iPad

Apple reportedly negotiating with labels to stream with fewer restrictions on interactivity and content

Friday, September 7, 2012 - 1:05pm

"In a move that could shake up the growing field of Internet radio," writes The New York Times, "Apple plans to develop a service that would compete with Pandora Media by sending streams of music customized to users’ tastes," news broke late yesterday.

The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Such services create virtual 'stations' that play music similar to a song or artist of the user's choosing, either on Web browsers or smartphone apps. Like traditional radio, they are typically free for users, but incorporate advertisements."

Interestingly, Apple is reportedly negotiating with major labels regarding the service. Webcasters wanting to operate a non-interactive service don't need label agreements to stream -- as long as they adhere to DMCA rules (and pay royalties at the established rates), there's a statutory license available to them.

The fact that Apple is looking to forge deals with the labels indicates (and some sources have confirmed) they want to operate on terms other than the statutory -- in regards to the rates they pay, or the level of user-interactivity (on-demand song play, offline play, downloading, etc.), or content presentation (the DMCA limits the amount of music by a single artist a webcaster can stream in a given time frame, for instance).

Sources say the Apple service would likely be free to the user, and ad-supported. The service would like come preinstalled as an app on devices like iPhones and iPads, and might be able to connect to users’ iTunes accounts to collect usage info and better understand their tastes (both huge competitive advantages for Apple over services like Pandora). The service, reportedly, will not work on the Google Android mobile platform.

"Going head-to-head with Pandora pits Apple against one of the only other companies to gain real consumer traction in online music," writes The Journal. "According to a recent consumer survey by Nielsen Co., more adults said they use Pandora to listen to music than Apple's iTunes."

Read more from The New York Times here and The Wall Street Journal here, and look for more on this in 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.

RAIN news "quick hits": PWC on Net radio ad revs; Songza; SoundExchange; Live365; Senzari

Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 1:15pm

-Billboard reports (here) that a new PWC projection (here) says online radio advertising will grow by 11.5% from $465 million last year to $802 million in 2016. Satellite radio ad revenue will also rise, 9.4% compounded annually, from $74 million in 2011 to $116 million. Satellite radio subscription spending will increase from $2.6 billion in 2011 to $4.1 billion in 2016.

-Webcaster Songza says it's registered more than 2 million U.S. and Canadian users since June 1st, and that of all the users that have ever used Songza (since its official launch last September), over half of them are still active. Read more in TechCrunch here.  

-SoundExchange, the organization that collects and distributes money from Internet-, satellite-, and cable radio, has released a database of 50-thousand artists and labels that are owed over $60 million in unclaimed royalties. More from The New York Times Media Decoder blog here.

-Internet radio aggregator Live365 has announced the release of its dedicated application for the iPad. Read more here.

-Webcaster Senzari has launched a new proprietary music recommendation engine it calls AMP3 ("Adaptable Music Parallel Processing Platform"). Sensari says "The AMP3 technology is revolutionary within the music recommendation space, as it is the first engine to be modeled after a semantic network that includes an API architected similarly to Facebook's OGP (Open Graph Protocol)." Read more here

Apple issues update for buggy podcasts app

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 12:20pm

Podcasts app for iOSSome had high expectations for Apple's stand-alone Podcasts iOS app (RAIN coverage here), but after it launched in late June, many users -- including Ars Technica, RAIN coverage here -- complained about bugs and controversial design choices.

Fortunately, Apple yesterday issued a much-needed update for the app including "significant improvements to performance and stability."

"While there aren't any major new features here," writes The Verge, "we're hoping that these bug fixes make this app work a lot better than it did before — the concept certainly has potential, despite the continued presence of some truly questionable design decisions."

You can find more coverage from The Verge here.

Sonos adds visual improvements to iPhone, iPad, and Android tablet apps

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:00pm

Sonos, the wireless home music device company, has announced updates to its Controller apps for iOS and Android.

The Sonos system enablea you to play your digital music collection throughout your home, on your stereo, intercom, or home theater systems. The system is controlled remotely via apps for iOs and Android phones and tablets.

The updates are mostly visual, and make the apps more pleasing to the eye, and perhaps easier to use. For Apple's devices, the update includes support for the high-resolution Retina Display on both the iPhone 4S and New iPad (hope you've been saving your CD cover art in a good resolution!). For the Android version, the Sonos Controller for tablets is optimized for both 7" and 10" devices, and include "landscape mode."

There's more in the Sonos blog here. Photo from The Verge here.

Songza update brings Music Concierge feature to Android platform

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 12:00pm

Songza is the online music service that features "expert-curated" playlists based on interests, moods, activities, or what Facebook friends are listening to. Songza this week updated its Android app to include its popular Music Concierge feature (available on the iOS platform for some time).

The Music Concierge feature takes into account the type of device a listener is using, plus their preferences, the day and time of day, and offers activity- and mood-based music for what's likely appropriate. (TechCrunch offers an example: "On Saturday late at night, Songza will offer up activities like a Sweaty Dance Party or Getting Naked, whereas the service will offer up something like Working Out or Summertime on a Tuesday afternoon.)

For the update of the app, Songza is featuring three new summer-themed guest DJ playlists: "Gracie Mansion Backyard BBQ" (created by the staff at Gracie Mansion), "Songs for Summer with Ellie Goulding" (created by singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding), and "3OH!3 'You're Gonna Love This' Summer Vibes" (created by the electro-pop duo 3OH!3).

Songza also recently relaunched its app for the Apple iPad. Download the Songza Android app here.

Read the TechCrunch coverage here.

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