadcaster SiriusXM Radio has named interim CEO James Meyer as Mel Karmazin's fulltime replacement as CEO, effective immediately.

Finally, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has brought on former Huffington Post executive Brian Kaminsky as EVP of operations for the digital division.