RCS, Songza, CBC executives to dicuss online music listening at RAIN Summit Orlando

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 1:30pm

One of the dicussion panels at September 17th's RAIN Summit Orlando will feature industry professionals taking on the topic of online music listeners' habits and behavior. We'll introduce you to three of them today.

The "Streaming Music Trends" will examine popular genres, music recommendation technology, best strategies for social media sharing, audience listening patterns, and more.

Joining the discussion will be CBC Music executive director of radio & audio Chris Boyce. Boyce was behind the launch of CBC Music (here and here), the Canadian Broadcasting Company's digital music service that includes over 50 web radio services (radio networks CBC Radio 2 and CBC Radio 3 dozens of streams devoted to particular genres of music). Boyce (pictured top right) oversees the digital service, plus CBC Radio programming for two national over-the-air networks and 35 local stations across Canada.

Next up on the panel is Songza chief content officer and co-founder Eric Davich. Songza is the webcast service featuring the the oft-imitated Music Concierge (in RAIN here) that features music streams curated for listeners' moods or activities. Davich (left) was director of content for indie online music store and social network service Amie Street, where Songza was initially developed.

RCS Sound Software is the company that provides the world's leading broadcast software over nine-thousand radio and TV stations, cable music channels, satellite radio networks and Internet music sites. RCS president and CEO Philippe Generali will also take part in the "Streaming Music Trends" panel.

In 2003, Generali created a new RCS division called Media Monitors for market research that employs RCS fingerprinting technology with several data production centers around the world. Generali was the driving force behind the U.S. music research index, Mscore and the listening analysis tool, Audience Reaction.

We'll soon announce more speakers for the dashboard discussion panel, as well as other panels and presentations for RAIN Summit Orlando. The event will also feature a keynote presentation from Entercom Communications president/CEO David Field, and the presentation of the fourth-annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards. RAIN Summit Orlando is an Official Partner Event of The Radio Show produced by the NAB and RAB. See the latest here.

Meet three of the connected car professionals speaking at RAIN Summit in Vegas

Friday, February 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

Following this year's Consumer Electronics Show (see our January 8 issue "A flurry of new deals from CES will make Net radio more accessible in the car" here), the hottest topic in Internet radio is the connected automobile. Webcasting is about to cross an incredibly important chasm of connectivity, and establish itself as a major source of consumer audio with the aim of becoming as ubiquitous and easy-to-use as AM/FM in the car. Three of the professionals leading the way will join us for our "Dashboard Discussions" panel at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas in April.

What should your strategy be for optimizing the automotive opportunity? Here are the experts who will steer you in the right direction:

Hakan Kostepen (pictured right) is Director of Product Planning, Strategy & Innovation at Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. He's part of the leadership behind the company's in-car integration and development of all Panasonic Company technologies and products to optimize the "in-car user experience."

Hakan, who's appearing at a RAIN Summit for the first time, was responsible for "industry first" Jaguar S-Type Voice Recognition Infotainment System.  

Roger Lanctot (left) is Associate Director in the Global Automotive Practice with tech-focused research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

Roger has 25 years experience in the technology industry as an analyst, journalist, and consultant. Roger has conducted and participated in major industry studies, created new research products and services, and advised clients on strategy and competitive issues throughout his career. His experience also includes five years at Telematics Research Group.

Like Roger, Carl Rohling (bottom right) is a RAIN Summit veteran. He's VP/Sales & Business Development with TuneIn Radio.

TuneIn software is integrated into the MINI Connected system, making it the first car to enable drivers to tune to Internet radio via the car's dashboard and steering wheel controls. TuneIn also works with the Dension Internet Radio Stick and Livio's USB/Bluetooth system for in-car connectivity.

Carl's background is in legal and business, with managerial experience in digital media and consumer electronics. He's led business development at digital audio software firms Passalong and Creative.

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 (then you can get a jump-start on your travel plans!) via the RAIN Summit West page.

Speaking slot open for "pureplay webcaster" on panel at RAIN Summit Midwest July 20

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:05am

We have an opportunity for a representative of a "pureplay" (Internet-only) webcaster to take part in a discussion panel at the upcoming RAIN Summit Midwest at The Conclave.

The event is a week from this Friday, July 20.

The panel, produced by Coleman Insights and RAIN, is called "Pure Play: Radio's Most Direct Competitors?" Panelists will discuss the highly competitive, quickly-changing landscape of Internet-only radio providers that offer listeners an experience similar to that of broadcast radio. Already confirmed for the discussion: Mat Bates, Slacker's Senior Radio Program Manager.

This is a great opportunity for an Internet radio professional to not only engage in a lively discussion on the competitive future of this industry, but a chance to network and engage with some of the best minds in the business. If you're part of an Internet-only webcasting team and would like to join our panel discussion at The Conclave in Minneapolis July 20, please e-mail us at: "feedback \at\"

Read more on RAIN Summit Midwest at The Conclave here.

Robertson warns radio: NAB needs to get involved, or you're screwed

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 11:35am

If the current music royalty arrangement is a "mountain" between webcasters and profitability, Michael Robertson says broadcasters have two choices: go around the mountain, or blow it up.

Robertson is founder and CEO of (which enables recording/time-shifted listening of online radio). He spoke on the panel "The Streaming Music Landscape" at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas.

The first option, according to Robertson (left), entails radio creating an entirely new model that allows webcasters to avoid the high royalties. Fellow panelist Paul Campbell is founder/CEO of Amazing Radio in the UK, and is doing exactly this sort of thing. A terrestrial station, Amazing Radio plays only independently-owned music. In exchange for the promotion the publishers and performers receive by being aired on Amazing, they waive their royalty claims (allowing the station to perform the music for free).

Radio's second option is get far more involved in the royalty-setting process than it has to this point. "Unless the NAB gets off their ass and gets on the Copyright Office and influences those rates," Robertson exhorted, "as your business goes digital, you guys are screwed."

While Rhapsody Chief Product Officer Brendan Benzing thinks the "renaissance around consumer demand" for curated audio online will shine a brighter spotlight on untenably-high royalties webcasters pay, Robertson was less optimistic. "None of this other stuff matters unless royalties are radically changed," he said. His optimisim lies in the news of Sirius' lawsuit against SoundExchange (see background here). "That is the most important development this year for the Internet radio business. Fantastic development. You better hope Sirius wins."

After Robertson (also founder of the, which recently declared bankruptcy, more here) brought up public earnings reports from Pandora that showed the company pays fully 50% of its revenues for royalties, moderator Ted Cohen (right) asked why that's so out-of-line. Cohen, TAG Strategic Managing Partner, said, "Look at physical retail, durable goods, where 60-65% (of retail revenue) goes to supplier. Is 50% that eggregious?"

The difference, according to Robertson, is in the nature of the business involved, and radio's important role as a copyright "intermediary" between creators and the public. "Look at broadcast radio, which pays about 5% (of its earnings for musical content, in the form of composer/publisher royalties to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC). Would any radio station have a business if they paid 50% of revenue? No." The problem, he Robertson insisted, is that lawmakers now see the purpose of copyright not to benefit the public (as many interpret the Constitution to mandate), but rather to benefit copyright owners. And what the rate structure fails to take into account is the importance of "distributors" of copyright -- those entities like webcasters and radio -- that are necessary for the public to reap the benefit of copyright by broadcasting and streaming that content.

On the topic of distribution, Robertson advised broadcasters to "pay attention to mobile. That's where the majority of your listening will come from in the future." He said, "Get your signal everywhere, don't do exclusive deals. Any digital guy that comes to you (to make a deal), as long as it doesn't cost you any money, you should do it."

That is, of course, once the royalty matter is solved. The Internet radio business "is a rocket," Robertson said. Right now, "unfortunately, it's a North Korean rocket."

See the entire video of this panel, and all our RAIN Summit West content, at RTTNews here.

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