AccuRadio

AccuRadio is highest user-rated app on Android

Monday, December 2, 2013 - 12:15pm

AccuRadio, the Internet radio platform with over 900 home-curated genre stations, compiled user rankings in the Google Play store of Android music apps, and determined that AccuRadio is the highest-rated app among radio and music subscription apps. (Disclosure: AccuRadio CEO Kurt Hanson was the founding editor of RAIN.)

AccuRadio’s combined rankings in Android’s five-star system add up to 4.75 stars. Other streamers which landed in the top five included Songza, with its “life moments” concierge-style playlisting, and Digitally Imported, a boutique Internet radio operation specializing in the electronica genre.

John Gehron, COO of AccuRadio, told us, “It’s great when our in-house team’s work is validated by our listeners. Our tech team and music programmers have worked hard to make the user experience enjoyable.”

According to the press release, the study intended to be comprehensive of North America-based businesses whose apps have been updated within the last six months. The result is a user-ranking survey of 57 Android music and radio apps.

A few other points of note:

  • Music ID services Shazam and Soundhound were among the six most-reviewed apps in the cohort.
  • Pandora received twice as many user rankings (1.1-million) across all stars as the next most-reviewed app, Shazam (545,000).
  • In the top five most-reviewed apps, the lowest-scoring was Google Play Music, which came in 35th.
  • TuneIn and iHeartRadio, the leading digital radio aggregators, were the 7th and 8th best-ranked, respectively.

AccuRadio does a Christmas deep dive

Monday, November 11, 2013 - 12:20pm

Last week we noted that many online music services are lagging behind some terrestrial stations in pre-Thanksgiving holiday programming, even though adding it doesn’t displace any non-holiday music -- a choice that broadcast stations must gamble on.

AccuRadio dives deeply in holiday music this week with an extravagant array of 49 fine-tuned stations. (Disclosure: AccuRadio’s CEO is Kurt Hanson, who is also the Founding Editor of this site and newsletter. AccuRadio’s EVP of Programming is Paul Maloney, former Executive Editor of RAIN.)

The granular programming includes single-song stations (e.g. “Silent Night,” “Greensleeves”), world-music delineations (e.g. Latin, Celtic), genre categories (e.g. smooth jazz, rock, swing), and even one station which plays only carols starting with the word “Oh.” (Think about it -- there are several of them.)

AccuRadio is always a relatively lean-back experience, compared to jukeboxes like Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rdio. This positioning works especially well during holidays, when users want to set a mood for parties and family gatherings, without having to lean in for adjustments. In 2012, AccuRadio’s December listening jumped 12 percent over November, which in turn showed a 14-percent increase over October, according to Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics. There were similar month-over-month gains in the 2011 holiday season.

AccuRadio is hooking the holiday effort into a contest to boost engagement -- “AccuRadio Secret Santa.” Each day a new code word is embedded in the streams, which users can enter on a special page for a chance to win gadget swag like an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, a Nexus 7, and many other tech prizes.

Global partnership puts Aha streaming radio into Mazda's best-selling model

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 11:40am

In-car infotainment platform Aha by Harman announced that the new 2014 Mazda3 (for American and Japanese markets, as well as select other North American and Asian countries) will offer access to Aha's free service of more than 40,000 audio and information stations.

Aha will be Mazda's in-car solution to access podcasts, radio stations, news, entertainment, audiobooks, music, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and personalized location-based services.

Station partners include AccuRadio, CBC, EMF, NPR, CBS's Radio.com, SHOUTcast, Slacker, SomaFM, and others.

Maloney named AccuRadio EVP/Programming

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 10:55am

Long-time AccuRadio program director Paul Maloney has been promoted to the full-time position of Executive Vice President/Programming, AccuRadio CEO Kurt Hanson and COO John Gehron announced today.

"For the past 13 years, Paul has skillfully managed one of the toughest dual positions in our industry — serving as both Executive Editor of 'RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter' and VP/Programming for AccuRadio," Gehron said, "and we believe that permitting Paul to focus full-time on AccuRadio will allow us to take that service to a new level of growth.

Maloney began his radio programming career at one of the nation's best-known student-operated commercial radio stations, WPGU/Champaign-Urbana. He eventually went on to program KFMZ/Columbia, MO, flipping the heritage AOR station to Alternative, and bringing its 12+ ratings above a 10 share before joining RAIN in the summer of 2000 as a journalist.

As for AccuRadio, it evolved out of a series of RAIN articles in 2000 through 2002 intended to show broadcasters how they could build a multichannel, personalizable Internet radio service. Beginning with three channels of music -- "Swingin' Pop Standards," "Modern Rock Classics," and "Piano Jazz" -- AccuRadio now offers over 975 personalizable channels of rock, pop, classical, jazz, country, R&B, Broadway, and more, targeting P35-64 listeners. Maloney is responsible for supervising the programming of all 975 channels, working with a team of in-house music programmers and outside programming consultants.

"We've just launched a state-of-the-art sixth generation of our technology platform that is bringing some amazing new features to AccuRadio," Maloney noted, "and I look forward to expanding our team of music programmers to take advantage of those features."

Hanson added, "It's been one of my great pleasures over the last 13 years to work with Paul on a day-to-day basis, and I'm thrilled we're now in a position to be able to let him devote his full-time attention to programming the AccuRadio product."

AccuRadio has outlived all of the other personalizable brands of the era in which is was founded, including NetRadio.com, AOL-owned Spinner, Yahoo! LAUNCHcast, WWW.com, MediAmazing, DiscJockey.com, and Viacom-owned Sonicnet. Maloney's promotion is effective immediately. His transition to his new full-time AccuRadio responsibilities will occur over the next month, as veteran journalist Brad Hill takes over RAIN editorial duties (see today's top story here).

Industry announcements from Livio, Abacast, StreamGuys, Triton Digital, and more

Monday, June 10, 2013 - 12:15pm

Here are some new developments from industry firms (who aren't Apple) we think you may find interesting:

Livio has announced Livio Keys and the FM Traffic Button, two new products they say can generate new revenue for car manufacturers and app developers. Livio Keys is a "communication solution" that links carmakers and software developers with tools and customizable services. The FM Traffic Button uses code added to an embedded app on an in-dash infotainment system to provide up-to-the-minute, on-demand traffic reports for U.S. markets.

Abacast has announced a new partnership with Cue.AD, the first Israeli ad network for digital radio. The deal, says, Abacast, will provide that nation's first solution for digital radio broadcasters and advertisers along with a complete online radio streaming and monetization service.

Industry research firm Reportlinker has a new study out called "Global Internet Radio Industry," which it says provides comprehensive analytics for the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and more, with annual estimates and forecasts for 2010-2018. The report covers 45 companies like Pandora, Clear Channel, Slacker, Rhapsody, SomaFM, Digitally Imported, and AccuRadio. Read more (and purchase the report) here.

StreamGuys will now support the open-source Ogg Opus codec, which it says will give webcasters more options for high-quality, low-latency audio streaming. The Ogg Opus codec is free to use, offers broadcast-quality reproduction, and doesn't lag behind real-time broadcasting (like streaming MP3 can).

Triton Digital announced it's successfully deployed its Advertising Platform including Ad Injector to Sao Paulo, Brazil-based broadcaster Kiss Telecomunicações LTDA.

Marketron has expanded its partnership with Saga Communications. The broadcaster will now use Marketron's Insight reporting product, Proof of Performance, and Network Connect.

Supporters say Internet Radio Fairness Act would drive innovation and increase revenue for performers

Friday, September 21, 2012 - 11:25am

Two radio industry groups have issued statements of support for the just-introduced Internet Radio Fairness Act (here).

Both thanked Reps. Chaffetz and Polis and Sens. Wyden and Moran for the introduction of the bill, and decried the unfairness that Internet radio alone is subjected to rates determined not by the 801(b) standard of the Copyright Act, but by the imagined marketplace of the "willing buyer willing seller" standard.

"In 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), instructing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to set (an Internet royalty) rate 'that a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree to,'" explained Kurt Hanson, founder and CEO of webcaster AccuRadio (and publisher of this newsletter), speaking on behalf of the Small Webcaster Alliance (which includes services like Digitally Imported, 977 Music, and Radio Paradise). "The difficult-to-interpret language of that standard has been a nightmare for our industry ever since, leading to CRB decisions that have forced Internet radio companies to pay unreasonably high royalty rates and hindering innovation and growth."

The National Association of Broadcasters joined in support of the bills. "NAB... strongly supports legislative efforts to establish fair webcast streaming rates. NAB will work with the bill's sponsors and all interested parties to create broadcast radio streaming rates that promote new distribution platforms and new revenue streams that foster the future growth of music."

We expect to soon have reaction from other supporters, as well as opposition statements from music industry representatives like the RIAA, SoundExchange, and performers organizations, as well as Congressional opponents to these bills.

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