Aupeo

"Radio futurologist" Cridland will give Summit's "feature presentation," then lead mobile panel

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:50pm

Those who follow Internet radio -- like RAIN readers -- are likely familiar with Media UK managing director James Cridland. The self-described "radio futurologist" will give the featured presentation at RAIN Summit Europe (now less than two weeks away).

He was digital media director of Virgin Radio in London, and joined the BBC in 2007 to work on the BBC iPlayer for radio. Since then he's worked with various audio and new media companies (including receiver manufacturer Pure and stream aggregator UK Radioplayer) He organizes the nextrad.io radio conference, and is a founder of hybrid radio tech association RadioDNS.

Cridland's "The Future of Radio: Mobile and Personalised" will examine the medium's future on portable devices, in the context of case studies of broadcasters from all over the world.

Later in the afternoon Cridland (right) will return to moderate a panel discussion on a very similar topic. "Mainstream Mobile" participants will share their views on "best practices" for building listenership on mobile devices and monetizing it.

Two CEOs, both from Germany, join this panel. Based in Hamburg, Christian Richter leads Spoiled Milk, an international digital agency and consultancy on brand management and user experience. Richter (left) is a serial-entrepreneur: he's co-founder of Net radio tuning guide radio.de, and also founder of digital and marketing solutions wathory.com.

Holger Weiss is Berlin-based AUPEO! CEO. AUPEO! is personalized Internet radio with over 120 channels, available in over 40 countries. Weiss (right) joined AUPEO! in 2010 after working for Nokia. He's a specialist in business development, contract negotiations, strategic alliances, leadership, and sales. He spoke at RAIN Summit West.

Interestingly, just after RAIN Summit West, came news that AUPEO! had been acquired by Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America and an integrated supplier to the automotive industry in North America) (see RAIN here). Hakan Kostepen (left, who also spoke at RAIN Summit West) is that company's executive director of product, planning & innovation. He's part of the leadership behind the company's in-car integration and development of all Panasonic Company technologies and products to optimize the "in-car user experience." Kostepen was responsible for "industry first" Jaguar S-Type Voice Recognition Infotainment System. He's based in the U.S.

Also an engineer by training, Ulrich Köring (right) is head of new media for Austrian hit music broadcaster Kronehit. There he handles all digital products, including the website, side-channels, podcasts, and social networks. His experience also includes work at Radioszene industry trade magazine.

"Mainstream Mobile's" final panelist is online audio distribution platform Soundcloud VP/business development Dave Haynes (left), from the UK. Soundcloud, originally started in Stockholm, but established in Berlin, launched in 2008 and now boasts over 10 million registered users. Hayes himself is a former DJ who has run a record label, a record store, and worked in digital music distribution. He writes a blog and hosts the OpenMusicMedia meetups in London, and organizes Music Hack Day events.

Limited space is still available for RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Brussels' Hotel Bloom. All the details, including registration links, are on the RAIN Summit Europe page here.

Gathering will include discussions and presentations from top European radio and online audio executives

Monday, April 15, 2013 - 11:40am

RAIN Summit EuropeDozens of top radio and online audio executives from across Europe will be converging in Belgium in less than six weeks for the second annual RAIN Summit Europe, to be held on Thursday, May 23rd at the stylish Hotel BLOOM! in Brussels.

As with other RAIN Summit events such as last week's successful RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas (more coverage here and here), web radio professionals will gather to discuss all facets of Internet radio and online audio, participating in panel discussions and presentations and advancing the development of the business of online audio across Europe.

Topics on the agenda will range from business to technology to programming and include best practices for measurement of online audio, multiplatform content distribution, mobile streaming, sales strategies, and programming for audience growth.

Presentations will be given by James Cridland of Media UK, David Deslandes of Deezer, and Simon Gooch of SBS Radio Sweden/RadioPlay.

Other confirmed speakers already include an impressive mix of Internet radio and online audio executives, including:

  • Ali Abhary, CEO, Spectrum Medya, Turkey
  • Jan-Willem Bruggenwirth, Managing Director, 538.nl, The Netherlands
  • Matthew Carver, Radio Coordinator, EGTA, Belgium
  • Ben Drury, Founder/CEO, 7Digital, U.K.
  • Hakan Kostepen, Executive Director, Product Strategy & Innovation, Panasonic, U.S.
  • Jan Poelmann, RMS, Germany
  • Robert Proctor, CEO, Audioboo, U.K.
  • Alain Reyes, Head Manager, NRJ, France
  • Patrick Roger, VP/Global Sales & Marketing, Adswizz, France
  • Jöel Ronez, Director of New Media, RadioFrance, France
  • Christian Schalt, General Manager, rs2 and KISS FM (Berlin), Germany
  • Kjarten Slette, Head of Music, WiMPmusic, Norway
  • Holger Weiss, CEO, Aupeo, Germany
  • Steve Whilton, Director of Product, Last.fm, U.K

More speakers will be announced regularly in RAIN in upcoming days. Panel descriptions are available here.

Registration is limited for this event (last year's gathering in Berlin sold out). You can register for the event using either Eventbrite or Amiando.

International webcaster issues mirror those in U.S.: Royalties, revenue, and potential Apple competition

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 1:40pm

RAIN Summits included the "International Trends in Online Audio" panel in Sunday's RAIN Summit West program because of the positive response to last fall's RAIN Summit Europe (as well as to serve as a preview for this year's Europe event).

Turns out, what these online radio professionals viewed as some of their biggest challenges mirror those in the U.S.: high content costs and complex regulations (royalties), those costs' drag on their companies' profitability, revenue beyond ads and subscriptions, and the prospect of an Apple entry into the space.

CEO of Berlin-based webcaster AUPEO!, Holger Weiss (pictured right), admitted licensing across borders is a steep challenge. He said it's a long, arduous process, yet his service is licensed in 40 countries, so it can be done.

Radionomy VP/Business Development Thierry Ascarez agreed there are "solutions out there, it can be done." His company provides a platform for hobbyist and smaller professional webcasters to create and stream their own online stations.

Saavn co-founder Paramdeep Singh (pictured left) described the especially difficult circumstances in India: "We have deals with over 900 record labels, as there's no one-stop for licensing in India. Labels and artists think we're hugely profitable, so they want lots of money."

So what about that money? How do these business leaders intend to increase revenues?

Radionomy's Ascarez described his company's advertising platform in which it splits ad revenues with those webcasters whose audiences surpass a minimum threshold (incentivizing good content).

"There are unique opportunities for monetization beyond ads and subscriptions," said Singh, whose Saavn service streams Bollywood and Tamil Cinema music. He says his company partners with carriers as a "use case" and a benefit to upgrading to a data plan (of India's 800 million mobile customers, only about 50 million have data plans).

"Who'll finance (these types of services) until the ad revenues make it profitable?," wondered Weiss. "It's not great and fantastic yet. We're not profitable yet. We have to think beyond pure advertising and subscription. Advertising is not the only way to make money. We'll see this in 2013," he said.

The AUPEO! CEO teased a Monday announcement about his company "working with" Panasonic, saying services could create new revenue streams by bundling the service with device makers, especially for the car. What we learned Monday is Panasonic has actually acquired AUPEO! for its in-dash audio entertainment platform.

Live365 CEO Hong Lau, experienced in business in China, illustrated the opportunities in that country. "It's not a lot different there than here," he said. He explained that phones are considerably cheaper, and there are hardly any significant online audio services there.

Moderator Ali Abhary (right), CEO of Spectrum Medya in Turkey, concluded by asking his panelists how they view a potential webcasting competitor in Apple.

Saavn's Singh said his company's specialized music libraries aren't easy for a new competitor to relicate. "It took us years to aggregate our content."

Weiss agreed. "You can win in a fight (with Apple), which can't copy you, but "can only buy you if you're niche."

We'll continue to recap the content from Sunday's RAIN Summit West in the coming days here in RAIN.

Panasonic automotive systems division acquires webcaster Aupeo! for in-dash music

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 2:15pm

Panasonic did more than talk about in-car Internet radio at RAIN Summit West this weekend.

Panasonic Corporation of North America and its Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America have acquired Berlin-based webcaster Aupeo, with the aim of "enhanc(ing) the leading-edge technology and customer relationship tools Panasonic is able to offer its automotive customers."

"Conventional consumer-focused music and content services do not address all the needs of car manufacturers," said Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. "Aupeo’s technologies and content delivery platform provide a solution that is complementary to Panasonic’s automotive, business-to-business and business-to-consumer product lines."

Holger Weiss is CEO of Aupeo. Hakan Kostepen is Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America Executive Director of Product Planning & Innovation. Both took part in discussion panels Sunday at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, just a day before the acquisition was announced.

Weiss commented on the deal, "Aupeo was founded with a clear vision to deliver online and seamless content services to internet-connected devices. At that point, we saw the car as our most important focus."

Top Clear Channel, Pandora sales execs to discuss monetizing mobile listening at RAIN Summit in Vegas

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:20am

Last fall's RAIN Summit Europe event really broadened our understanding of the strides and achievements professionals around the world are making in our truly global medium. We're hoping to bring some of our European experience with us to RAIN Summit West with the addition of a new panel: International Trends in Online Audio. [By the way, stay tuned for details on this year's RAIN Summit Europe.]

Joining us on the panel, from Berlin-based AUPEO!, is CEO Holger Weiss (right).

AUPEO! is a personalized Internet radio service, venture capital-backed, and licensed in more than 40 countries around the world. Listeners select stations by theme, genre, or musical mood, as well as "artist stations." The AUPEO! listening experience is powered by a recommendation system that uses a Fraunhofer Institute-developed algorithm that identifies certain musical qualities and automatically assigns genre classification. Free ad-supported streams and ad-free premium subscriptions are available.

Weiss joined AUPEO! in 2010 after working for Nokia. He's a specialist in business development, contract negotiations, strategic alliances, leadership, and sales.

It's clear that Internet radio mobile usage is soaring, but monetizing that listening has remained elusive. It's critical for broadcasters and webcasters to develop new, creative strategies, so we'll hear from three of the brightest in this area for the panel called Profiting from Mobile.

In July, Clear Channel brought Microsoft Advertising executive and 15-year digital media veteran Rick Song aboard as EVP of Digital Sales. At Microsoft, Song (left) led sales initiatives with partner sites like MSN, Xbox, Skype, FoxSports and MSNBC, as well as the company’s digital platforms. He now works with iHeartRadio, in addition to Clear Channel's Strategic Partnerships, National Programming Platforms, and National Advertising Platforms divisions.

Joining Song on the panel is Pandora SVP/Ad Sales Steven Kritzman, himself a former Clear Channel employee (and a RAIN Summit veteran!). Kritzman joined Pandora in 2009 as Director of Sales for the New York and Mid-Atlantic region before his August, 2011 promotion. He sets and executing the U.S. sales strategy for Pandora's digital, network radio, and spot radio businesses, and manages the national sales teams. He recently revealed Pandora's plans to cover the top 25 U.S. markets with local sales forces (see RAIN here).

The Profiting from Mobile panel will be moderated by another RAIN Summit veteran, Michael Theodore of the IAB. Last August the IAB created a new role for Theodore, Vice President, Training and Development, in which he manages and cultivates the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification program (as well as developing and facilitating professional development curricula and training materials). In fall he hosted a series of IAB Digital Audio Agency Days in several markets, to get local digital ad buyers familiar with the capabilities and potential of online radio (see RAIN here).

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting the even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while flights and hotels are still readily available, via the RAIN Summit West page.

European webcaster Aupeo! launches Windows Phone app

Friday, July 27, 2012 - 12:20pm

Aupeo on Windows Phone 7Berlin-based Internet radio service Aupeo! has launched an app for Windows Phone devices. The app offers access to the service's hundreds of genre-, mood- and artist-based customizable radio streams.

"It's a well designed app, and one we believe is well worth checking out," writes WPCentral (here).

You can find more from Aupeo here.

If you're interested in finding out more about Aupeo, the company's CEO Holger Weiss will be a panelist at our upcoming RAIN Summit Europe. Click here to find out more.

 

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