Internet radio

RAIN highlights Halloween stations from Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Live365, AccuRadio, niche broadcasters and more

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 11:00am

HalloweenRadio.netHalloween is here and webcasters all across the Internet are getting in on the fun. From the heavy-hitters down to niche broadcasters, there should be plenty to keep Internet radio fans busy all day long.

Pandora this year has a whole line-up of Halloween channels, from tunes for a party to Goth music and Ghostly Grooves. Find them here.

Slacker offers a Halloween channel (find it on their homepage here), as does AccuRadio here.

Meanwhile, aggregator TuneIn Radio has put together a list of over 40 Halloween streams including AOL Radio, SomaFM and even a stream of Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" 1938 radio broadcast. You can find TuneIn Radio's listing here.

For even more ghoulish web radio fun, check out Live365. They've assembled 28 Halloween stations, including "Horror Old Time Radio" and "Very Vintage Halloween." Find Live365's listing by clicking "Seasonal/Holiday," then "Halloween" from their homepage here.

There are plenty of dedicated Halloween-only webcasters as well. Some of the best include HalloweenRadio.net (pictured), Never Ending Wonder and the 13th Track.

Did we overlook a Halloween stream worth mentioning? Let us know by commenting on this story!

From iTunes to iPad, RAIN highlights how Jobs impacted web radio

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 12:00pm

Steve JobsYesterday Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, passed away. It's difficult to overstate Jobs' impact on the world -- from PCs to film to digital music and beyond. Today RAIN looks back at just some of the ways Jobs impacted Internet radio.

1) iTunes (January 2001)
An "all-in-one digital music program," the now ubiquitous media program included (as it still does) an Internet radio section. It brought hundreds of streams under one roof and exposed them to a mainstream user base. 

2) AirPlay / AirTunes (first released June 2004)
"Listen to music from all over your house from your mobile device," said Steve Jobs when introducing AirPlay -- a wireless music system that lets users stream music from iTunes, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches to special receivers around the house. AirPlay supports audio from just about any Internet radio app and can stream to any stereo receiver hooked up with an AirPort Express (in addition to Apple TVs and special third-party receivers).

3) iPhone (January 2007) + App Store (July 2008)
"Before the iPhone," writes Billboard, "custom Internet radio, subscription music...among others, had yet to find their legs and their lack of mobility inhibited their ability to grow." But together, the widely-popular iPhone and App Store created a "platform that freed web-based music services from the chains of the computer and let them enter the real world...mobile usage of Pandora, Slacker, Rhapsody and Shazam skyrocketed, bringing users a renewed enthusiasm for music."

The mainstream popularity of the iPhone exposed new consumers to customizable Internet radio. "The iPhone placed web and traditional radio head-to-head, in a face off that continues today. Without it, Pandora and Slacker may not have become household names and many listeners would've never felt the pleasure of personalized music recommendations." (Billboard's full article is here).

4) Apple TV (March 2007)
Though of course geared towards video content, Internet radio was also included in Apple TV, exposing hundreds of streams to yet more consumers.

5) iTunes Genius (September 2008)
Since the debut of the iPod, anyone could create what amounted to their own personal radio station by simply clicking "Shuffle." With iTunes Genius, Steve Jobs made iPods and iTunes a smarter DJ. Genius creates Pandora-like playlists of music similar to a specified song. It also analyzes your library and creates personal genre mixes based on what music you own. Pandora on the iPad

6) iPod Nano, 5th gen (September 2009)
The fifth-generation iPod Nano include, among many new features, an FM radio tuner. The sixth generation generation Nano also includes an FM tuner.

7) iPad (January 2010)
Originally heralded as "the oversized iPhone," Apple's much-hyped tablet device provided yet another platform for Internet radio apps...but with a twist. That looming 9.7 inch screen called for more than just album art and metadata, prompting many webcasters to introduce new visual features to their mobile apps.

How else do you think Steve Jobs affected Internet radio? Did we overlook a service or product? Let us know by commenting on the story below.

Analysts say iHeartRadio success makes Pittman smart choice to tap web radio's potential as CC CEO

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 12:30pm
Bob Pittman
 
Bob Pittman's Internet radio successes thus far make his appointment as CEO a smart move, analysts write. Especially because one of his primary tasks will be to "fend off a relative newcomer" in Pandora, Crain's writes, while tapping the promise of web radio -- "the fastest growing part of radio" with "the biggest potential for growth."
 
Billboard writes that Pittman's appointment "signals a new era in digital music...Clear Channel now has a smarter, more aggressive digital plan" (more here).
 
Crain's concurs (here), writing that Pittman has whipped iHeartRadio into shape and "raised Clear Channel's profile in the digital realm."

Sonic Seeds aims to "provide better recommendations" than Pandora, but not there yet

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 12:30pm
Sonic Seeds is a new webcaster with Pandora-like personalization
 
Sonic Seeds is a new Internet radio service that aims to take on Pandora. Indeed, the service does allow users to create personalized radio stations based on artists or songs. Sonic Seeds even allows users to select multiple artists, songs and genres in the station creation process -- an appealing feature that in theory should allow for stations better personalized to each user. 
 
Sonic Seeds further emulates Pandora with the familiar thumbs-up and -down song ratings. The service offers unique features too, like a Music Universe chart showing how songs relate to each other...maybe. Honestly, most of Sonic Seeds is rather confusing.
 
However, despite claiming that it can "generate better targeted channels" than Pandora, Sonic Seeds doesn't create good radio stations (as CNet also found, here).
 
For example, a station spawned with The Shins (a popular indie rock group) resulted in music from Limp Bizkit, Puddle of Mudd, 70s easy rock and a track from a "doo wop sensations" compilation. After 10 songs, we didn't hear The Shins once -- or anything remotely similar to them.
 
The flexibility of being able to create a station using any combination of artists, songs and genres is appealing, but not if the resulting stations are unlistenable.
 
As CNet concludes: "this thing's not as close to ready for the public as the press release lets on...at the moment I don't see a compelling competitor here to existing music recommendation or subscription services." -- MS

CBS Radio adding 45 new channels to Radio.com

Monday, October 3, 2011 - 11:00am

CBS Radio's Radio.com
CBS Radio will add 45 new web radio channels to Radio.com, Radio-Info reports, in part filling in gaps that will be left when AOL Radio migrates to Slacker (RAIN coverage here). The stations will focus on genres including "mainstream formats as well as reggae, blues, reggaeton" and others, writes Radio-Info.
 
One station, called Tomorrow's Hits Today, will be programmed using the results of pre-release online music testing from UK-based research firm SoundOut Research. Find more coverage from Radio-Info here.

Promotion an endorsement of Pittman's digital initiatives, says company

Monday, October 3, 2011 - 11:00am

Bob Pittman, new CEO of Clear Channel Media Holdings

Bob Pittman has been named CEO of CC Media Holdings -- Clear Channel's parent company -- effective immediately. The company told RAIN the appointment is an endorsement of Pittman's digital initiatives, including building out web radio platform iHeartRadio.

"He has already generated a renewed sense of confidence and direction not only at Clear Channel, but across the entire radio and media landscape,” said Scott Sperling, co-president of THL Partners.

Pittman joined Clear Channel in November 2010 as an investor and Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms (RAIN coverage here). Since then Clear Channel has relaunched iHeartRadio as a customizable web radio service (powered in part by the acquisition of Thumbplay in March, more here). That new service will soon join Pandora on Ford and Toyota dashboards (more here and here).

Pittman, 57, has served as CEO of AOL Networks and was co-founder and CEO of MTV.

As CEO of CC Media Holdings, Pittman will oversee Clear Channel Radio and Outdoor Holdings. He takes over from Mark Mays, who announced over a year ago he would step down (but remain chairman of CC Media Holdings). The L.A. Times reports (here) Pittman is "the first head of Clear Channel...not from the founding Mays family."

You can find Clear Channel's press release here.

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