C Story

Pureplay of the Day: 100 Chill

Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 11:35am

Rough night last night? Too much fake blood and unholy reveling? Today’s pureplay, 100 Chill, lands on the easy-listening side of Lounge Chill. Inoccuous Andean flutes burble through smooth-jazzy electronics. This is hangover-friendly music, also effective for bringing you down gently from sugar overdose.

We’ve been gently swaying to Club Des Belugas, Blue Wave, Lisa Maroni, Paul Hardcastle and other soothing sonic wallpaper acts. Re-capture your energies for the upcoming weekend.

100 Chill is a Radionomy station. From its page (go here), you can back into the general Radionomy station directory, which, if you haven’t tried it yet, might surprise you with its depth and range. 

WNYC-FM launches pureplay for Jonathan Schwartz

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 12:30pm

New York public radio station WNYC has long hosted Jonathan Schwartz, an American Songbook expert who has been called a national treasure in recognition of his vast knowledge of American standards, and his unique personal collection of recordings. Schwartz often demonstrates a seemingly bottomless knowledge of Frank Sinatra’s career. Here at the RAIN editorial office, we often turn to WNYC’s webcast on weekends for a dose of Jonathan Schwartz. Now WNYC’s new Internet station administers that dose at any time.

In an interesting pureplay, WNYC has launched a 24/7 stream called The Jonathan Channel. (Listen here.) Tom Taylor’s newsletter notes that Schwartz recently quit his shift at SiriusXM, so is now exclusively distributed by WNYC -- his weekly shows are broadcast on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. He has been a WNYC host for 14 years, so there is a deep archive of content for The Jonathan Channel to draw from.

There might be a trend afoot with 24/7 specialty stations derived from broadcast. Recently TuneIn announced a full-time rerun channel of public radio’s This American Life, which has an 18-year library.

The Echo Nest partners with Getty Images

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 12:10pm

We can hope to see more pictures of artists and bands in music services that use music intelligence data from The Echo Nest. (See part 1 and part 2 of RAIN’s interview with CEO Jim Lucchese.) The music data company has partnered with Getty Images to make it easy for music platforms to enrich their listening experiences with pictures.

Today, for the most part, track playback is accompanied by a single image, usually album art. The Echo Nest, which powers the radio-style playlists across hundreds of music services, is bundling Getty Images photos into its intelligence layer. Using The Echo Nest’s API (application programming interface -- the on-ramp to The Echo Nest’s music intelligence database), clients can build new features that automatically bring appropriate photos into the listener’s view. 

The partnership is an interesting extension of The Echo Nest’s core product, which is music analysis and contextual understanding. It fits into the company’s Dynamic Music Data program, which supplements the musical brain with artist information and social tools.

RAIN Summit Orlando videos

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 12:25pm

RAIN Summits are popular, world-class Internet radio conferences, the preeminent resource for learning and networking in the field of online audio. RAIN Summit Orlando took place in September, 2013. This page links to conference session videos.

RAIN Summit West will take place on April 6, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Session 1: Alternative Revenue Strategies - This panel explores platforms and strategies that drive incremental revenue for streaming audio companies, including performance based and direct response campaigns, ad exchanges, daily deals, and more. Moderator: Paul Heine (Inside Radio) Panelists: Dan Weiner (Pandora), Ted Gurley (Univision), Matt Cutair (Dial Global) , Daniel Anstandig (LDR Interactive) [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 2: Pecha Kucha - Aha by Harman “Connected Vehicle Conundrum” Presenter: Toby Trevarthen [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 3: Ad Insertion Panel - There has been a lot of discussion as to whether broadcasters should use ad insertion as part of their streaming and online strategy. This panel considers both sides, taking into consideration measurement implications, revenue opportunities, programming issues and available resources. Moderator: Kurt Hanson (RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter, AccuRadio) Panelists: Steve Goldstein (Saga Communications), Mike Agovino (Triton Digital), Natalie Swed Stone (OMD), Alexis Van de Wyer (Adswizz), Tom Bender (Greater Media) [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 4 - KEYNOTE: David Field, CEO Entercom [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 5: Building a Top Digital Sales Team - Learn from top digital sales executives how to staff and train your digital sales department. What to look for when hiring, best practices for digital sales training, how to arm them with the best sales tools and optimize inventory. Moderator: Michael Theodore (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Panelists: Kurt Gentry (Radiate Media), Sarah Van Mosel (WNYC), Martin Kristiseter (Marketron), Mort Greenberg (Proxi Digital) , Al Pervin (Intertech Media) [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 6: The Internet Radio Marketplace - This presentation by GroupM Next addresses the future of streaming radio, looking at consumer behavior and implications for brands from the advertising agency perspective. It includes recommendations on ways that streaming content providers can optimize the opportunity for advertisers. Presenter: Steve Sherfy, Jesse Wolfersberger [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 7: The Race to the Dashboard - Presented by Triton Digital, this discussion ranges from best ways for integration to happen (in dash, versus receiver) to identifying aggregators, to discussing best options for both listeners and streaming services during the interim stages. Moderator: Brad Hill (RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter) Panelists: Geoff Snyder (Pandora), Scott Burnell (Ford Motor Company), Ted Cardenas (Pioneer Electronics), Kevin Straley (TuneIn) , Steve Cotter (Slacker) [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 8: State of the Industry Keynote  - AccuRadio/RAIN founder Kurt Hanson delivers his annual address about the state of Internet radio. [WATCH VIDEO]

Session 9: Streaming Music Trends - Presented by Securenet Systems, this panel features a discussion of online listener habits and behavior, including genres that are popular, music recommendation technology, best strategies for sharing, listening patterns, and more, by a roundup of key execs at top streaming services. Moderator: Jim Lucchese (The Echo Nest) Panelists: Brian Lakamp (Clear Channel Media + Entertainment), Chris Boyce (CBC Music), Eric Davich (Songza), Philippe Generali (RCS - Media Monitors)

Session 10: Internet Radio Awards: Kurt Hanson bestows the RAIN Internet Radio Awards in several categories. [WATCH VIDEO]

Pureplay of the Day: Musicovery

Monday, October 28, 2013 - 11:55am

Get ready for musical adventure.

Musicovery (www.musicovery.com) is more interactive than most pureplay stations. On the website, there is not a Play button to be seen. Instead, a colorful mood map responds to mouseovers as you roll across it from Energetic to Calm, and from Dark to Positive. Music streams out instantly with each cursor position on a dot. Big dots indicate popularity among other users. Click on a dot to lock in that stream and throw the interface onto a new page. On that screen you can see upcoming songs in the playlist (pluck out any you don’t want), and refine the stream by genre and decade.

All this sounds complicated, and it does require a minute or two of playing around to get the hang of the system. Your reward? The scope and quality of music discovery is startling and refreshing. Unlike Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker, Rdio, and other music jukeboxes which strive to closely match your taste, Musicovery stretches your boundaries. We challenge anyone to spend 30 minutes on this site and not have an ear-opening experience. If the stream goes off the rails, just roll the mouse over the dots and start a new one.

Variety and unexpectedness are good on a Monday. The broad range of Musicovery might serve you Dave Brubeck followed by DJKrush, or Kid Cudi followed by Stan Lafferriere. An international flavor seasons everything. You can weed out genres during the stream by clicking color-coded buttons, shaping the experience without inhibiting its adventurousness.

RAIN tested the Musicovery mobile app (Android), and found it based on the same design, but less elegant. This unusual pureplay works best on the desktop with a mouse.

DASH Connected Car conference, Day 2

Friday, October 25, 2013 - 11:45am

Jacobs Media presented the second and final day of DASH, The Connected Car AudioTainment Conference yesterday in Detroit. (See Day 1 coverage here.)

Day 2 added a new dimension to the previous day’s industry discussions about the future of radio in the car, by introducing car dealers into the cross-sector mix. Three Detroit dealership owners were featured onstage before an attentive audience of radio pros eager to learn what type of listening consumers want in their cars. Some of the learnings were blunt: “If you are getting into the car via an antenna, and everyone is connecting digitally, you’re going to be left out.” And, on the revenue side: “You’d have to give me quantified data, for me to continue advertising with you.” One dealer wrapped up his contributions with this rueful comment: “When I got into car dealership, I didn’t know I’d have to understand the Internet as much as I need to.”

A session called “What’s New in the Car?” spotlighted execs from two car companies (Toyota, GM) and two aftermarket providers (Pioneer, Panasonic). Greg Ross, head of infotainment at GM, noted his company’s commitment to Internet connectivity: “16-million cars will be sold this year, and all will be connected.”

Larry Rosin of Edison Research showed video results of a consumer survey of new-car buyers, providing the day’s best LOL entertainment. The audience chuckled over segments featuring the difficulties of operating tech-heavy dashboards. There was no chuckling over brick-wall sentiments expressed by some subjects, especially when asked how their listening habits have been changed by expanded options. “I don’t listen to radio anymore because I don’t have to,” asserted one.

Erica Farber, president of the Radio Advertising Bureau, moderated a panel investigation of in-car ad strategies. Later, a cohort of radio DJs were questioned about their perspective on connected cars by Buzz Knight, VP of Greater Media.

Ed Cohen from Nielsen (who started the "Wild West” characterization of connected cars) hosted a consumer tracking panel, and Scott Burnell (Ford) joined Brian Lakamp (Clear Channel/iHeart) and Sarah Lumbard (NPR) in a discussion about partnering with automakers.

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