RAIN 3/2: Rhapsody, Aha, Edison Research execs join RAIN Summit West line-up

Michael Schmitt
March 2, 2012 - 11:15am

Larry RosinToday RAIN announces the addition of three more industry executives to the agenda of RAIN Summit West 2012: Edison Research Co-founder and President Larry Rosin, Aha GM and Vice President Robert Acker and Rhapsody Chief Product Officer Brendan Benzing.

The conference takes place Sunday, April 15 in Las Vegas (more info below).

Larry Rosin (pictured right) has been involved with media for over 20 years, the last sixteen in audience research. Rosin has been recognized as one of the leading thinkers in the field, and advises many of the world’s largest media companies, including Time Warner, Sony, Disney/ABC and EMAP. Rosin founded Edison Research in 1994 and has been a primary force in building the company into one of the world’s largest and most respected media research companies.

Robert AckerRobert Acker (pictured left) has been a pioneering entrepreneur in the connected car space for over 14 years. In his current role, Acker and his team are working to revolutionize radio for today’s connected consumer. Aha organizes content from the web into personalized radio stations that consumers can listen to from anywhere, including from the driver’s seat.

Brendan BenzingBrendan Benzing (pictured right) oversees the design, creation and improvement of the Rhapsody product and service, as well as its marketing and communications efforts. His media career spans 19 years, including over a decade directing development of subscription-based and ad-supported media products for the PC, TV and mobile platforms.

Other speakers set to appear at RAIN Summit West 2012 include Spotify VP of U.S. Ad Sales Jon Mitchell, Katz360 Sales President Brian Benedik, Pandora SVP of Advertising Sales Steven Kritzman and many others.

ESPN SVP of Production/Business Divisions Traug Keller will keynote the conference. RAIN will announce more speakers and panel topics in the coming weeks.

RAIN Summit West 2012RAIN Summit West will take place on Sunday, April 15 at the former Las Vegas Hilton, now called the LVH -- Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. It will conclude with the always-anticipated tradition of the poolside RAIN Reader Cocktail Party.

The Summit is an official “Co-Located Education Program” of the NAB Show. Registration includes access to the NAB Show Exhibit Hall and a catered box lunch. RAIN registrants can save $100 on NAB registration.

For registration and sponsorship information, visit kurthanson.com/rainsummitwest.

Other RAIN Summits are planned for later this year in Dallas (at the RAB/NAB Radio Show) on September 18th, in Minneapolis (at the Conclave) on July 20, and in Berlin, Germany on October 5th.

Michael Schmitt
March 2, 2012 - 11:15am

iPhoneThere are now more smartphone owners in the U.S. than feature phone owners, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. "Feature phones" are more basic than smartphones and usually don't support apps or other web-based features.

“Nearly every major demographic group — men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well off — experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration," Pew noted. Boy Genius Report has more coverage here.

Meanwhile, AT&T yesterday responded to customer complaints regarding its "unlimited" data plan. Previously the company was throttling data speeds for "unlimited" data plan customers after they consumed 2GB of data in a billing period. AT&T has now upped that limit to 3GB.

Eliot Van Buskirk made some calculations about how much web radio or music one could listen to before hitting the 3GB throttle point. Find his analysis at Evolver.fm here.

Paul Maloney
March 2, 2012 - 11:15am

Please join leading digital audio ad network Targetspot and RAIN Summits during SXSW Interactive for our Digital Audio Meet-Up.

There'll be great music (it is Austin), two hours of open bar, and a great opportunity to socialize and network.

The Digital Audio Meet-Up will be Monday March 12 at Skinny's Ballroom in Austin. By the way, check out Skinny's own online radio here.

Please register (it's free!) using this link, or the link in the RAIN conference calendar. See you in Austin!

Michael Schmitt
March 2, 2012 - 11:15am

HTC's new in-car music accessoryPhone maker HTC will soon offer an accessory that allows smartphones to wirelessly stream audio to any car stereo with a 3.5mm input jack.

The device is small, almost like a USB flash drive. It connects to a car stereo through a 3.5mm jack, then to a smartphone through Bluetooth or microUSB cable. Then the user can play any audio from any app from their smartphone to their car stereo.

HTC's upcoming new Android devices will feature a revamped in-car UI for playing music (RAIN coverage here). That UI will reportedly come up automatically when the phone connects to HTC's in-car accessory.

No word yet on pricing, but Phandroid has more coverage here.