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New music service from search and ads giant Google aims to compete with Spotify

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 11:55am

FROM TODAY'S EARLY EDITION: First broken by The Verge (here), now both The New York Times (here) and The Wall Street Journal (here) are also reporting that Google is expected to announce a subscription streaming music service later today at Google I/O, the company's annual developers conference.

The company reportedly has finalized licensing deals with all three major record label groups. The new service will reportedly resemble services like Spotify more than traditional webcast services (like Pandora -- which presumably will be the model for Apple's "iRadio" service that's expected).

The new Google streaming service will reportedly not include a free version. The fee isn't known at this point, but is expected to be similar to that of Spotify and other services like Rhapsody and Rdio, $10 a month.

The new service is actually one of two music services Google reportedly has in the works. Google-owned YouTube is also said to be developing a music service, and negotiations with labels continuing.

Social Radio teams with Philippine TV network to launch webcaster Balut Radio

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 2:15pm

TV5 New Media in the Philippines has lauched Balut Radio, a customizable Internet radio service featuring Original Pinoy Music (OPM) and internation hits, for listening in that country.

The new service was built on Portland, Oregon-based radio software development firm Social Radio's platform.

Balut Radio features dozens of curated channels listeners can customize, plus a "build your own" channel feature. The service adds radio voice talent integrated into the personalized channels, plus news and information, artist interviews, and live performance video.

Social Radio is using the Balut Radio launch to introduce new audience metrics to its offerings. The company says it will measure "number of unique devices," "distinct user accounts," and "average percentage of song played," and offer these sorts of metrics to other Social Radio clients.

In working in the Philippines, Social Radio sees a distinct advantage when it comes to intellectual property use.

Steve Allaway, Social Radio’s CEO, explained the service's position: "Because there is sensible royalty legislation in the Philippines, we’re able to really exercise the capabilities we architected into Social Radio... dedications, individual song sharing to Facebook with a link back to that song in the player, showing listeners what songs are coming up next... those are a few of the features... that would make the service completely illegal in the United States."

Balut Radio is "geo-blocked" from countries with performance license legislation less-favorable to services (like the U.S.). Listeners in American can access a limited set of Balut Radio features that Social Radio says are within Digital Millennium Copyright Act parameters.

TV5 is a major Filipino commercial television network.

Songza update brings Music Concierge feature to Android platform

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 12:00pm

Songza is the online music service that features "expert-curated" playlists based on interests, moods, activities, or what Facebook friends are listening to. Songza this week updated its Android app to include its popular Music Concierge feature (available on the iOS platform for some time).

The Music Concierge feature takes into account the type of device a listener is using, plus their preferences, the day and time of day, and offers activity- and mood-based music for what's likely appropriate. (TechCrunch offers an example: "On Saturday late at night, Songza will offer up activities like a Sweaty Dance Party or Getting Naked, whereas the service will offer up something like Working Out or Summertime on a Tuesday afternoon.)

For the update of the app, Songza is featuring three new summer-themed guest DJ playlists: "Gracie Mansion Backyard BBQ" (created by the staff at Gracie Mansion), "Songs for Summer with Ellie Goulding" (created by singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding), and "3OH!3 'You're Gonna Love This' Summer Vibes" (created by the electro-pop duo 3OH!3).

Songza also recently relaunched its app for the Apple iPad. Download the Songza Android app here.

Read the TechCrunch coverage here.

Clear Channel rumored to soon begin replacing streams' overnight local programming with national content

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:40pm

Clear ChannelIn mid-July, Clear Channel will reportedly begin running overnight tests on some of its streams, replacing local programming with national content.

For example, "some CHR stations will be airing Elvis Duran overnights," while "some urbans will be clearing Steve Harvey (minus the music)," reports Tom Taylor in Radio-Info. It's apparently a way to "test new format concepts," but Taylor wonders if "it's in part an exploration of ways to reduce music royalties."

You can find Taylor's coverage in Radio-Info here.

Jacobs Media hosts Techsurvey8 Rock formats webinar today

Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 12:10pm

Jacobs Media today will host the second in its series of radio format-focused webinars featuring findings from its recent Techsurvey8 study.

Today at 1pm CT (2pm ET), Jacobs will provide data on the digital and social media habits of Rock/Classic Rock/Alternative/AAA listeners. Since prior Techsurveys focused solely on rock radio, today's presentation will include trending from past surveys.

Jacobs kicked off the weekly series last week with the Country radio webinar. Formats still to come include Sports, AC/CHR/Hot AC, Christian, Variety Hits, and News/Talk. Participation in each webinar is free to participating stations that purchased local data from Techsurvey 8. Otherwise, it costs $99. Register here.

TargetSpot releases whitepaper on Net radio listening trends presented at RAIN Summit

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

Digital audio ad network TargetSpot has officially released the results of its latest annual Digital Audio Benchmark and Trend study.

TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger presented some of the top data points of the study at our recent RAIN Summit West conference in Las Vegas. For some of the study's most interesting findings, see our coverage here. Additionally, you can watch video of Goldwerger's presentation, as well as every other presentation, speech, interview, and panel from RAIN Summit West at RTTNews here.

Parks Associates conducted the study for TargetSpot, and surveyed one-thousand Internet radio listeners in the U.S. in January of this year. A free, detailed synopsis of the research is available from TargetSpot here.

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