spectrum

"International" RAIN Summit West panel a preview of our May European event

Monday, April 1, 2013 - 1:00pm

In anticipation of our second annual RAIN Summit Europe (May 23 at Hotel Bloom in Brussels, details here), we're adding a global perspective to our RAIN Summit West program with the "International Trends in Online Audio" panel. And we're honored to have several leading Internet radio and digital music CEOs taking part.

In February we announced AUPEO! CEO Holger Weiss as a panelist (announced in RAIN here) to help us explore the realities of streaming radio outside North America.

To moderate the "International Trends in Online Audio," we'll be joined by Ali Abhary, CEO of Spectrum Medya, one of Turkey's leading radio broadcasters. Abhary (right) is also founder of Biletix, Turkey's leading entertainment ticketing company, and one of that country's first and most successful Internet startups (it's now owned by Ticketmaster/Live Nation). Abhary was a panelist at our first RAIN Summit Europe last year in Berlin.

Hong T. Lau is CEO of Live365, and will join the panel. A graduate of the London School of Business with an MBA, Hong (left) has held a number of senior positions in North America and Asia in diverse industries, including that of managing director with the Jim Pattison Group. He has extensive experience in finance, acquisitions, and corporate growth strategies.

Also on board is Paramdeep Singh, Executive Chairman and one of the co-founders of Saavn, a digital distributor of Bollywood and Tamil Cinema music. Under Paramdeep's leadership, Saavn has secured partnerships with the top film production and music houses in India, and amassed the largest legitimate Bollywood music catalog available directly to end users online. Singh (lower right) graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Tufts University with degrees in International Relations, Economics and Entrepreneurship.

Thierry Ascarez, Radionomy VP/Business Development, rounds out the panel. Ascarez has been based in San Francisco since the company's September U.S. launch, and was once the compnay's Marketing & Communications director. Prior to joining Radionomy (which also has offices in Brussels and Paris), Ascarez (lower left) worked in promotions and digital sales for the EMI music group.

RAIN Summit West is this Sunday 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 event will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today 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)

Advisory board suggests U.S. share 1,000MHz of spectrum with industry for wireless broadband

Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:30am

Noting that "in just two years, the astonishing growth of mobile information technology — exemplified by smartphones, tablets, and many other devices — has only made the demands on access to spectrum more urgent," an advisory council to the president recommends the U.S. identify 1,000 MHz of government-controlled spectrum to share with private industry for wireless broadband.

The advisory group is called PCAST, for President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. You can read its report here. Instead of "clearing and reallocating" spectrum already used by federal agencies, the team advises a "sharing" model —  the model used for "white space" technology in the television band, which uses empty TV channels for "Super WiFi." In fact, PCAST says sharing should be the norm —  not the exception.

"Improvements in performance make it possible for devices to deliver services seamlessly even in the presence of signals from other systems, so that they do not need exclusive frequency assignments, only an assurance that potentially interfering signals will not rise above a certain level," reads the report.

Ars Technica covers the story here.

Radio sees ulterior motives in music industry's support for TV spectrum auction

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 12:00pm

Four music industry lobby groups sent a letter to the Congressional debt-reduction "supercommittee" yesterday, encouraging lawmakers to let the FCC auction television broacast spectrum wireless operators. The American Federation of Musicians, the Recording Academy, SoundExchange and the Music Managers Forum say the auctions could raise billions of dollars in revenue for deficit reduction, as well free up spectrum for wireless broadband devices. Broadcasters that own television licenses want to choose whether they relinquish this spectrum, and want to be fully compensated for doing so.SoundExchange

But why are music industry interests speaking up regarding television spectrum? The Hill's "Hillicon Valley" blog put it simply: "Broadcasters and the music industry have a long-running feud over whether artists should receive royalties when radio stations play their songs."

The music industry groups say they are interested to "hasten the migration of music fans to cutting edge (wireless broadband) platforms that compensate artists," by paying royalties they say are a "basic economic and civil right for musicians."

The groups wrote, "It would seem to us that the NAB is not entitled to spectrum owned by the public, or costs associated with relinquishing it, and the federal government reclaiming this spectrum for purposes of deficit reduction is the kind of shared sacrifice that is required in these difficult times."

The NAB doesn't buy it. Spokesman Dennis Wharton fired back, "By coupling a TV spectrum issue with an unrelated performance tax on radio stations, the music industry sets the standard for grasping at straws. This is a Hail Mary pass that deserves to fall incomplete."NAB

Inside Radio believes the letter is part of a new music industry "tactic: find ways to make it difficult for broadcasters to do business such as by opposing license renewals.  The request to the Super Committee fits into that strategy, and similar moves are in the works, according to insiders who say bad feelings among many in the music community linger."

What's more, Inside Radio sees implications for online radio too. "As online streaming royalties grow bigger with each passing year, (NAB president Gordon) Smith believes webcast rates are likely to become intertwined with an on-air royalty issue," they write today. "Broadcasters’ current streaming royalty agreement with SoundExchange expires in 2015 yet Smith thinks there could be a way to resolve both the on-air and digital royalty issues sooner than that, potentially with something similar to a universal settlement. But with some broadcasters more digitally invested than others, radio’s internal royalty debate may once again break down between large and small market operators. Smith said he was optimistic that won’t happen, suggesting any new proposal would include an even more 'progressive system' where size dictates costs."

 
Read more from The Hill here. Subscribe to Inside Radio here.
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