D Story

Spotify adds four countries to its international portfolio

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 12:10pm

As jubilantly announced on its public blog (“Hello Argentina, Taiwan, Greece and Turkey -- Spotify here!”), the interactive streamer has expanded its reach. With the addition of those four, Spotify now distributes its desktop and mobile app experiences in 32 countries. The deal is standard Spotify: free, ad-supported desktop listening, a subscription tier to eliminate the ads, and a higher sub plan for mobile streaming and downloading.

Here are the international ranges of other music listening platforms:

  • iTunes Radio: U.S. only Xbox Music: 22 countries (free streaming available in 15)
  • Google All Access: 11 countries (U.S., Australia, added nine European countries in August)
  • TuneIn Radio: 80 countries and territories (see here)
  • iHeartRadio: U.S. only
  • Pandora: three countries (U.S., New Zealand, Australia)
  • Rdio: 31 countries
  • Rhapsody: 17 countries (some non-U.S. apps are branded as Rhapsody-owned Napster)
  • Slacker: U.S. and Canada
  • Songza: U.S. and Canada

As a counterpoint to the relentless regional agnosticism of internet radio (notwithstanding streaming broadcasts featured on TuneIn and iHeart), you might want to read remarks delivered by FTC Commissioner Ajit Pai (PDF) at last week's Radio Show luncheon. In his speech, Commissioner Pai held forth on the value of localism, before discussing revitalization of the AM band. 

BMI reports record revenue as streaming's share grows

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 12:20pm

The New York Times writes today that one area of a troubled music industry that's seen consistent revenue growth, and may be poised for more, is songwriter and publisher royalties, collected by groups like BMI and ASCAP.

Webcasters and radio pay these groups when performing music on-air and online. These royalties are not the same as those paid to copyright owners of sound recordings.

Today BMI announced $944 million in revenue for its fiscal year ending in June, a 5% year-over-year increase, and a new all-time high.

Digital services paid BMI $57 million (which includes not only Pandora and Spotify but Hulu, Netflix, and others). While digital was just 2% of BMI domestic revenue in 2009, it's up to 9% now.

Last week (see RAIN here) a federal judge ruled publishers may not withhold certain rights from the ASCAP collective in order to wring more money out of services like Pandora. The decision does not directly affect BMI, says the paper.

BMI announced it's paid $814 million to rights holders in its recent fiscal year, also a new high. Since 2003, the paper repots, BMI's revenue has gone up about 50%.

ASCAP said in March its 2012 revenue was $942 million, down more than 4%.

Read more in The New York Times here.

If this ruins your Friday afternoon productivity, we're sorry

Friday, September 20, 2013 - 9:10am

Thanks, MusicMachinery.com (and we mean that both sincerely and facetiously) for turning us on to the mesmerizing Letsdance.to, made using The Echo Nest API.

The site takes various dance videos (some hilariously dated) posted to YouTube and syncs them with hundreds of BPM-analyzed music files, to create surreal visual/audio experiences... like Fred & Ginger fast-dancing to Radiohead. Or these guys dancing to The Hives' "Walk Idiot Walk."

Check out the most awesome thing you'll see today at Letsdance.to. You can "thank" us later.

Other news from, and around, The Radio Show

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 10:55am

Companies like to time their announcements and new feature launches around industry events like the NAB/RAB Radio Show, Apple's iTunes Radio launch, and so on. That's made for a big of a back-up in reporting some of these developments. That's not to say each one of these news items is directly tied to the show, but Rather, news like this tends come fast and furious around conferences. But we think it's of interest to our readers, so we wanted to get it out there, at least in brief form.

Hosting and streaming services company Liquid Compass had two announcements this week. First, the company unveiled three new premium services for broadcast clients that simulcast online. "GeoFencing" allows broadcasters to limit the reach of streaming access by country or DMA. Also new is the "synchronized terrestrial banner" for simulcast streams, and a beta of geo-restricted subscription services, so stations that forego out-of-market ad replacement can charge non-local listeners for access. Second, Liquid Compass launched three new turn-key product packages for broadcasters, service providers, and ad sellers and agencies called White Label, Reseller, and Affiliate.

Leading public radio outlet KCRW has debuted live streaming on its YouTube channel. The station, long known for being ahead of even most public radio when it comes to digital, says the stream will feature live in-studio performances from musical artists appearing on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" (as well as archived sets).

"We believe Pandora is cultivating a better musical future by enabling an effortless and endless exchange where music flows freely from the artists who create it to the audiences who love it." Pandora says, in its blog, this thinking is the foundation of its "evolved brand strategy," begun yesterday with its new logo and iPad app (see RAIN here). There's even a video about it here.

Broadcast group Federated Media has named online tuning software provider TuneIn the official mobile app and online audio player for all 15 of its stations. All Federated Media stations will migrate from their existing mobile apps and audio players to TuneIn Radio's app and custom-branded TuneIn audio players, and will promote TuneIn on-air.

Focus 360, which provides programming, syndication, and national ad sales to radio, will deploy the Jelli cloud-based ad platform to sell and serve advertising for station groups and show producers. The multi-year deal will have Focus 360's ad network using Jelli's RadioSpot platform, the first time Jelli has used a third party to power ad-serving and reporting.

Katz rebrands 360 division to PROXi Digital; Radio One digital group in new deal with Radiate

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

Katz Media Group's interactive division Katz 360 is being relaunches as PROXi Digital (Katz had made its rebranding intentions public by November of last year, see RAIN here). PROXi will reportedly offer online, mobile, and audience-targeting ad products both in partnership with Katz Media Group's radio and television divisions, and as a third-party network.

A new streaming audio ad product from PROXI, called the Secondary Action Unit, will allow advertisers to employ native advertising with additional custom content in digital radio campaigns. After a regular audio ads runs, the Secondary Action Unit follows up with additional relevant and entertaining content, reports MediaDaily News.

Interestingly, as Katz drops the '360' name, broadcaster Radio One's digital arm Interactive One has picked it up. Interactive One will soon be using Radiate Media's Radiate360 digital marketing for a service aimed at small business in 15 U.S. markets.

"The partnership will give Radio One’s small business radio advertisers access to an array of digital marketing products from Radiate360, including social media, mobile marketing, local search, reputation management, and directory management," reports MediaDaily News. Radiate will train and support Radio One local sales teams for the implementation.

Read more in Mediapost's MediaDaily News here.

iHeartRadio music fest to stream live on Yahoo Music and PS3

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

Clear Channel has announced its 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival will stream live via Yahoo Music and the Playstation 3 gaming console (It will also be broadcast live via Clear Channel terrestrial stations nationwide).

The fest will also be televised as a two-night primetime special on September 30 on The CW Network.

Now in its third year, the festival takes place in Las Vegas this Friday and Saturday. Musical acts booked to appear include Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, J. Cole, Elton John, Muse, Tiësto, and more.

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