Once again, Pandora named Best Overall in RAIN Internet Radio Awards

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

(from yesterday's late edition, edited)
Nothing like ending the day on an "up" note. For the fourth straight year, leading webcaster Pandora has been named the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio Best Overall Online Radio Service.

The Awards were presented at the conclusion of yesterday's RAIN Summit Orlando.

Pandora's prize follows a series of somewhat less pleasant developments for the webcaster. For starters, today is the launch of what will very likely prove to be Pandora's greatest competitive threat yet: Apple's iTunes Radio. Monday, Pandora publicly warned share holders that the rapid listening and revenue growth it's enjoyed these past few years will likely be slowing. And Tuesday, RAIN Summit keynote speaker Entercom CEO David Field questioned the veracity of Pandora's reported listening numbers. Perhaps the kudos came at a good time.

Pandora has dominated the award the way it dominates the online streaming space, taking it all four years since RAIN began the awards in 2010 (last year it shared the "overall" award with ESPN Radio).

Congratulations to tuning/aggregator service TuneIn for capturing the Best Overall Digital Strategy prize. The award for International Excellence in Online Audio went to online radio hosting service Radionomy. Boston's WEEI-FM won the award for Best Streaming Broadcast Station. And the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio Award for Best Single Stream Webcaster went to Christian rocker The Blast.

More than 100 services entered the Awards this year. Winners were determined by an independent panel of industry expert judges.

Triton Digital, which sponsors the awards, gave its 2013 RAINMaker Award for individual achievement to Ali Abhary, CEO of Spectrum Medya in Turkey.

Look for more coverage of RAIN Summit Orlando soon.

TuneIn to stream audio of today's Summit event

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 12:00pm

(from earlier today:)
Welcome to Florida, for RAIN Summit Orlando.

Kurt Hanson, Jennifer Lane, and Brad Hill of (the newly-christened) RAIN Enterprises welcome you to Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek Resort for today's event. We hope you find it interesting and beneficial.

We're very happy to announce that once again live audio from the event will be available via TuneIn, using Backbone Networks technology. You can begin listening when the Summit begins at 12N ET here.

The day's first panel, Alternative Revenue Strategies, will look at other ways ad-supported webcasters can make money in addition to CPM-based audio ad campaigns. We're happy to have Inside Radio's Paul Heine moderating, and he'll speak with Pandora's Dan Weiner, Ted Gurley of Univision, Matt Cutair of Dial Global, and LDR Interactive's Daniel Anstandig.

Entercom Communications president and CEO David Field steps up to the podium at 1:30p ET to deliver the RAIN Summit Orlando keynote address. Last week Field publicly supported the announced royalty deal between Clear Channel and Warner Music Group (more in RAIN here).

Later, GroupM Next will present their most-recent research findings on the future of streaming radio. That's at 2:50p ET.  Kurt Hanson has his State of the Industry address scheduled for 4:15p ET.

The Summit closes with the presentation of the fourth-annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards. You can review this year's finalists here, including those in the brand-new "International" category. After, we hope you'll join us for the RAIN Reader Cocktail Party on the terrace of the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, sponsored by Pandora and RCS Works.

The full Summit agenda and speakers list is here. Please join the conversation on Twitter (follow RAIN Summits)  and use the hastag #RAINSummit or #RSO) and on the RAIN Summits Facebook page. We'll have coverage of RAIN Summit Orlando beginning tomorrow in RAIN.

RAIN Summit tomorrow: Streaming music, connected cars, ads & revenue, two keynotes and Internet Radio Awards

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 10:55am

RAIN Summit Orlando takes place tomorrow, September 17, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, from noon to 5:30. The day will conclude with the ever-popular RAIN Reader Cocktail party. 

Registration remains open for what is the preeminent educational and networking conference for the Internet radio and online audio space. This edition of the RAIN Summit features five panel discussions, two keynotes, a research presentation on the Internet radio marketplace, and the bestowal of RAIN’s Internet Radio Awards.

Kurt Hanson, RAIN founder, will deliver his annual “State of the Industry” address. David Field, President and CEO of Entercom Communications, will also keynote the event.

Revenue is a strong focus of the day, with three panels concentrating on ads in the digital space: Alternate Revenue Strategies, The Ad Insertion Panel, and Building a Top Digital Sales Team. The automobile, as an unconquered frontier for interactive audio, will be given its due in the “Race to the Dashboard” panel. The day’s final session (but stay for the awards and the cocktails), Streaming Music Trends, examines listener habits and genre programming.

See the full speaker list and session agenda here, and see you tomorrow!

RAIN Awards winners will be revealed at RAIN Summit Orlando Sept. 17

Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:45am

Right after the July 4th holiday we opened the competition for the fourth annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards, and began accepting applications from radio stations, pureplay webcast services, and stream aggregators from around the world. Judges began reviewing those submissions last month, and last week we revealed those semi-finalists that had made it to the second round of consideration.

Today, we'd like to announce those services that have advanced to the round of finalists, from amongst which our judges will choose the winner of each category's award.

The RAIN Internet Radio Awards were created to recognize the achievements of webcasters and broadcasters in our innovative and quickly-growing field. This year, we added a fifth award, for International Excellence in Online Audio. As always, we'll announce the winners and present the awards at the RAIN Summits fall event in conjunction with the RAB/NAB Radio Show -- this year in Orlando on September 17th.

Congratulations and good luck to all the 2013 finalists:

Best Single Stream Webcaster

Best Streaming Broadcast Station

Best Overall Digital Strategy

International Excellence in Online Audio

Best Overall Online Radio Service

Read more about the RAIN Internet Radio Awards here. All of our latest info on RAIN Summit Orlando, including speaker list, panel and presentation descriptions, and registration link, is here.

It's down to these ten for 2013's "Best Streaming Broadcaster" RAIN Award

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 9:00am

Continuing our coverage of RAIN Awards semi-finalists, today we reveal those entrants advancing to the next round for the "Best Streaming Broadcaster."

We'll present the fourth annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards on September 17 at RAIN Summit Orlando. So far this week, we're announced the semi-finalists for the categories of "Best Single Stream Webcaster" (see them here) and "Best Overall Digital Strategy" (here).

Congratulations to these semi-finalists, limited to AM or FM broadcasters that stream online, from which our judges will determine the station that has executed the best streaming strategy. This award was one of two ESPN Radio took home last year (it also shared "Best Overall Online Radio Service" with Pandora -- and it's in the running again to defend its crown). Other previous winners were CJNW "Hot 107"/Edmonton (2011) and 1500 AM ESPN/Minneapolis-St. Paul (2010).

Click the links below to visit each station's site and tune in, and see why we feel they deserve further consideration for a RAIN Award:

We'll reveal the finalists for all five categories next week. Thanks to all the services that entered our Awards this year.

We created the RAIN Internet Radio Awards to better recognize the achievements and the best practices of our industry, and have presented them at the last three RAIN Summit fall events. Read more about the Awards here.

RAIN Summit Orlando -- an Official Partner Event to The Radio Show produced by the NAB and RAB -- looks to continue our tradition of hosting the industry's premiere learning, sharing, and networking events. Entercom president and CEO David Field will keynote. The day will also include panel discussions, a research presentation from GroupM Next, and RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson's State of the Industry address. More information, and the registration link, for RAIN Summit Orlando is here.

A new RAIN Awards category this year, and can Pandora be unseated for top honors?

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 11:35am

Today we wrap up our unveiling of the semi-finalists for the fourth annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards. Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to those making it to the final round.

[Earlier this week we announced the semi-finalists in the categories of "Best Single Stream Webcaster," "Best Overall Digital Strategy," and "Best Streaming Broadcaster."]

We'll present the Awards at the conclusion of RAIN Summit Orlando on September 17.

This year we added a new category to the Awards, "International Excellence in Online Audio," to recognize the great services not based in the U.S. One of these five services will win the inaugural "International" award this year:

  • Absolute Radio (UK): A national pop and rock radio station
  • Deezer (France): A web-based music streaming service
  • Medya (Turkey): A national broadcaster
  • Premier Radio (Russian Federation): A broadcaster from the city of Vologda
  • Radionomy (Belgium, France): A platform for pros and music fans to create, market, and monetize their own streaming radio channels

The final award, for "Best Overall Online Radio Service," goes to the service that provides the best overall online listener experience, based on programming, technology, popularity, visual appeal, ease of use, operational sustainability, integration of advertising assets (if applicable), and other criteria. Eligible services include single-channel and multichannel "online only" operations or streaming broadcast stations.

This award has been captured by leading webcaster Pandora every year (though it shared the honor last year with ESPN Radio -- that's ESPN Radio Director of Digital and Print Media Revenue and Operations Cory Smith pictured last year in Dallas) since the RAIN Internet Radio Awards began in 2010. And, it's a semi-finalist again this year. Can one of the other nine unseat the reigning champ?

  • 8tracks: Webcaster and social networking service that streams user-curated playlists at least 8 tracks long
  • AUPEO! : Personalized Internet radio available in more than 40 countries
  • Digitally Imported: Highly-rated, listener-supported electronic dance music webcaster that features DJ-curated sets and live shows
  • ESPN Radio: the U.S.-based leader in sports
  • iHeartRadio: Clear Channel's multi-feature Internet radio platform
  • New York Public Radio: home of "Radiolab," "Freakonomics Radio," and "Here's the Thing" with Alec Baldwin
  • Pandora: The industry's leading webcaster, which now has over 7% of all U.S. radio listening
  • The online platform of CBS Radio
  • Radio Energy / NRJ: French broadcaster and founding station of the NRJ International network
  • Slacker: Second only in listening to Pandora for pureplay Internet radio services, Slacker also offers a music-subscription/on-demand service

Next week, we'll winnow down the semi-finalists in all five categories to reveal the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio Awards finalists.

September 17th RAIN Summit Orlando -- an Official Partner Event to The Radio Show produced by the NAB and RAB -- looks to continue our tradition of hosting the industry's premiere learning, sharing, and networking events. Entercom president and CEO David Field will keynote. The day will also include panel discussions, a research presentation from GroupM Next, and RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson's State of the Industry address. More information, and the registration link, for RAIN Summit Orlando is here.

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