Las Vegas

iHeartRadio Music Festival scheduled for 9/20-21 in Vegas

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 12:45pm

Clear Channel has set the dates for its third-annual iHeartRadio Music Festival. The fest will be September 20th and 21st, returning to Las Vegas's MGM Grand Hotel. Clear Channel will announce the line-up in summer.

The festival began in 2011 as a "relaunch" event to promote Clear Channel's online radio service iHeartRadio. Last year, over 17 million people listened and viewed the festival performances, which Clear Channel says generated over a billion "social impressions" and more than 50 million text-to-win contest entries.

Clear Channel is also bringing back the "Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star" contest, where the winning artist or group will perform at the festival.

Expert Summit panelists will discuss competing in "Darwinian" battle of content

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 1:15pm

In today's USA Today "Money" section (here), journalist Chris Woodyard suggests the very existence of AM/FM radio may be endangered by a wave of Internet-delivered audio entertainment in the car.

Most of us closer to the webcasting, broadcasting, and automotive industries doubt IP-delivered content in cars spells doom for American broadcasters. But that's certainly not to say it's not a crucial issue. Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs wrote last week (here), "The automakers are perfectly content to give consumers lots of choice and let Darwinian-driven choice take over. May the best content win. And that’s where radio needs to rethink its assumptions and givens."

RAIN Summit West (now just two weeks away on April 7 in Las Vegas) leads off by picking up this very important discussion. Moderated by Roger Lanctot from tech-focused research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics, the "Dashboard Discussions" panel will hash out some strategies for competing for the attention of drivers and passengers with a world of media options at their fingertips.

Paul Jacobs is president of jacAPPS, the mobile development division of Jacbos Media. At January's Consumer Electronics Show, Ford Motor Company named jacAPPS a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink (RAIN coverage here). Paul (pictured top-right) returns to RAIN Summit to share his insight on this topic. (Another panelist from the application side is TuneIn Radio's Carl Rohling.)

Chia-Lin Simmons is VP/Marketing & Content for electronics maker Harman International's Aha unit. Aha delivers entertainment and information content to connected vehicles, mobile phones, and in-home devices. She's responsible for all marketing strategy, she works to secure content partnerships, and she co-markets the Aha service with affiliate car makers, OEMs, and electronics makers. Simmons (left), who also co-hosts the On Digital Media podcast, will be a part of the panel. (Panasonic is another electronics manufacturer innovating in-car integration of mobile content. Panasonic's Hakan Kostepen will join us too.)

Obviously, we wouldn't have this discussion without hearing from broadcasters. Entercom Director/Digital Operations Amy Van Hook (lower-right) is a seasoned radio and digital veteran whose experience includes time as COO of radio-focused streaming media company Liquid Compass and Susquehanna Radio as Group Director of Interactive. Entercom makes its streams available in the TuneIn directory, works with social radio service Jelli on more than 100 of its stations, and is experimenting with on-air/online royalty deals with record label groups.

Read more about our "Dashboard Discussions" panel in RAIN here.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 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 will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while space is still available, 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).

Register for RAIN Summit West, while space remains

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 12:15pm

Congratulations to MVYRadio's Joe Gallagher. First, the Friends of MVYRadio group successfully raised over $600-thousand to allow the beloved and storied Martha's Vineyard station to maintain staff and continue operations as a non-profit online-only service (read more here).

Now, it turns out, MVYRadio's programming will actually return to the airwaves, but in Newport, RI (you can read more about that here).

Gallagher will join the "Jump Start Your Revenue" panel at RAIN Summit West, April 7 in Las Vegas. Sponsored by Triton Digital, and moderated by Triton Digital's Dominick Milano (announced here), this panel discussion will focus specifically on revenue strategies for webcasters (both advertiser- and listener-sourced).

Gallagher (pictured right) is president/CEO of Aritaur Communications, WMVY's former owner, but continues to work with the station in its viability efforts. He's also managing director at Angel Street Capital, which is focused on investing in digital media start-ups.

Also joining the discussion is SBS Interactive VP/Digital Media Andrew Polsky (pictured left). SBS is the U.S.'s largest publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company, with 21 radio stations across the country. Polsky's experience includes digital media sales posts with SBS, CBS, and The Miami Herald.

We announced last week Michael Jackel, VP/West Coast Advertising Sales for leading music subscription service Spotify, will also join us for this panel, as will VP/Sales for Katz360 Dean Mandel (in RAIN here).

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 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 even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while there are still seats available, 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).

Coming to RAIN Summit? Here are the top user-rated travel websites

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 3:35pm

With RAIN Summit West less than a month away, we thought you'd be interested in the results of a recent study of consumer satisfaction with various independent travel websites.

The results are from the more than two-thousand repondents to last fall's J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Independent Travel Website Satisfaction Report (here).

Out of a possible 1,000 points, Booking.com ranked highest, scoring 816. Close behind were Hotwire.com with 813, Priceline with 808, and Orbitz with 799 -- all higher than the 798 average.

Scoring below average were Travel.Yahoo (777), CheapTickets.com and CheapOAir.com (both 785), Travelocity (793), and Expedia.com (795).

Interestingly, while people who visit these sites most often use them to book flights and hotels, consumers renting cars and purchasing vacation packages are actually most satisfied with travel sites.

We hope you're planning to join us in Las Vegas for the Summit. It's April 7, just as the NAB is getting underway. We're very happy to have two great keynote speakers: RAB CEO/president Erica Farber, and Rhapsody president Jon Irwin. On our RAIN Summit West page, you can see the other great speakers who'll be there, the panels and presentations we've assembled, and register for the event.

TAG's Cohen, SomaFM's Hodge, SoundExchange's Prendergast join RAIN Summit West legal/royalties panel

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12:10pm

We recently announced that the webcasting industry's foremost expert on legal and royalty issues David Oxenford would moderate the RAIN Summit West panel "The Song Plays On" (in RAIN here). Oxenford and his panel will discuss current issues regarding Internet radio royalties -- from the viewpoints of services, copyright owners, and creators alike.

Joining David will be Ted Cohen (top right), Managing Partner, TAG Strategic, a digital consulting firm for the entertainment, technology, and mobile industries whose clients include the UK's Amazing Radio and Canadian Music Week. Cohen helped craft the licensing agreements that made the Rhapsody subscription service and the iTunes Music Store possible. He formerly served as SVP/Digital Development & Distribution for EMI Music and EVP of Digital Music Network Inc.

Like Ted, SomaFM GM & Program Director Rusty Hodge (left) is familiar to many RAIN readers and RAIN Summit attendees. Rusty first worked in radio in the Los Angeles area, but was soon developing software for broadcasters, multimedia, and founding Hodge Interactive to put radio and TV stations on the web. He first experimented with online radio in 1995, then officially launched SomaFM.com in February, 2000. The listener-supported service boasts over 20 expertly-curated channels of music, and streams over 5.8 million listener-hours a month. SomaFM also offers podcasts -- one recent podcast that may be of industry interest is a discussion on the new financial realities of the digital streaming music business and how to improve indie artists' situation (in two segments, here and here).

Also joining the discussion will be Brad Prendergast (bottom right), who is Senior Counsel for Licensing & Enforcement with SoundExchange. SoundExchange is the recording industry body that collects and distributes most royalties webcasters (and others that make digital performances of copyright sound recordings) pay. Prendergast works to ensure licensees are in compliance with the terms of their licenses. He's a gradutate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Notre Dame.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 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 even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while flights and hotels are still readily available, via the RAIN Summit West page.

Top Clear Channel, Pandora sales execs to discuss monetizing mobile listening at RAIN Summit in Vegas

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:20am

Last fall's RAIN Summit Europe event really broadened our understanding of the strides and achievements professionals around the world are making in our truly global medium. We're hoping to bring some of our European experience with us to RAIN Summit West with the addition of a new panel: International Trends in Online Audio. [By the way, stay tuned for details on this year's RAIN Summit Europe.]

Joining us on the panel, from Berlin-based AUPEO!, is CEO Holger Weiss (right).

AUPEO! is a personalized Internet radio service, venture capital-backed, and licensed in more than 40 countries around the world. Listeners select stations by theme, genre, or musical mood, as well as "artist stations." The AUPEO! listening experience is powered by a recommendation system that uses a Fraunhofer Institute-developed algorithm that identifies certain musical qualities and automatically assigns genre classification. Free ad-supported streams and ad-free premium subscriptions are available.

Weiss joined AUPEO! in 2010 after working for Nokia. He's a specialist in business development, contract negotiations, strategic alliances, leadership, and sales.

It's clear that Internet radio mobile usage is soaring, but monetizing that listening has remained elusive. It's critical for broadcasters and webcasters to develop new, creative strategies, so we'll hear from three of the brightest in this area for the panel called Profiting from Mobile.

In July, Clear Channel brought Microsoft Advertising executive and 15-year digital media veteran Rick Song aboard as EVP of Digital Sales. At Microsoft, Song (left) led sales initiatives with partner sites like MSN, Xbox, Skype, FoxSports and MSNBC, as well as the company’s digital platforms. He now works with iHeartRadio, in addition to Clear Channel's Strategic Partnerships, National Programming Platforms, and National Advertising Platforms divisions.

Joining Song on the panel is Pandora SVP/Ad Sales Steven Kritzman, himself a former Clear Channel employee (and a RAIN Summit veteran!). Kritzman joined Pandora in 2009 as Director of Sales for the New York and Mid-Atlantic region before his August, 2011 promotion. He sets and executing the U.S. sales strategy for Pandora's digital, network radio, and spot radio businesses, and manages the national sales teams. He recently revealed Pandora's plans to cover the top 25 U.S. markets with local sales forces (see RAIN here).

The Profiting from Mobile panel will be moderated by another RAIN Summit veteran, Michael Theodore of the IAB. Last August the IAB created a new role for Theodore, Vice President, Training and Development, in which he manages and cultivates the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification program (as well as developing and facilitating professional development curricula and training materials). In fall he hosted a series of IAB Digital Audio Agency Days in several markets, to get local digital ad buyers familiar with the capabilities and potential of online radio (see RAIN here).

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 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 even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while flights and hotels are still readily available, via the RAIN Summit West page.

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