RAIN 10/8: BBC unifies online and mobile radio experience with new iPlayer Radio

Paul Maloney
October 8, 2012 - 11:25am

The BBC today has launched iPlayer Radio, its dedicated radio streaming service that allows users to listen to 57 BBC radio stations and archived music offerings, live or on-demand. The service is available via either browser-based "web apps" or a new iPhone/iPad app.  

However, this is not the rumored Playlister downloading and on-demand track streaming service hinted at last week in RAIN (here).

"The move to improve the radio experience is long overdue and points to how the BBC may have slightly lost out on capitalizing on a growing audience for digital radio consumption," writes TechCrunch. "It says that year-on-year, monthly iPlayer requests for radio have increased 56% to 2.8m on mobile, and 300% to 1.2m on tablet up to now."

The BBC has a similar service for their television content, launched in 2007, called iPlayer TV. It gives users online access to previously-aired BBC video.

On iPlayer Radio, users can save favorites, watch videos, search, and discover what their friends are listening to via the iPlayer's social integration. The web service is available globally, but the mobile app only works in the UK.

The TechCrunch report is here. There's more in Hypebot here. Read James Cridland's review of the BBC iPlayer Radio here

Paul Maloney
October 8, 2012 - 11:25am

Various sources today report French streaming music service Deezer has raised $130 million in a funding round led by Warner Music Group owner Access Industries.

Deezer had been planning to make the announcement Wednesday, but confirmed the deal after the story broke in the French media this past weekend. Deezer Deputy GM, Head of Ad Sales David Deslandes spoke on the "Monetizing Digital Audio" panel at RAIN Summit Europe on Friday in Berlin.

Deezer says it intends to use some of the new money to extend its geographical reach and update the product updates; $30 million of that will reportedly go to buy out current shareholders. The company promises full details will be revealed on Wednesday.

According to MusicWeek.com, "Deezer has been profitable since 2010 with a number of partnerships including Facebook and local telecommunications companies such as Orange in the UK." CEO Axel Dauchez confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the company was profitable, "but due to expansion plans was now entering an investment phase. 'We will return to profit in 2014.'"

Deezer currently has 26 million users, of which some 1.5 million have a paid-for subscription. In December Dauchez announced his global strategy to offer a service in every country except Japan and the U.S.

The Journal reports, "Digital channels now account for an estimated 32% of record-company revenues globally, up from 29% in 2010. Some markets now see more than half of their revenues derive from digital channels, including the U.S. (52%), South Korea (53%) and China (71%)."

Read more in The Wall Street Journal here. There's more in MusicWeek.com here.


Paul Maloney
October 8, 2012 - 11:25am

BIA/Kelsey forecasts radio's online and digital revenues will reach $491 million this year, a 12.1% increase over 2011, in its U.S. Local Media Forecast (2011-2016): Full Edition.

Radio's overall revenue was revised downward, however, to $14.868 billion for 2012 (which is still a 2.2% increase over 2011). Of that, $14.377 billion is expected to come from over-the-air advertising, an increase of 1.9% from last year.

Radio Ink comments that broadcasters' relatively small digital take "may support the theory that committing too many resources to digital just isn't worth it yet. Or depending on how you look at it, it may also support the theory that radio is only getting a small portion of digital because of a lackluster effort."

Read more in TVTechnology.com here and in Radio Ink here

Paul Maloney
October 8, 2012 - 11:25am

RadioPlayer, the online radio platform that aggregates more than 300 UK commercial and BBC stations, has launched its app for the Apple iPhone and iPad.

"Our aim was to create a simple app that showcases the amazing variety of UK radio," said Michael Hill, Managing Director of RadioPlayer. "The fact we’ve built one that’s also beautiful, innovative, and a joy to use, is testament to the power of partnerships." Hill spoke at both our recent RAIN Summit Dallas (here) and at Friday's RAIN Summit Europe in Berlin.

RadioPlayer, which launched in March of last year, reportedly attracts seven million unique listeners a month. The group says an app for Android phones is in the works.

Read more in TheNextWeb here.