GroupM Next execs to present study on Net radio listenership at RAIN Summit Orlando 9/17

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 12:45pm

Research firm GroupM Next says its latest data shows Internet radio listeners are younger, more affluent, listen in more places, and are more open and responsive to ads (on online radio) than those who listen mainly to AM/FM. Two GroupM Next executives will present this data at RAIN Summit Orlando on September 17.

We reported on the new GroupM Next whitepaper called "The Internet Radio Marketplace: Who Listens, Where, and Why You Should Care" last month in RAIN here.

Jesse Wolfersberger (right), who is Director, Consumer Insights will be joined by insights team manager Steve Sherfy (left) at RAIN Summit Orlando. They plan to address the future of streaming radio, consumer behavior, and implications for brands from the advertising agency perspective, and include recommendations on ways that streaming content providers can optimize the opportunity for advertisers.

RAIN Summit Orlando is this year's RAIN Summits fall event, and an official partner event to The Radio Show produced by the NAB and RAB. RAIN Summit Orlando begins at noon on Tuesday September 17 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Entercom Communications president and CEO David Field will make a keynote presentation.

"International" category added to RAIN Awards

Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 12:25pm

Today we open up the nomination process for the 4th annual RAIN Internet Radio Awards, to recognize the achievments of webcasters and broadcasters.

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, we'll be in Orlando on September 17th.

Also as in previous years, we'll pick a single winner in the following categories:

  • Best Overall Online Radio Service
  • Best Streaming Broadcast Station
  • Best Single Station Webcaster
  • Best Overall Digital Strategy
  • We've added a fifth category this year: International excellence in Online Audio

The new fifth award will recognize global excellence among services not based in the United States (though non-U.S. operators are still eligible for the other appropriate categories as well).

"These are exciting times for Internet radio and we want to recognize those stations and services whose work has driven the expansion in the industry," said RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson.

Last year Pandora and ESPN Audio shared the RAIN Award for Best Overall Online Radio Service. was also named Best Streaming Broadcast Station, while Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio was selected for Best Overall Digital Strategy, and independent webcaster won Best Single Stream Webcaster.

The RAIN Internet Radio Awards 2013 are sponsored by Triton Digital. We'll assemble a panel of independent judges to choose the winners. If you represent a broadcaster, webcaster, or other online audio service, we encourage you to enter the competition via the RAIN Internet Radio Awards website.

RAIN Summits are the premiere educational and networking conferences for the Internet radio and streaming audio industry in the US and Europe. The Summits feature panel discussions and presentations from leading executives and entrepreneurs in Internet radio. Learn more here.

RAIN Summit autumn event Sept. 17 before Radio Show

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 12:35pm

David Field, president and CEO of Entercom Communications, will be the keynote speaker at this year's RAIN Summit Orlando on Tuesday, September 17th. RAIN Summit's annual half-day fall conference will take place the day immediately preceding The RAB/NAB Radio Show.

As leader of one of the nation's largest radio broadcasting companies, Field has worked in various positions in Entercom for 26 years and currently serves on the boards of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the National Association of Broadcasters, and The Wilderness Society. Fields was recognized as the 2006 Radio Executive of the Year by Radio Ink Magazine and one of the best CEOs in America by Institutional Investor Magazine in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

"We are thrilled to feature David Field as our keynote speaker at this year’s RAIN Summit at The Radio Show," said RAIN Summits president Jennifer Lane. "Entercom is one of the most innovative broadcast companies, distributing content across a wide variety of new media platforms to best serve their listeners."

Hosted by RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter publisher Kurt Hanson, the Summit will feature a variety of other speakers and panelists, offering insights on advertising sales, programming, audience metrics, social media, and emerging technology in online radio. Hanson will also make his "State of the Industry" address on the present and future of radio and new media.

An official partner event of The Radio Show, RAIN Summits are the premiere educational and networking events for Internet radio, focusing on the intersection of radio and the Internet. RAIN Summits are geared to broadcasters pureplay webcasters alike.

Previous RAIN Summit keynote speakers include CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, RAB president/CEO Erica Farber, Clear Channel EVP/Digital Sales Tim Castelli, NPR SVP/Digital Media Kinsey Wilson, ESPN SVP Traug Keller, and Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy.

RAIN Summit Orlando is Tuesday, September 17 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. We'll soon announce more speakers and panel topics. You can always find the lastest information, along with registration links, on the RAIN Summit Orlando web page here. For sponsorship information, contact RAIN Summits president Jennifer Lane.

Audio from recent RAIN Summit Europe now available for free, on-demand streaming or download

Monday, June 3, 2013 - 11:40am

Audio from the recent RAIN Summit Europe event is now available on SoundCloud here, with links on this website (look in the right-hand margin of

The recent Summit conference, in Brussels May 23, was RAIN Summit's first full-day European event. It featured speakers like Media UK managing director and "radio futurologist" James Cridland (from the UK), Havas Media head of radio Jean Pierre Cassaing (France), 7digital CEO and founder Ben Drury (UK), and Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian (Belgium). Panel discussions explored topics like ad sales, listener measurement, mobile and in-dash listening, and social media.

You can see the RAIN Summit Europe full agenda and speakers list here. Audio from this spring's RAIN Summit West (April 7 in Las Vegas) can be found here.

Look for details of RAIN Summit Orlando (including the keynote speaker), September 17, in RAIN soon!

RAIN Summit West recap: The royalties panel

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 1:20pm

The annual spring RAIN Summit West gathering in Las Vegas last month closed with a discussion of the evergreen topic of music licensing costs and the effects on services. Somewhat encouragingly, the on-stage participants -- representing webcasters, the music industry, rights organizations, and performers -- seemed to agree on more than disagree. The panel, "The Song Plays On," was moderated by attorney and webcasting legal expert David Oxenford.

Attendees heard from artist Patrick Laird, a cellist in the classical/rock outfit Break of Reality. A strong advocate for webcasting, he says his band's experience has led him to believe play (that is, exposure) on Internet radio is far more valuable than the royalties his band earns from that play.

"I'd much rather be played," Laird said. "We've had over 16 million plays in a year on Pandora... we wouldn't get radio play otherwise... but our record sales tripled." He told a story of a promoter finding Break of Reality on line and booking them for a show which paid them more than all their royalties for an entire year.

When the discussion swung to the promotional value of Internet radio versus that of on-demand streaming, Laird (left) said, "Internet radio is what radio has always been, a discovery tool, a way to sell tickets, to fill concerts, to sell music, to get more fans. Internet radio is a better version of radio, it does all those things better. What's important is the growth of the medium. We need to support Internet radio, it's the future of the way people discover music... especially independent artists."

Consultant Ted Cohen, of TAG Strategic, while maintaining that "radio should pay," respects the benefit to artists of being played on services that can now reach "a hundred, two hundred million people." He said, "We're somewhere in the sweet spot -- I don't think the artists and labels are entitled to more... I'm not sure how much less they're entitled to."

This led to panelists considering how services could be even more beneficial to artists. Laird really liked the idea of linking directly to artists' presences on Facebook or YouTube ("that's money right there"), and suggested giving tghe artists themselves an interface to maintain those links.

But SomaFM GM/Program Director Rusty Hodge (right) feels the statutory license is a barrier to some of these methods of promoting new music. He suggested the need for a wider range of licenses, that could, for example, allow for use of music that's currently prohibited by the "performance complement" of the law (such as a rule forbidding play of more than three songs by a single artist in two hours, among others). It "keeps you from doing a lot of creative things," Hodge explained.

Cohen agreed that constraints on webcasters' use of content, even when promoting artists, held back creativity.

Moderator Oxenford then brought up the fact that some services like iHeartRadio and Apple's upcoming service are negotiating directly with copyright owners (and going around the statutory license) to, among other things, avoid the constraints of which Hodge complained. And while services going this route would lose the convenience of a "one-stop" for all their licensing, Cohen said the process of direct licensing has become much easier in recent years: "The goalposts have gotten wider."

Getting back to the statutory license, Oxenford asked if a "percentage-of-revenue" royalty model, such as those employed by publishing performance rights organizations, makes more sense for a young industry like Internet radio (The statutory rate is based on a "per performance" rate, a performance being one song/one listener.).

SoundExchange Senior Counsel, Licensing & Enforcement Brad Prendergast explained "the beauty of a per-performance" royalty is that "every transmission of a track is valued the same -- it's 'delivery mechanism neutral.'" It helps protect the value of the music from an operator that would use a high volume of music but make very little money from the service. (He also reminded the panel that there are indeed some statutory agreements to which SoundExchange is a party that use a percentage of revenue, such as the small webcasters' license).

One recent development the panel brought up was the announced withdrawal of digital rights by some publishers from performance rights organizations (PROs) like BMI and ASCAP. BMI VP/New Media & Strategic Development David Levin (left) explained that publishers are seeing record labels making much more licensing music to services than they are, because the PROs operate under federal regulations that they feel supress the rates they can charge. The publishers tell BMI, Levin said, "Because of the government structure you operate under, we can get a better rate outside of this monopoly, by going direct."

Cohen empathized with the sentiment. "The labels are getting 90% of the revenue, the publishers are getting 10%. That pendulum has to swing a little bit."

We have audio for all of our RAIN Summit West content (including this panel) available via SoundCloud. Look for the links in the right-hand side of

Today was the first full-day RAIN Summit Europe

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 9:35am

[This piece ran earlier today. Look for coverage from RAIN Summit Europe soon!]

Today is the second-annual (and first full-day) RAIN Summit Europe, at the Hotel BLOOM! in Brussels.

As something of a departure from the typical RAIN Summit format, today's agenda features five discussion panels interspersed with an equal number of "feature presentations" by a single speaker (and that doesn't even include RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson's address on the global Internet radio industry).

Follow along (or catch up later, if you're not in Europe!) on Twitter via the hashtag #RAINSummit.

The day begins at 9am (that's 2am here at RAIN's Chicago office in the Central time zone) with the "Identifying Online Audio's Sales Proposition" panel, following a quick greeting and introduction. At 10am, the day's first presentation, from SBS Discovery Media's Simon Gooch on his company's Radio Play initiative. As per tradition, we'll close the event with the RAIN Reader Cocktail party at 5pm.

[See the day's full agenda of panels, presentations, and speakers on the RAIN Summit Europe webpage here.]

The event's "presenting sponsors" are a2x by Triton Digital and adswizz.

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