audio

Stitcher announces finalists in podcast awards

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 2:10pm

Stitcher, which aggregates podcasts and non-music radio and audio content, has announced the finalists for its first annual Stitcher Awards (first covered in RAIN here).

News organizations dominate the nominations. NPR received the most nods, with other top finalists including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, KCRW, BBC Radio and The Wall Street Journal.

Stitcher picked six finalists for each of 20 different categories, based on the more than 55-thousand listener votes. Through November 5th, listeners can vote for their favorites from among the finalists. Stitcher will name the winners in December at the first annual Stitcher Awards ceremony, to be held in San Francisco.

You can see a list of all the finalists here (note, you'll need to "Like" Stitcher on Facebook to see the nominees and vote).

New Arbitron/comScore system's first task: Measuring ESPN's cross-platform audience

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 12:20pm

While we were waiting for Arbitron to finally unveil their long-awaited unified on-air/online radio measurement (see RAIN here), they've announced a deal with comScore and ESPN to measure audio, video, and display across radio, tv, the web, and mobile.

The goal here is to create audience measurement using common metrics on a national and continuous basis, so content providers and marketers can gauge the reach, engagement, and cross-platform duplication of audience.

"The unprecedented size and scope of the project is being driven by the multiplatform measurement requirements of ESPN, which delivers video, audio and display content via television (both in-home and out-of-home), online and mobile video, PC web, mobile web, apps, tablets, digital audio and terrestrial radio" (see yesterday's top story in RAIN here), the companies' announcement read.

The initiative (characterized as "five-platform" as it separates "smartphones" adn "tablets") will integrate "the census and panel-based PC, mobile and TV set-top box measurement capabilities of comScore along with enhanced, single-source, multiplatform measurement capabilities of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) technology," according to the statement.

Though no roll-out date has been announced, ESPN, comScore and Arbitron will unveil more details October 1-3 at the upcoming Advertising Week convention in New York.

Read the press release here.

Online, mobile aggregator TuneIn unveils plans to add pre-rolls to stations' streams

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 12:50pm

If you're not familiar, think of TuneIn as a directory of online radio streams from all over the world -- a single app which gives you more than 70-thousand choices of broadcast and online-only streams. (They're probably most similar to Clear Channel's iHeartRadio service, but not broadcaster-owned.)

Now CEO John Donham reveals in a paidContent interview his service will run "pre-roll" audio ads before launching a listener's chosen stream. To this point, TuneIn has only added display ads (like "banners"), never audio or video.

"We’re going to do audio adverts before the stream and have a companion display ad associated with them," he said. But only if that broadcaster or webcaster themselves isn't scheduling pre-rolls. "We don’t touch any broadcaster streams. If a broadcaster has a pre-roll in front of the stream, we won’t stomp over that. It would be a double-negative to user experience if you got multiple pre-rolls before the content."

Donham believes the "free, ad-supported" approach has far more potential for revenue than subscription/premium models. Though the TuneIn app has both a free and a premium paid version of its app (with built-in recording capability), Donham told the publication, "The number one way we monetise is advertising on the free app. We would rather you listen to the free app than the paid. We would urge you to switch.

"One of the cool things about radio is, it’s free. There are literally billions of people who consume radio every month. What a gigantic opportunity – we’re not going to get them all to subscribe to something – we’re going to get them to listen for free and monetise that."

TuneIn raised $16 million in funding this summer. Donham says the money will go to hiring experts to better develop "discovery" for listeners, such as presenting new listening options based on the listener's history. He also wants to establish his brand in the minds of consumers as the "Netflix/iTunes/Amazon" for radio.

Read more in paidContent here.

TuneIn VP/Sales & Business Development Carl Rohling will participate in "The Connected Dashboard," a panel discussion about establishing Internet audio as a simple yet powerful in-car entertainment medium at RAIN Summit Europe, October 4th in Berlin.

Katz360's ad exec Mandel defends the tried-and-true "GRP" for a multi-platform world

Friday, May 18, 2012 - 11:00am

Katz360 exec Dean Mandel takes to the blog today to suggest that the tried-and-true "GRP" (gross ratings point, or 1% of a market's population) is still very useful as a "common currency" in a multiplatform video and audio world.

Online display and search are purely "online" media (and thus it makes sense to use the more recently-developed digital metrics for them). But audio and video consumers can watch TV, listen to radio, watch on a tablet, or listen on a PC or mobile device, Mandel explains. Advertisers can reach a listener or a viewer on many different devices -- thus a common metric is helpful.

Mandel argues to use the newer digital-based metrics "to add value to the GRPs for the digital portion of a video or audio buy." A seller can "add any digital engagement metrics, completion rates, click through rates etc...to add value to their platform's GRP. Now the buyer can take that information and decide that these digital GRPs indeed have additional value because of these metrics."

Read Mandel's blog post here.

Deal brings audio recording and time-shifting tech to IBS college and high school stations

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 12:25pm

DAR.fm has partnered with Net radio platform provider Backbone Networks to provide time-shifting and recording technology to the nation's largest network of college and high school radio stations.

Now, Backbone announces, "sporting events, news and other community focused programs can be captured and then played back at a convenient time for listeners on PCs, smartphones or tablets making it accessible to a wider audience."

DAR.fm (think "DVR," but with "A" for audio instead of "V" for video) is entrepreneur Michael Robertson's company which enables online radio listeners to schedule and record live content for listening at different times and/or on other devices (much like a DVR works for television). Robertson was a panelist at our recent RAIN Summit West event. See video of his panel (and all the Summit content) here.

The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System is a not-for-profit association of educational institution-based broadcasters and webcasters. Its IBS Student Radio Network is operated by Backbone Networks.

Read the press release here

Cost-sharing arrangement might help publishers engage consumers wary of high mobile data usage

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 11:35am

Think of it as "free shipping," or a toll-free phone number.

Companies that provide video, audio, and gaming mobile content have been grappling with the idea that consumers might be reluctant to access high-bandwidth mobile content for fear violating monthly limits and incurring high charges. Now, AT&T is saying they may introduce a system in which the provider of the mobile service (e.g. Pandora, YouTube, AccuRadio) would cover the data cost. The Wall Street Journal reported no response from content providers, so it's not clear if AT&T would even find any takers.

AT&T spokesman John Donovan told the paper, "What they're saying is, why don't we go create new revenue streams that don't exist today and find a way to split them." 

What's also unclear is whether such a system might have "net neutrality" implications. "Some consumer advocates reacted with dismay, arguing that AT&T could stifle competition and shift the playing field toward well-heeled app developers and content providers that have the financial capacity to subsidize mobile customers' data use," writes the paper. 

Read more here.

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