iHeartRadio

Yahoo! will stream iHeart fest in HD; performances also available on Xbox and Clear Channel stations

Friday, September 21, 2012 - 11:25am

The iHeartRadio Music festival opens tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and will feature performances from Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, Rihanna, Usher, Bon Jovi, Brad Paisley, Lil Wayne, Green Day, Swedish House Mafia, No Doubt, Pitbull, deadmau5, Miranda Lambert, Calvin Harris, Enrique Iglesias, Linkin Park, Jason Aldean, P!nk and Mary J. Blige.  This week superstar performer Shakira bowed out of the 2-day event, announcing she's pregnant.

Also this week Yahoo! announced it will stream the concert live in HD. The show will also be broadcast on Clear Channel radio stations and streamed to the Xbox.

It's the second-annual iHeartRadio concert. The first coincided with the launch of the Clear Channel-owned Internet and mobile radio initiative, iHeartRadio.

Audio from RAIN Summit Dallas keynote: Clear Channel's Tim Castelli

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 1:30pm

Tim CastelliClear Channel President of National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships Tim Castelli delivered the keynote address of RAIN Summit Dallas on Tuesday. His presentation focused on how digital and mobile can benefit and "bring the sexy back" to radio (channeling a little Justin Timberlake).

In particular, he emphasized that "digital is additive to our listening and brands," and that mobile is "the best opportunity for radio" right now.

You can listen to Tim's full presentation below. Thanks to SoundCloud for hosting the audio!

ESPN Audio, Pandora share 2012 "Best Overall" RAIN Award

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 1:30pm

Kurt HansonESPN Audio and Pandora were named dual winners of the "Best Overal Online Radio Service" in the 2012 RAIN Internet Radio Awards, announced today in Dallas. The awards, presented by a tuxedo-ed RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson, capped yesterday's successful RAIN Summit event.

Both services received perfect scores across the segment of our judges panel that reviewed them. It was Pandora's third consecutive "Best Overall" award, and one of two on the day for ESPN (ESPNRadio.com was named "Best Streaming Broadcast Station"). Pandora founder Tim Westergren was on-hand to accept his company's award; ESPN Radio Director of Digital and Print Media Revenue and Operations Cory Smith accepted ESPN's awards (pictured left; who also spoke at RAIN Summit). 

Cory Smith with ESPN's awards

The "Best Overall Digital Strategy" Award went to Clear Channel's digital service iHeartRadio (accepted by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and SVP of iHeartRadio Network Owen Grover, who spoke at the Summit). And congratulations to Dallas-based webcaster RoothogRadio.com for being named the 2012 "Best Single-Stream Webcaster."

Special congratulations to Ezra Kucharz, President, Local Digital Media at CBS (pictured at right), for his special recognition with Triton Digital's RAINMaker Achievement Award.

Since 2010, the RAIN Internet Radio Awards have recognized the achievements and the best practices of the Internet radio industry.

Look for more coverage from RAIN Summit Dallas (and search #RAINSummit on Twitter), including audio, soon from RAIN.

Glenn Beck and Clear Channel to launch online talk radio channel

Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 12:05pm

TheBlazePundit Glenn Beck has partnered with Clear Channel to launch "The Blaze Radio Network," an online talk radio stream that will be the home of talk personality Jay Severin.

The channel will stream from Beck's The Blaze website, and via an iPhone/iPad app and the iHeartRadio app. In addition to Severin's show, the new channel will include a simulcast of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," another show called "Pat & Stu" hosted by Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray, and audio simulcasts of shows by TheBlaze TV, Glenn Beck's media enterprise.

According to the company, "TheBlaze now combines one of the world’s largest subscription streaming video networks, a website that generates over 9 million unique visitors per month, a radio network, a curated marketplace platform to help local small businesses reach consumers across the country and a monthly magazine."

"The Blaze Radio Network" is scheduled to launch later this month.

The press release is 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.

RAIN examines restrictions and waivers for web streams that play small number of artists

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 9:35am

iHeartRadio's All Beatles & Stones Radio station

Clear Channel's iHeartRadio has launched a new non-customizable stream called "All Beatles & Stones Radio." As its name suggests, the stream plays only music by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Inside Radio reports the station is a part of iHeartRadio's "Back To School" line-up of stations, one for every letter of the alphabet. "All Beatles & Stones" represents the letter A. Other featured artists will apparently include Passion Pit ("P"), Bananarama and the Bangles ("B"), Lupe Fasco ("L") and others. RAIN could not find these other stations on iHeartRadio's website (besides the custom radio stations for each artist). Inside Radio refers to them as iHeartRadio Original stations, but they do not appear at time of publication on iHeartRadio's Originals page (here).

iHeartRadio recently playedThe "All Beatles & Stones" stream -- which does not allow the user to skip songs -- includes nothing but Beatles and Rolling Stones music, sometimes with songs by the same artist back-to-back. The music is only broken-up by an occassional short identifier.

But most webcasters aren't allowed to do this. After all, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) imposes limits on the use of music within Internet radio streams for webcasters that intend to use the statutory license. For example, webcasters are not allowed to play more than 4 songs by the same artist in a 3 hour period -- a rule iHeartRadio's Beatles/Stones stream broke several times just during the composition of this article.

"These limits were placed seemingly to make it more difficult for listeners to copy songs, or for Internet radio stations to become a substitute for music sales," writes industry attorney David Oxenford (pictured below), now a partner with Wilkinson Barker Knauer. He outlines some of the other DMCA restrictions in the Broadcast Law Blog here.

However, it turns out the NAB negotiated with the four major music labels and A2IM in 2009 to waive some of these limits, including that 4-songs-by-the-same-artist rule. Those agreements were a part of the NAB's settlement with SoundExchange which set royalty rates through 2015 at a discount from what was decided by the Copyright Royalty Board (as was permitted by the Webcaster Settlement Acts; read more in RAIN here).

David Oxenford

However, as Oxenford wrote in 2009 (here) after reviewing each agreement between the NAB and labels, these waivers apply to web streams of over-the-air and HD-2 stations. They "do not cover Internet-only channels that a broadcaster may program on its website." It's possible Clear Channel is broadcasting the "All Beatles & Stones Radio" channel as an HD-2 or over-the-air station somewhere, in which case the DMCA restrictions would most likely not apply.

Additionally though, the DMCA's restrictions are only waived "insofar as the broadcaster does not 'depart materially from today's range of typical over-the-air radio programming practices,' citing specifically the practices of having DJs talk between songs and stations running commercials and PSAs between songs." Does the "Beatles & Stones" station's back-to-back music line-up, with only ocassional short identifiers, "depart materially" from today's "typical over-the-air radio programming practices"?

Other restrictions in some of the agreements, such as not streaming more than half the songs from an album or CD at any time within a 3 hour period, would make stations focusing on new artists with relatively small discographies like Passion Pit potentially difficult.

You can listen to iHeartRadio's "All Beatles & Stones Radio" station here. You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletter here.

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