Spectrum Medya

International webcaster issues mirror those in U.S.: Royalties, revenue, and potential Apple competition

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 1:40pm

RAIN Summits included the "International Trends in Online Audio" panel in Sunday's RAIN Summit West program because of the positive response to last fall's RAIN Summit Europe (as well as to serve as a preview for this year's Europe event).

Turns out, what these online radio professionals viewed as some of their biggest challenges mirror those in the U.S.: high content costs and complex regulations (royalties), those costs' drag on their companies' profitability, revenue beyond ads and subscriptions, and the prospect of an Apple entry into the space.

CEO of Berlin-based webcaster AUPEO!, Holger Weiss (pictured right), admitted licensing across borders is a steep challenge. He said it's a long, arduous process, yet his service is licensed in 40 countries, so it can be done.

Radionomy VP/Business Development Thierry Ascarez agreed there are "solutions out there, it can be done." His company provides a platform for hobbyist and smaller professional webcasters to create and stream their own online stations.

Saavn co-founder Paramdeep Singh (pictured left) described the especially difficult circumstances in India: "We have deals with over 900 record labels, as there's no one-stop for licensing in India. Labels and artists think we're hugely profitable, so they want lots of money."

So what about that money? How do these business leaders intend to increase revenues?

Radionomy's Ascarez described his company's advertising platform in which it splits ad revenues with those webcasters whose audiences surpass a minimum threshold (incentivizing good content).

"There are unique opportunities for monetization beyond ads and subscriptions," said Singh, whose Saavn service streams Bollywood and Tamil Cinema music. He says his company partners with carriers as a "use case" and a benefit to upgrading to a data plan (of India's 800 million mobile customers, only about 50 million have data plans).

"Who'll finance (these types of services) until the ad revenues make it profitable?," wondered Weiss. "It's not great and fantastic yet. We're not profitable yet. We have to think beyond pure advertising and subscription. Advertising is not the only way to make money. We'll see this in 2013," he said.

The AUPEO! CEO teased a Monday announcement about his company "working with" Panasonic, saying services could create new revenue streams by bundling the service with device makers, especially for the car. What we learned Monday is Panasonic has actually acquired AUPEO! for its in-dash audio entertainment platform.

Live365 CEO Hong Lau, experienced in business in China, illustrated the opportunities in that country. "It's not a lot different there than here," he said. He explained that phones are considerably cheaper, and there are hardly any significant online audio services there.

Moderator Ali Abhary (right), CEO of Spectrum Medya in Turkey, concluded by asking his panelists how they view a potential webcasting competitor in Apple.

Saavn's Singh said his company's specialized music libraries aren't easy for a new competitor to relicate. "It took us years to aggregate our content."

Weiss agreed. "You can win in a fight (with Apple), which can't copy you, but "can only buy you if you're niche."

We'll continue to recap the content from Sunday's RAIN Summit West in the coming days here in RAIN.

Europe's Internet radio leaders will be represented at RAIN Summit Europe 10/5

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 12:55pm

Our very first RAIN Summit Europe will be a learning and networking opportunity like no other we've presented. We truly can't wait to get to Berlin!

In addition to the top European radio, webcasting, and technology executives taking part, one of the leading organizations in online radio in the U.S. will also participate. Most RAIN readers are familiar with Triton Digital. Their products and services for broadcast and Internet radio include content delivery, audience measurement, ad insertion, player creation, website content management, audience retention and interactive online advertising campaign design. Triton Digital co-founder and COO Mike Agovino will speak on the "Targeted Advertising & Listener Registration" panel; Triton Digital EVP/Marketing Patrick Reynolds will be on the "Measurement Options for Streaming Audio" panel.

Today, we'd like to familiarize you with some of the companies whose execs will join Triton on these two panels.

Absolute Radio is one of the UK's three independent national radio stations. In March of 1996 (when it was still Virgin Radio) it became the first European radio station to stream 24-hours a day. Additionally, Absolute Radio runs the "Absolute Radio Network," six online, digital radio, and mobile services (Absolute Classic Rock, Absolute 80s, etc.). Clive Dickens is Absolute Radio COO, and oversees the station’s major digital initiatives. He leads One Golden Square Labs, a digital working group at Absolute Radio developing radio and entertainment "conceptual standalone digital propositions" -- applications for the web and new and emerging platforms.

IAB Europe is the trade association of the European digital and interactive marketing industry, representing 27 National IABs and Partners across Europe and over 5,500 companies. Its mission is to protect, prove, promote and professionalise the digital and interactive advertising industry in Europe. IAB Europe's VP/Research & Marketing is Alison Fennah (pictured left), also based in the UK.

Dickens and Fennah will join Triton Digital's Agovino and Association of European Radios (AER) president Stefan Möller to discuss listener data collection and tools for targeted ad delivery on the "Targeted Advertising & Listener Registration" with AdsWizz VP/Sales & Marketing Patrick Roger (more on Möller and Roger in RAIN here).

Médiamétrie-eStat is the Internet and mobile subsidiary of audience measurement firm Médiamétrie. Médiamétrie-eStat focuses on measurement and traffic analysis of websites and mobile apps, including audio and video advertising engagement. RTL Radio Center Berlin GmbH (owned by RTL Group, Europe's largest mass media company) combines the operational activities of the radio station 104.6 RTL and 105'5 Radio and RTL radio marketing in the Berlin/Brandenburg radio market.

Franck Si-Hassen is Médiamétrie-eStat Directeur Délégué; Tim Zeiger (right) is Platform Manager for RTL Radio Center Berlin (he's responsible for streaming and social media activities). The two will discuss the tools available that help content providers and advertisers quantify streaming audio audiences on the "Measurement Options for Streaming Audio" panel, moderated by Triton Digital's Patrick Reynolds. Ali Abhary, CEO of Spectrum Medya (Turkey) (more in RAIN here) and Erik Barraud, Adswizz Product Manager (Belgium) (more in RAIN here) take part too.

Our keynote speaker represents perhaps the most significant online music concern to come out of Europe, Spotify. Spotify's European GM and VP of Ad Sales Jonathan Forster's (left) company now boasts 15 million active users worldwide, 4 million of whom pay for the service every month. Besides its on-demand streaming product, Spotify Radio is a personalized radio stream listeners create based on artists, songs, or genres, which can be further influenced through "thumbs up/thumbs down" song ratings.

Please take a look at our full roster of industry experts and agenda of panels, all of the most up-to-date information, and registration links on the RAIN Summit Europe page. And please check out where we'll hold the Summit: the very stylish nhow "Berlin" - The Music & Lifestyle Hotel Berlin.

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