Merlin Media

QUICK HITS: Merlin and Pandora execs speak out

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 9:55am

Merlin CEO criticizes label deals: In a conversation with Janko Roettgers of GigaOm, Charles Caldas, head of prominent indie-label consortium Merlin, points to a basic aspect of business modeling behind Spotify, iTunes Radio, and other major players. The advance payments to major labels, Caldas warns, sets up an unsustainable situation for small labels that are excluded from broad dealmaking. Caldas expands his thinking beyond Merlin’s constituency; he thinks music services are being set up by for failure by the labels.

Pandora CFO holds forth: In a CNET interview, Pandora CFO Mike Herring delivers crisp C-level talking points about Pandora’s business and ongoing royalty controversies. No breakthrough knowledge to be gleaned, but the interview provides a concise summary of Pandora stance. On royalties: “It’s not about lowering rates -- that’s about creating fair rates across lots of distribution channels.” On Apple’s launch of iTunes Radio related to the cost of doing business in the streaming space: “It took someone, frankly, with a lot of cash in the bank and a big income statement like Apple to finally launch a competing service.” 

Chicago's web-only Q101 lands on the AM dial

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 11:35am

Q101In what Radio-Info rightfully dubs "a unique twist," the web-only version of Chicago's alternative rock station Q101 is now simulcast on 1530 AM. The AM station, WJJG-AM, flipped from talk radio (featuring Michael Savage, Steve Dahl and others) over the weekend, reports Radio-Info. It now broadcasts the same content playing on

Chicago's Q101 was an FM station found at 101.1 FM. It was flipped to all-news by Merlin Media in July 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Broadcast Barter Radio Networks purchased Q101's intellectual property and website soon after the flip (RAIN coverage here).

You can find Radio-Info's coverage here.

Internet incarnation of FM alt rock station hoping to resurrect Jamboree fest via Kickstarter

Friday, April 27, 2012 - 11:30am

Q101's Kickstarter projectChicago's iconic alternative rock station Q101 has lived an online-only life since its FM frequency, 101.1, was flipped to all-news by Merlin Media in July 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Broadcast Barter Radio Networks purchased Q101's intellectual property and website soon after the flip (RAIN coverage here). 

Now the web-only Q101 is running a fundraising campaign through online service Kickstarter to bring back the Jamboree music festival in 2012.

Q101 hosted the first outdoor "Jamboree" music fest in 1995 (with bands like Bush, The Flaming Lips and Sheryl Crow). Subsequent festivals were held somewhat regularly through 2011.

The 2012 Kickstarter project needs nearly $300,000 in funding. As of publication, Q101 has raised $53,000 with 8 days left in the project. Q101 says the date and venue for the festival will be finalized "the minute this project is funded." No artist line-ups have been announced.

You can find Q101's Jamboree 2012 Kickstarter page here.

Kickstarter is a website that helps raise funding for products, services and ideas. RAIN recently highlighed 5 radio projects on Kickstarter here.

Hat tip to Gaper's Block for their article on Chicagoland music-related Kickstarter projects here.

RAIN Summit West adds top names from broadcast radio, device manufacturing, web music services

Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 11:40am

Liz AielloRAIN Summit West 2012 will feature not only the biggest names in Internet radio, but also top experts from broadcast radio, device manufacturers and other web services. To highlight this, today we're pleased to announce the addition of Liz Aiello, Jake Sigal and Darryl Ballantyne to the conference's agenda!

Liz Aiello (pictured right) most recently was VP of Programming for Merlin Media LLC, building New York’s first all-news radio station on FM. She's also served as SVP of Broadcast at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has worked with Howard Stern and spent 17 years with ABC. Aiello will speak as part of the "Innovating the News/Talk Format Online" panel at RAIN Summit West 2012.

Jake SigalRAIN Summits veteran Jake Sigal (pictured left) is Founder and CEO of Livio Radio. Sigal founded Livio Radio in 2008 -- the company offers several devices for tuning in to Internet radio around the house and especially in cars. Sigal will participate in RAIN Summit West's discussion on "The Connected Dashboard."

Darryl BallantyneDarryl Ballantyne (pictured right) is CEO of LyricFind Inc. -- the largest legal, licensed lyrics database in the world, with millions of licensed tracks available and thousands of lyrics sublicensing clients. LyricFind provides lyrics to services like The Echo Nest (more here). Ballantyne will be a panelist for our "It's Who You Know" discussion.

You can find RAIN Summit West's full agenda and list of speakers right here. The Summit takes place Sunday, April 15 in Las Vegas. More details can be found here.

Be sure to register soon! Seats are going fast.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 12:00pm

RAIN Summit Chicago (now less than two weeks away!) will include more than 30 experts from the Internet radio and broadcasting industries.

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