Live stream audio from RAIN Summit West today beginning at 9am PT

Sunday, April 7, 2013 (All day)

It's "go" time!
Today is our twelfth-annual RAIN Summit West event at the LVH Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, kicking off the NAB Show.

We're looking forward to a great (and full!) day of panels and presentations, highlighted by two great keynotes: RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (who'll speak at 10:25a PT) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (he's on at 4:15p PT).

At 2:30p PT, RAIN publisher and AccuRadio CEO Kurt Hanson will deliver his annual "State of the Industry" address.

Our day also features two unique "POV" speeches by industry thought leaders. We'll hear Triton Digital president of market development John Rosso's and TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger's take on Internet radio in 2013.

And, as we always do, we cap off the day with the RAIN Reader Cocktail Party, sponsored by Pandora. (We like these parties so much, that while it's only our 12th RSW, this'll be our 14th party!) Please join us by the pool gazebo (simply walk through the LVH casino and take the Central Tower elevators to the 3rd floor pool deck). Even if you can't make it to the Summit, we'd love to say hello to you at the cocktail party!

If you're in Vegas for the Summit, the LVH is 3000 Paradise Rd., (702) 732-5111. The Summit takes place in Ballroom C.

And if you can't make it to the Summit, we're thrilled to partner this year with TuneIn to bring you live streaming audio from RAIN Summit West (we'll do the same for RAIN Summit Orlando in September!). You can listen live (obviously, once we begin). Click the banner above, or the link here:

Plenty of Summit attendees will be tweeting. Follow using the hashtag #rainsummit.

Our full agenda and speakers list is available on our RAIN Summit West page.

Finally, please come back to RAIN for coverage of the Summit beginning tomorrow! Enjoy the Summit!

Shutting off ad-insertion (or streaming altogether) may be the "austerity" that costs far more down the road

Friday, September 14, 2012 - 12:55pm

So, you're a local radio broadcaster (or you head a group), and your online efforts over the past 10 years haven't done much of anything postive for your bottom line. Specifically, you feel the process of replacing your advertisers' on-air content in your streams with online-only material simply costs too much, sounds horrible, and doesn't generate the revenue to make it worth the bother.

Think you'll abandon "ad-insertion" and simply stream a pure simulcast of your on-air signal? Or perhaps shut down the stream altogether? Certainly you want to carefully consider such a move, and gather as much information and opinion as feasible to advise your decision, right?

"Traditional radio is not dead, but its future is inextricably tied to digital." That's Mike Agovino (here), who'll speak at RAIN Summit Europe in Berlin October 5. But he's COO and co-founder of Triton Digital, so what might you expect him to say?

But consider the thoughts of Radio Ink publisher Eric Rhoads, who recently called it "foolish" for radio to ignore its online streaming, and wrote, "Streaming will be your primary source of revenue" by 2016, and that "your transmitter will make up only a small percentage of your listening." (See more in RAIN here. )

Rhoads' own publication today offers an interview with SAG/AFTRA National Associate Director Mathis Dunn exploring the realities of compensation for voice talent when streaming ads produced for broadcast radio (that's here). But make sure you also read consultant Mark Ramsey's analysis of the interview, his thoughts on abandoing streaming, the assumption that ad-insertion is necessarily "clunky," and the need for a realistic business model for it (here).

"But is (simply simulcasting the on-air signal's programming and ads online) any way to serve the interests of our clients, let alone our consumers?" he asks. "Is this the way to stage radio for a future where ever-more consumption happens online and radio competes not only against Pandora and its kind, but also potentially against streaming services from Apple, Google, and Amazon? All of whom will squeeze every ounce of value creation out of technology for the benefit of advertisers and listeners alike."

That's what you, the broadcaster, need to decide. We're looking forward to getting lots more input on this very matter during the "Online Strategies for Local Broadcasters" session (more here) at RAIN Summit Dallas. This Tuesday CBS Radio/Dallas' Dan Halyburton will moderate this panel discussion, with panelists Emmis Digital VP Angie May Cook (whose WQHT/New York "Hot 97" is one of the nation's most-innovative when it comes to its new media efforts), Triton Digital's Stephanie Donovan, TargetSpot's Elizabeth Pardieu, and Dave Van Dyke of Radiate Media. 

Leykis' Pure Pop Hits stream to launch 50-thousand song commercial-free marathon

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 12:55pm

Tom Leykis today pledged his online Top-40 Pure Pop Hits will play 50-thousand songs back-to-back without commercials beginning today at 2pm CT (3pm ET/Noon PT).

Similarly, in July 2010 Leykis launched his indie pop stream New Normal Music by playing 50,000 songs in a row, all less than a year-old (RAIN coverage here). Leykis's NewNormalNetwork also produces or presents active rock New Normal Rock, oldies Great Big Radio, and podcasts like his own high-end cocktails-focused "The Tasting Room." 

In April Leykis returned to the microphone with a daily online show. His last on-air gig ended in February 2009, when KLSX-FM/Los Angeles owner CBS Radio changed the format to top-40 (RAIN coverage).

"50,000 in a row means that we won't play a single commercial for the rest of 2012," said Leykis. "Next time you're listening to hit music, ask yourself why you tolerate the constant commercials, phony rose giveaways and hokey DJs of your local top-40 radio station."

Read the press release here.


Regional news portal will launch online-only alternative rocker with FNX talent

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 11:45am

Boston's alternative rock station WFNX will change formats next month, following its sale to Clear Channel. But regional web portal plans to keep the modern rock flag flying. It's announced plans to launch its own online-only alt-rock station, and it has enlisted former WFNX personalities and former WFNX PD Paul Driscoll. offers news and other local content, and is part of New York Times Digital.

In 2009 Boston's legendary heritage rocker WBCN left the on-air dial and soon reappeared as two HD Radio channels, and online simulcasts (here). Chicago alternative Q101 went online-only (RAIN coverage here) after the sale of its frequency; legendary Cincinnati station WOXY and Los Angeles rocker KNAC are well-known for doing the same.

Lisa DeSisto is GM of and chief advertising officer for The Boston Globe. She commented, " has been at the forefront of multimedia for some time now, producing award-winning videos, live video programming, interactive content, and more. We’ve long thought radio would be a natural extension for us, and we’re fortunate to launch with such an incredible team."

Phoenix Media/Communications sold the station to Clear Channel, and most of the staff was let go immediately when the sale was announced last month. The station will reportedly change format July 23.

Read The Boston Globe's coverage here.

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