RAIN 4/2: iHeartRadio Music Fest to return this year

Michael Schmitt
April 2, 2012 - 11:40am

iHeartRadio Music FestivalThe iHeartRadio Music Festival will return this year, Clear Channel announced today. The second annual festival will take place September 21-22, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The 2011 festival kicked off the official launch of iHeartRadio's new personalizable web radio service. It featured acts like Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Coldplay. No word yet on which artists will appear at the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival.

"The overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural festival made it clear that history shouldn't just repeat itself -- we should strive to make it an even better experience for music fans," said Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman in the company's press release.

You can find that release here. Read RAIN coverage of the 2011 festival here and here.

Paul Maloney
April 2, 2012 - 11:40am

Nielsen reports smartphone ownership is now more or less half of the mobile phone market in the U.S.  As of February, 49.7% of mobile subscribers in the U.S. own a smartphone; from just 36% 12 months prior. More than two-thirds of those who bought a new mobile device in the last three months got a smartphone. 

The obvious takeaway here: Half of those with mobile phones now also have a portable streaming radio device. Just about half (48%) of smartphone owners are on the Android platform, about a third (32.1%) have an iPhone, Nielsen reports.

In less than 2 weeks, we'll host our annual RAIN Summit West event in Las Vegas, leading off the NAB Show. It's hard to imagine that any panel, presentation, or speech won't at least touch on mobile. But we'll definitely hear more about mobile streaming during "The Connected Dashboard" talk on in-dash online radio solutions (with Robert Acker of Aha Radio, Sandhi Kozsuch of Cox, Carl Rohling of TuneIn, Jake Sigal of Livio Radio, Dan Steiny of Live365, moderated by Sam Milkman of knowDigital), and during Kurt Hanson's State of the Industry speech.

Get more details on RAIN Summit West (including the registration link) here. Read more from Nielsen here.

Michael Schmitt
April 2, 2012 - 11:40am

Garmin's new in-dash system for Suzuki carsGarmin, one of the world's largest handheld GPS makers, has partnered with automaker Suzuki to offer an in-dash "infotainment" system. Of course, GPS functionality is a core feature, but the system also offers Pandora integration, Bluetooth audio streaming, an AUX audio jack and a touchscreen display.

Like other in-car web radio systems, Suzuki and Garmin's requires a connected smartphone. The system will ship with most 2013 Suzuki models.

Engadget has more coverage and the companies' press release here.

Michael Schmitt
April 2, 2012 - 11:40am

EarbitsHypebot today shares their favorite music tech April Fools' Day Prank: an Internet radio station from Earbits based on "Pandora's stock and financial outlook." The stream -- which is very much real (find it here) -- contains tongue-in-cheek song titles like "Rock Bottom," "Broke & Busted" and "Ain't Gotta Dime."

Earbits is the web radio service that lets artists pay for airplay. RAIN coverage here and recent Evolver.fm coverage here. Hat tip to Hypebot's post here.