RAIN Summit West panel will examine how webcasters can make money from growing mobile listening

Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 12:30pm

Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics report (see today's coverage) includes analysis that indicates growing Internet radio listening is being driven by listening on mobile devices.

Now, there are special concerns and issues when it comes to monetizing this listening (compared to over-the-air or desktop streaming). This Sunday at RAIN Summit West, our panel "Profiting from Mobile" will address the question "What are the critical elements to making money with mobile?"

Contributing to the panel is Michael Dalfonzo, director of sales and revenue for Abacast, a software/services provider for online radio. Abacast recently launched cloud-based ad-insertion with partner ESPN (see RAIN here), and technology that allows song-skipping on live broadcast streams (more here and here). Dalfonzo (pictured right) is a broadcast radio programming vet, and an experienced consultant and researcher. He was also VP/Sales at Spacial Audio Solutions.

Speaking of ESPN, senior director of distribution & business strategy with ESPN Audio Patrick Polking joins us as well. ESPN Radio is the most-listened-to single live stream of any AM/FM broadcaster in the world, and mobile is an increasingly important component to that audience. ESPN SVP of production/pusiness divisions Traug Keller delivered the RAIN Summit West keynote last year (here), and took the occasion to preview the newly-updated ESPNRadio mobile app. Polking (pictured left) is a former financial analyst and led business development at Found, Inc.

Special thanks to Clear Channel SVP/local digital sales Michelle Savoy, pinch-hitting on the panel for Clear Channel's Rick Song. Before joining Clear Channel in November, Savoy spent over twelve years with Gannett Digital, specializing in revenue building, business development, and ad operations. The company announced today iHeartRadio's "Perfect For" feature and alarm clock function (which were added in January) are now available on the iHeartRadio Android app.

Moderating our "Profiting from Mobile" panel will be the IAB's Michael Theodore. Also speaking, Pandora's Steven Kritzman (more details here).

RAIN Summit West is this Sunday at the LVH Hotel 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

). Very limited space is still available. Links to register are on our RAIN Summit West page.

Net radio matches AM/FM for music listening among 13-35 crowd, says NPD study

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 12:50pm

The NPD Group looked at music listening in a younger (13-35) age range and found "Internet radio services accounted for nearly one-quarter (23%) of the average weekly music listening time," up from 17% a year ago. This nearly matches the 24% that AM/FM attracts for music listening among this age group.

NPD's Music Acquisition Monitor study ran during the fourth quarter of 2012.

More than half of Pandora and iHeartRadio listeners regularly use their mobile phone to listen, and about 20% of those listen in the car.

Not surprisingly, Pandora is winning the race among services. 39% of the 13-35 set regularly listen to Pandora's free streams (2% subscribe to Pandora's premium service). IHeartRadio attracts 11%, Spotify's free radio service 9% (no other competitor hit higher than the 3% mark).

Net radio accounted for just 13% of music listening in the 36-and-older set in the study.

"Driven by mobility and connectivity, music-streaming services are rapidly growing their share of the music listening experience for teens and young adults, at the expense of traditional music listening methods," said NPD SVP/Industry Analysis Russ Crupnick.

Crupnick will present his company's research this Sunday at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas. NPD Group's Music Acquisition Monitor study is available here.

iHeartRadio Music Festival scheduled for 9/20-21 in Vegas

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 12:45pm

Clear Channel has set the dates for its third-annual iHeartRadio Music Festival. The fest will be September 20th and 21st, returning to Las Vegas's MGM Grand Hotel. Clear Channel will announce the line-up in summer.

The festival began in 2011 as a "relaunch" event to promote Clear Channel's online radio service iHeartRadio. Last year, over 17 million people listened and viewed the festival performances, which Clear Channel says generated over a billion "social impressions" and more than 50 million text-to-win contest entries.

Clear Channel is also bringing back the "Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star" contest, where the winning artist or group will perform at the festival.

New iHeartRadio feature adds local news content to Custom Stations

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12:10pm

Clear Channel today introduced a feature to iHeartRadio that allows listeners to add local news, weather, and traffic content to their "Custom Stations" streams.

The new feature is called "Add-Ins," and uses content from Clear Channel broadcast properties.

"Custom Stations" is the iHeartRadio feature that allows listeners to generate personalized audio streams based on their personal music preferences (a la Pandora).

Once the listener has enabled the feature in Account Settings, "Add-Ins" will automatically pinpoint their location -– or users can set an alternate location by entering a zip code under the manual "Add-Ins" settings.

Research firm listens in on social media to find genre and geography preferences among Net radio services

Friday, February 15, 2013 - 12:05pm

Research firm Fizziology found that while Pandora dominates other music services on social media, iHeartRadio seems to especially appeal to Top 40 listeners.

Pandora users mentioned the service on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs over 1.9 million times over a three week period (1/7-1/31). To compare, webcasters like Songza and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio had fewer than 50-thousand mentions.

However, "users of iHeartRadio talked about Top 40 artists the most during the three-week period. 28% of all posts mentioning an artist referred to those with songs on the Top 40 chart," Fizziology's Patrick McMullen wrote. "It seems that Top 40 listeners are the type who like to set-it and forget-it when it comes to listening to music online."

In addition to Top 40, iHeartRadio users talked about hip hop and country music the most on social media. Pandora, with both a significantly large audience and a wide span of musical offerings, "could perhaps serve as a sample of the online music listening population as a whole," McMullen suggested. Pandora listeners most often mentioned hip hop/rap (31%), pop (24%), and R&B (17%) music on social media. Fizziology found Songza listeners mentioned more genres of music than any other service's listeners, "possibly due to the streaming algorithms based more on groove than genre." Songza users mentioned pop (28%), R&B (19%) and Top 40 artists (16%) the most, but also bluegrass (1%), blues (1%), jazz (1%) and world music (1%).

McMullen also recently penned a guest piece for Digital Media Wire, in which he revealed his company's findings on geographical preferences for various services. While Pandora and Spotify dominate in every region of the U.S., digging deeper reveals some interesting regionality. "Rdio is the least popular music service, but creative communities and the West coast specifically seem to have taken a liking to the service much more than the rest of the nation," McMullen found. "On the contrary, iHeartRadio is much more popular in the South than it is in creative communities or the West coast."

Read more from Fizziology here and in Digital Media Wire here.

New Sprint app bundle "Entertain Me" adds iHeartRadio, Slacker, Spotify to some Android phones

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 1:45pm

U.S. wireless carrier Sprint announced that select new Android and Windows phones will enable FM radio listening by way of the NextRadio tuner app.

To be clear: the phones will receive on-air, FM broadcast content (as opposed to streaming via the data network).

The NextRadio app, developed by Emmis Digital and announced in November, will enable "backchannel" data that will allow broadcasters to supply additional information ("now playing data," images to accompany ads, for instance). This data link will also allow communication in the other direction (for the listener to interact with programming).

Unrelated to the FM radio news, Sprint also announced a streaming app bundle called "Entertain Me" for the "Sprint Zone" on Android phones. "Enterain Me" will include apps for iHeartRadio, Slacker, Spotify, and Sprint Music Plus (downloads and ringtones) -- as well as other entertainment options.

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