RAIN 8/17: Europe's Net radio leaders gather for RAIN Summit, in Berlin Oct. 5th

Paul Maloney
August 17, 2012 - 12:30pm

As a RAIN reader, you know that Internet radio is a "disruptive innovation" that is in the process of transforming the radio industry -- not just in the U.S., but around the world. The fact that there's so much that's exciting happening outside of North America right now is why we've organized our first-ever RAIN Summit Europe, in Berlin on Friday, October 5th.

More than two dozen of the top firms in the space, from all over Europe (and a couple from the U.S.), will be represented. Just to name a few:

Havas Media is the umbrella over a group of specialist global networks and agencies that span digital, mobile, events, media services strategy, and international management and social media. Havas operates in 122 territories, employing over 6,700 people. Jean Pierre Cassaing (left), based in France, is head of radio for Havas and will take part in the "Agency Roundtable - Internet Radio Advertising" panel.

Spectrum Medya is Turkey's leading national and local radio stations group, with national radio networks like Super FM, Metro FM, JoyTurk, Joy FM, Radio Mydonose, and Mydonose Turkish Pop. We're thrilled to have Spectrum Medya CEO Ali Abhary (right) join us for the "Measurement Options for Streaming Audio" panel.

Radioplayer is the not-for-profit company, founded by the BBC, Global Radio, Guardian Media Group, Absolute Radio, and RadioCentre, that's behind the single-player aggregation of the UK's radio streams. Michael Hill (left), Radioplayer's Managing Director, will speak on the panel "The Connected Dashboard."

Taking part in the "Personalized Radio" panel is AUPEO! CEO Holger Weiss (right). Based in Germany, AUPEO! Personal Radio offers a free online music service that provides personalized audio streams that compile an individual program for listeners and recommends similar music.

Our keynote speaker represents perhaps the most significant online music concern to come out of Europe, Spotify. Spotify's European GM and VP of Ad Sales Jonathan Forster's (pictured left) company now boasts 15 million active users worldwide, 4 million of whom pay for the service every month. Besides its on-demand streaming product, Spotify Radio is a personalized radio stream listeners create based on artists, songs, or genres, which can be further influenced through "thumbs up/thumbs down" song ratings.

Please take a look at our full roster of industry experts and agenda of panels, all of the most up-to-date information, and registration links on the RAIN Summit Europe page. And please check out where we'll hold the Summit: the very stylish nhow "Berlin" - The Music & Lifestyle Hotel Berlin.

It's our goal to make our inaugural RAIN Summit Europe a valuable and rewarding experience for all our attendees and participants, and your presence there will help us achieve that. 

Paul Maloney
August 17, 2012 - 12:30pm

Clear Channel's iHeartRadio has made "thumbs-up" and "thumbs-down" song rating buttons active for Clear Channel broadcast radio streams, Inside Radio reports today.

The positive/negative feedback buttons are pretty commonplace for database-driven Internet-only radio streams from many services, and that information can immediately affect the programming. Obviously, the functionality will be a little different on broadcast streams. The effect on the content won't be immediate, but it should be a good way for the company to gauge listener response to its programming. It could also drive iHeartRadio registrations (giving Clear Channel important listener demo information for ad-targeting purposes), Inside Radio reasons, as the functions only work when a registered listener is logged in (non-registered listeners are prompted to sign up when they try to rate songs).

"Research shows radio stations that give their listeners effective ways to express their opinions may have an advantage. An online survey of female radio listeners aged 15-54 conducted in May by Alan Burns & Associates found a top difference between heavy and light radio listeners is that heavy listeners are 86% more likely to appreciate feeling that their opinions matter," reports Inside Radio.

One last advantage of the system for Clear Channel: the thumbs up/thumbs down isn't (yet) available on other broadcasters' simulcast streams, only Clear Channel's. This functionality (and the data garnered from it) is a nice incentive for other broadcasters to join the iHeartRadio aggregation (and/or a commoditizable value-added for Clear Channel's iHeartRadio deals).

Paul Maloney
August 17, 2012 - 12:30pm

-- Paragon Media Strategies' "The Blog" examines Internet radio talk programming. "For the aspiring talk show host trying to maximize the number of listeners, Internet Talk sites may offer more potential than the small audiences that the overwhelming majority of AM stations can muster," Paragon's Larry Johnson writes. "The best strategy may be to have an ‘aggregator’ or site pick up the show. There seems to be plenty of Internet Talk sites including Stitcher, Voice America, Live 365, WSJ Radio, and TuneIn." Read more here.

-- The New York Times reports on various studies of the positive effects of music in the workplace. "In one study involving information technology specialists, (University of Miami assistant professor Teresa Lesiuk) found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood." Let's hear it for more Internet radio at work! Read more here.

-- A former Pandora employee discusses how much different work (and, supposedly the way the Pandora music algorithm works) changed post-IPO. "It used to be that you’d put in Modest Mouse and then hear all these crazy college indie bands. That was how it was created. It was great. But people in the Midwest hated it. Now, you put in Modest Mouse and you hear Maroon 5. It’s much more like radio. Some people got angry, but the majority like the changes," the anonymous former employee told BuzzFeed, here.

-- The musician M. Ward has created his own iTunes Internet radio app to allow anyone to locate almost 1,000 of the country's best, independent radio stations -- handpicked by Ward -- and easily stream them online. Read more in The Huffington Post here.

Paul Maloney
August 17, 2012 - 12:30pm

We at RAIN have long found inspiration (and plenty of news tips) from the work of our colleague Tom Taylor in his daily Tom Taylor on Radio-Info newsletter. (It's my personal opinion that it's truly the finest single source of journalism covering the entire radio industry. - PM) So today we'd like to extend a heartfelt "thanks & best wishes" to Tom and the staff of the TRI Newsletter, who sign off today.

Radio-Info.com owner In3media, Inc. has merged with Talk Media, Inc. (which publishes TALKERS magazine).

"After writing a million words a year, I’m choosing to take some time off. (As my wife reminds me, we haven’t taken a vacation since 1995.)," Tom wrote today.

We're looking forward to seeing where and how Tom will continue his valuable contributions to our industry.