Orlando

But wait, there's more... great RAIN Summit coverage

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 10:55am

Yesterday we pointed you to some of the coverage of Tuesday's RAIN Summit Orlando event in publications like Tom Taylor Now and Inside Radio.

We wanted to let you know that radio consultant Holland Cooke put together some nice summaries of Summit content, writing for RadioInfo.com. Please take a look at Holland's work here.

Radio World's Leslie Stimson also attended the Summit. She covers "The Race to the Dashboard" panel here, Entercom president and CEO David Field's keynote address here, and the research presentation from Steve Sherfy and Jesse Wolfsberger of GroupM Next here.

TuneIn, which provided live audio streaming of the event, will soon make archived audio available. Stay tuned!

The "connected car" a persistent topic at RAIN Summit Orlando

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

BY BRAD HILL
Marketplace demand is growing for digital interactivity in the car. This trend has longer legs in the navigation/traffic category, but the headlines now are turning to the infotainment section of automobile control, driven largely by the penetration (if not saturation) of smartphones and the streaming-audio apps that live on them.

The changing configurations of "car radio" touched down several times, in several sessions of yesterday's RAIN Summit Orlando, including Entercom CEO David Field’s keynote address, a research presentation from GroupM Next ("The Internet Radio Marketplace") (see more Summit coverage here), the rapid-fire Pecha Kucha dazzler from Harman's Toby Trevarthen, and the "Race to the Dashboard" panel which provided a topical deep dive on the topic.

Toby Trevarthan set the table by declaring that 2013 was "ground zero" for development of connected car solutions. Of course, many ad hoc solution have been underway, cobbled together by users from one direction, the car companies from the other direction, and the aftermarket sitting between them. One of the most important questions in this space is whether a standardized infotainment platform is possible in the car, and if so, when. And how. And whether all stakeholders agree on its desirability. In other words, the big question mark is as fragmented as the present-day solutions.

The "Race to the Dashboard" session feature perspectives from Ford (Scott Burnell), Pioneer's aftermarket products (Ted Cardenas), Pandora (Geoff Snyder), TuneIn (Kevin Straley), and Slacker (Steve Cotter). Ford’s Burnell articulated Ford's plug-and-play dashboard philosophy, represented by the company AppLink functionality built into many popular streaming apps. The solution transfers control of a music-streaming app, for example, from the smartphone to the more accessible and safely-accessed dashboard.

Safety is a persistent issue, not an easily solved one, dependent as it is on state laws that form a regulatory patchwork sanctioning when and how phones can be used in the car. (More fragmentation.) Initiatives are underway, though, in the product development of app code from both the providers and the car companies -- e.g., blacking out the phone when control is transferred to the dash.

One of the most powerful built-in advantages of broadcast car radio is its intuitive, time-tested, push-button ease. Ideally, users want access to a big PLAY button in the car that picks up the station/stream/programming where the driver left off. Furthermore, also ideally, a standardized experience with similar essentials across all car types and models. After a day of circling around this topic, that holy grail of unification seems a long way off, as car builders, mobile service providers, streaming music companies, and the aftermarket innovators each pursues its individual path to stakeholding a piece of the digitally connected car of the future.

Top-notch coverage of yesterday's RAIN Summit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

After we recover from the rush of yesterday's successful RAIN Summit Orlando event (and today's iTunes Radio launch), we'll get cracking on our own coverage of the Summit. In the meantime, our colleagues at news sources like Tom Taylor Now, Inside Radio, Radio Ink, and AllAccess were at the event, and all have published coverage of their own.

One of yesterday's most compelling Summit panel discussions addressed the contentious issue of online "simulcasting" versus the use of ad-insertion technology (Taylor, Inside Radio, and Radio Ink all led their coverage with it). The panel consisted of Saga's Steve Goldstein, Triton Digital's Mike Agovino, OMD's Natalie Swed Stone, AdsWizz's Alexis Van de Wyer, and Greater Media's Tom Bender.

The speakers on the panel -- broadcasters included -- acknowledged the attraction of customizable pureplay webcasts with few (or no) commericals, and agreed that broadcasters need to offer more than "an extension of the tower."

At least as "buzz-worthy," judging by the coverage, was Entercom president and CEO David Field's keynote address. A few contentious points may have been expected, what with a broadcast group head keynoting such a conference. Field, as you can read, insisted that the audio consumption "pie is growing," and that's for broadcast radio too. More controversially, he challenged the veracity of Pandora's self-described 7% share of overall U.S. radio listening, and contended that the webcaster's granular ad-targeting actually makes them a less efficient advertising vehicle. He says radio gets the "bonus weight" of delivering ad messages to non-targeted demos.

A research presentation from GroupM Next caught industry journalists' attention -- notably their finding that nearly half of Pandora and iHeartRadio users say they plan to switch to Apple's iTunes Radio product when it launches today -- even before testing it. Also making news was the strong the desire for a "connected-dashboard" car among younger demos. Newly-appointed RAIN managing editor Brad Hill moderated a discussion panel on this very topic. Read his coverage of "The Race to the Dashboard" here.

Also, please see our coverage of the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio Awards here.

Thanks to our colleagues for their coverage of RAIN Summit Orlando. Read more from Tom Taylor Now here, Radio Ink here and here, in AllAccess here, and at InsideRadio.com here.

TuneIn to stream audio of today's Summit event

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 12:00pm

(from earlier today:)
Welcome to Florida, for RAIN Summit Orlando.

Kurt Hanson, Jennifer Lane, and Brad Hill of (the newly-christened) RAIN Enterprises welcome you to Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek Resort for today's event. We hope you find it interesting and beneficial.

We're very happy to announce that once again live audio from the event will be available via TuneIn, using Backbone Networks technology. You can begin listening when the Summit begins at 12N ET here.

The day's first panel, Alternative Revenue Strategies, will look at other ways ad-supported webcasters can make money in addition to CPM-based audio ad campaigns. We're happy to have Inside Radio's Paul Heine moderating, and he'll speak with Pandora's Dan Weiner, Ted Gurley of Univision, Matt Cutair of Dial Global, and LDR Interactive's Daniel Anstandig.

Entercom Communications president and CEO David Field steps up to the podium at 1:30p ET to deliver the RAIN Summit Orlando keynote address. Last week Field publicly supported the announced royalty deal between Clear Channel and Warner Music Group (more in RAIN here).

Later, GroupM Next will present their most-recent research findings on the future of streaming radio. That's at 2:50p ET.  Kurt Hanson has his State of the Industry address scheduled for 4:15p ET.

The Summit closes with the presentation of the fourth-annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards. You can review this year's finalists here, including those in the brand-new "International" category. After, we hope you'll join us for the RAIN Reader Cocktail Party on the terrace of the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, sponsored by Pandora and RCS Works.

The full Summit agenda and speakers list is here. Please join the conversation on Twitter (follow RAIN Summits)  and use the hastag #RAINSummit or #RSO) and on the RAIN Summits Facebook page. We'll have coverage of RAIN Summit Orlando beginning tomorrow in RAIN.

RAIN Summit tomorrow: Streaming music, connected cars, ads & revenue, two keynotes and Internet Radio Awards

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 10:55am

RAIN Summit Orlando takes place tomorrow, September 17, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, from noon to 5:30. The day will conclude with the ever-popular RAIN Reader Cocktail party. 

Registration remains open for what is the preeminent educational and networking conference for the Internet radio and online audio space. This edition of the RAIN Summit features five panel discussions, two keynotes, a research presentation on the Internet radio marketplace, and the bestowal of RAIN’s Internet Radio Awards.

Kurt Hanson, RAIN founder, will deliver his annual “State of the Industry” address. David Field, President and CEO of Entercom Communications, will also keynote the event.

Revenue is a strong focus of the day, with three panels concentrating on ads in the digital space: Alternate Revenue Strategies, The Ad Insertion Panel, and Building a Top Digital Sales Team. The automobile, as an unconquered frontier for interactive audio, will be given its due in the “Race to the Dashboard” panel. The day’s final session (but stay for the awards and the cocktails), Streaming Music Trends, examines listener habits and genre programming.

See the full speaker list and session agenda here, and see you tomorrow!

RAIN Awards winners will be revealed at RAIN Summit Orlando Sept. 17

Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:45am

Right after the July 4th holiday we opened the competition for the fourth annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards, and began accepting applications from radio stations, pureplay webcast services, and stream aggregators from around the world. Judges began reviewing those submissions last month, and last week we revealed those semi-finalists that had made it to the second round of consideration.

Today, we'd like to announce those services that have advanced to the round of finalists, from amongst which our judges will choose the winner of each category's award.

The RAIN Internet Radio Awards were created to recognize the achievements of webcasters and broadcasters in our innovative and quickly-growing field. This year, we added a fifth award, for International Excellence in Online Audio. As always, we'll announce the winners and present the awards at the RAIN Summits fall event in conjunction with the RAB/NAB Radio Show -- this year in Orlando on September 17th.

Congratulations and good luck to all the 2013 finalists:

Best Single Stream Webcaster

Best Streaming Broadcast Station

Best Overall Digital Strategy

International Excellence in Online Audio

Best Overall Online Radio Service

Read more about the RAIN Internet Radio Awards here. All of our latest info on RAIN Summit Orlando, including speaker list, panel and presentation descriptions, and registration link, is here.

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