"International" RAIN Summit West panel a preview of our May European event

Monday, April 1, 2013 - 1:00pm

In anticipation of our second annual RAIN Summit Europe (May 23 at Hotel Bloom in Brussels, details here), we're adding a global perspective to our RAIN Summit West program with the "International Trends in Online Audio" panel. And we're honored to have several leading Internet radio and digital music CEOs taking part.

In February we announced AUPEO! CEO Holger Weiss as a panelist (announced in RAIN here) to help us explore the realities of streaming radio outside North America.

To moderate the "International Trends in Online Audio," we'll be joined by Ali Abhary, CEO of Spectrum Medya, one of Turkey's leading radio broadcasters. Abhary (right) is also founder of Biletix, Turkey's leading entertainment ticketing company, and one of that country's first and most successful Internet startups (it's now owned by Ticketmaster/Live Nation). Abhary was a panelist at our first RAIN Summit Europe last year in Berlin.

Hong T. Lau is CEO of Live365, and will join the panel. A graduate of the London School of Business with an MBA, Hong (left) has held a number of senior positions in North America and Asia in diverse industries, including that of managing director with the Jim Pattison Group. He has extensive experience in finance, acquisitions, and corporate growth strategies.

Also on board is Paramdeep Singh, Executive Chairman and one of the co-founders of Saavn, a digital distributor of Bollywood and Tamil Cinema music. Under Paramdeep's leadership, Saavn has secured partnerships with the top film production and music houses in India, and amassed the largest legitimate Bollywood music catalog available directly to end users online. Singh (lower right) graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Tufts University with degrees in International Relations, Economics and Entrepreneurship.

Thierry Ascarez, Radionomy VP/Business Development, rounds out the panel. Ascarez has been based in San Francisco since the company's September U.S. launch, and was once the compnay's Marketing & Communications director. Prior to joining Radionomy (which also has offices in Brussels and Paris), Ascarez (lower left) worked in promotions and digital sales for the EMI music group.

RAIN Summit West is this Sunday 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 event will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today via the RAIN Summit West page. And look for the RAIN Reader Discount Code in the P.S. of your RAIN Daily e-mail (subscribe here)

Arbiton Mobile and iResearch to open mobile research service in China

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 1:20pm

Mobile consumer in ChinaArbitron Mobile and iResearch Consulting have partnered to operate a mobile media research service in China, the world's largest smartphone market.

The companies hope to provide marketers, content providers, app developers and wireless services with information about how mobile consumers in China use apps, engage in advertising and generally use their devices. Arbitron and iResearch will create a panel of around 10,000 people who will install special tracking software on their smartphones and tablets.

You can find the companies' press release here.

iHeartRadio-powering Echo Nest raises $17m for international expansion

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 12:00pm

The Echo NestThe Echo Nest -- the music data service that powers companies like iHeartRadio, Spotify, eMusic, VEVO, MOG and others -- has raised $17 million in a new round of financing. "The round brings Echo Nest’s total funding to just over $27 million, making it one of the most-funded music data companies out there," reports TechCrunch.

Echo Nest CEO Jim Lucchese says the new investment will help the company focus on global expansion. They've seen "a big spike in inbound interest from international developers and music companies, particularly in South American and Eastern Europe."

TechCrunch has more coverage here.

After five year absence, Pandora once again streaming to Australia and New Zealand listeners

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 12:25pm

Pandora in Australia and New ZealandPandora in late June tentatively opened its doors to users in Australia and New Zealand. Dubbed a "beta launch" by founder Tim Westergren, the expansion for now only includes Pandora's website -- not its mobile apps. Additionally, Australians and New Zealanders won't be subject to advertisements...for now.

"Our focus is to have conversations with those listeners to understand and get their feedback about the service," said CEO Joe Kennedy.

Pandora closed access to most international users in 2007 due to licensing issues. The new international expansion may be "aimed at luring new users while allaying investor concerns that it may struggle to grow outside the U.S.," reports Bloomberg Businessweek

"You can’t imagine how delighted we are to be able to start streaming Pandora into Australia," said Westergren.

You can find more coverage from Bloomberg Businessweek here and The Register here.

UK grocery giant Tesco acquires "Pandora of Europe" Net radio service we7

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 11:15am

we7British grocery giant Tesco has acquired streaming music service we7 for £10.8m.

Billed as the "Pandora of Europe," we7 decided in September 2011 to discontinue its on-demand offerings in favor a customizable Internet radio service. Its original backers include Peter Gabriel (RAIN coverage here and here).

The question you may be asking at this point, as TechCrunch asks in its headline, is: "What the heck is a grocery store doing buying a music streaming service?" 

The Guardian reports Tesco is one of the UK's largest CD retailers, so the company may be trying to stay one step ahead of consumers who are increasingly abandoning CDs, as TechCrunch writes. Tesco's digital director said, "This move will help us offer a greater choice for the growing number of customers who want to access music instantly on any device." 

"It’s reminiscent of Amazon’s digital strategy, of which Tesco is now surely a competitor," argues TechCrunch, "and ties in nicely with the retailer’s purchase last year of another UK startup, Blinkbox, which lets users stream Hollywood movies on-demand on the same day as their DVD release."

We7 gains potential exposure to a huge audience. "Not only is Tesco the UK’s largest retailer, it has around 5,000 stores worldwide, and operates in 14 countries, with a decent online presence too," writes TechCrunch.

You can find more coverage from the Guardian here and TechCrunch here.

Japanese web radio aggregator Radiko surpasses 10 million monthly listeners

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 12:25pm

Radiko for iPhoneRadiko, a Japanese Internet radio aggregator, says it attracted nearly 10.5 million listeners in April. That's reportedly up 50% year-over-year.

The service offers station streams from 65 broadcasters across Japan. It launched in March 2010.

The Japan Times writes that Radiko "has been growing in popularity since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which generated renewed interest in radio as a means of collecting information during disasters."

Radiko also points to the spread of smartphones as a contributor to its growth. The service offers apps for Android and Apple mobile devices. You can find more coverage from the Japan Times here.

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