Internet radio

Pandora now available via DIRECTV HD DVRs

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 12:30pm

DIRECTV satellite television customers can now access and control Pandora music streams via their television and associated audio components via DIRECTV's HD DVR (connected to the Internet).

The companies announced the launch of the service yesterday, which allows customers to access their existing personal Pandora channels as well as create new ones.  The feature includes the ability to play Pandora audio over video content.

Note that Pandora is already available to home users via dozens of devices like Blu-ray players, HD televisions, home theater receivers, various digital media set-top boxes, and the Sony Entertainment Network (more on this here).

Read more from Pandora here or DIRECTV here.

Fans identify DJs as one of AM/FM's "big advantages" over web radio

Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 12:20pm

Edison's slide on Internet radio servicesMore than half of Country radio P1s have heard of Pandora, according to new data from Edison Research. About the same percentage point to DJs as one of AM/FM's primary advantages over Internet radio.

The information was presented yesterday by Edison Co-founder and President Larry Rosin at the Country Radio Seminar.

Edison's survey of 1,000 Country radio fans found that 53% of P1s had heard of Pandora and 6% "frequently" listen to it. Comparitively, 64% of non-Country P1s had heard of Pandora and 13% use it frequently (both compared to 67%/56% who say they listen to AM/FM frequently, respectively).

The survey also asked respondents about iHeartRadio: 23% of Country P1s had heard of the service, with 2% using it frequently. For non-Country P1s, the percentages were 31% and 2%. Finally, 8% of Country P1s had heard of Spotiy, compared to 15% of non-Country P1s.

What keeps Country radio fans listening to AM/FM stations? "Live, local DJs are one of the big advantages that radio has over Internet and satellite outlets... Both P1s and non-P1s are generally equally as enthusiastic about DJs. Half of both groups say that DJs are a prime reason that AM/FM radio is better than internet radio," said Rosin.

"I have watched with bemusement as the radio industry has engaged in a philosophical discussion of 'what is radio?' Who cares? DJs, in my opinion, are the only real competitive advantage we have [in terrestrial radio]. Every time we voice track a daypart or fire an air personality, we are shaving away our competitive advantage."

You can find more coverage in Radio-Info here. Edison Research has posted its presentation slides and videos online here.


Friday fun: Sonos' "The History of Radio" timeline

Friday, February 10, 2012 - 11:25am

Streaming radio device manufacturer Sonos has a pretty neat graphic in its Sonos Blog. "The History of Radio" is a winding timeline beginning in 1892 with Tesla's first experiments, through the evolution of the radio industry, up to today's latest technology.

The timeline is divided into six segments, the last of which begins in 1990 with the Birth of Internet Radio.

Read the Sonos Blog and see "The History of Radio" here (or click the image, which is a fragment of the entire chart).



Clear Channel CEO Pittman discusses radio, mobile, and social media with AllThingsDigital

Friday, February 10, 2012 - 11:25am

AllThingsDigital's Kara Swisher interviewed Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman last week at D: Dive Into Media. You can see video of the entire half-hour video here.

When talking about Internet radio and iHeartRadio, Pittman mostly stuck to his official stances ("radio" and Pandora are two very different things, personalized streaming is simply a "feature" of iHeartRadio, not a focus, etc.). He did make a few interesting, though perhaps not entirely surprising, points:

  • Most of listening via the iHeartRadio app is to streams of broadcast stations, not the personalized radio.
  • Likewise, by far the most listening to station streams is via the radio stations' websites, not the app.
  • Pittman likened Pandora more to Spotify and iTunes as "music collections" and even "retailing," and though Clear Channel offers personalized streaming, stressed that this is "not what we do... it doesn't play to our core strengths." He also hit on the difficulty the company has had with consumer acceptance of advertising on personalized streams.
  • Finally, Pittman did stress the importance of making their franchises available "wherever our listeners are," and that's the value of iHeartRadio as an aggregator.

Again, see the interview here.

Canadian telecom Shaw gives customers 15 commercial-free channels of "cultural music"

Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 11:00am

Canadian television, Internet, and telephone company Shaw Communications has unveiled fifteen branded commercial-free online music channels, powered by Galaxie Music.

While there are a couple "usual suspects" formats among the offerings ("Canadian Indie," "Headbangers," "Hip Hop"), most of the channels are dedicated to contemporary Asian genres ("Guangdong," "Punjabi," "Bollywood Hits," "Mando Pop") and other "cultural music."

Galaxie is the music content provider owned by Montreal-based Stingray Digital, who last year struck a deal with Canadian label-group Music Canada to pay $0.002 CAD per performance (see our coverage here) for the streaming rights to copyright recordings. In August, Stingray launched 45 commercial-free, subscription-based streaming music channels for mobile devices. These channels were branded as Galaxie for various cable and satellite television services.

Shaw's branded versions of the Galaxie channels will be made available on Shaw's television service as well. In total, 55 Galaxie music stations are now available to Shaw Digital TV customers for free.

In October, Astral Radio announced its on-demand music streaming service (see RAIN here, with more recent coverage here), offering "niche format channels" and "personalized streaming music." Just last month, the CBC announced it had forged a licensing deal that will enable it to launch its own digital music service (our coverage is here). Read more about Shaw's announcement here.

Kamp signs on with Backbone Networks full time

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 11:00am

After several years of working with the company in a consulting capacity, Paul Kamp has announced he's joing Internet radio automation software and service provider Backbone Networks full-time to help develop business opportunities and partnerships. 

As VP/Business Development, "...I will be focusing on not only bringing more stations into our existing college and high school radio network, but also helping organizations build new, specialized networks based on their distinct interests and objectives," he announced. "I will be paying particular attention to fostering relationships with technology partners, content providers, underwriters and advertisers..."

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