summit

Fleischer transitions to Radionomy as Premium Content Director, Slacker hires Hayase as Chief Product Officer

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:20pm

Radionomy has brought on former TuneIn Director of Content Scott Fleischer (pictured) as Premium Content Director (beginning in June). As he did at TuneIn, Fleisher will create broadcaster- and content provider-partnerships for the service. Belgian-based Radionomy provides a webcasting platform for professional and amateur webcasters. Fleischer's career experience includes a stint with this publication.

(Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian will speak at RAIN Summit Europe tomorrow in Brussels, on the Growing Your Online Audience panel.)

Meanwhile, music streaming service Slacker announced today it has named John Hayase its new Chief Product Officer. Hayase will oversee the development of Slacker’s digital music service across all platforms. Most recently VP/Client Solutions with ElasticPath, his career path includes time at EA and Boeing.

Rhapsody's Irwin suggests strategic partnerships to defray costs, make services more attractive to consumers

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:20pm

Streaming music service Rhapsody has committed to providing "liner-note-style credits" for every track in its 17 million-plus library, including the names of producers, engineers, composers, session performers, and more (you can read more about this in The New York Times here).

There are likely several reasons why Rhapsody would commit to such a huge undertaking, but one might just be that enhancements like this help make service the center of (listeners') music experience," to quote the company's Jon Irwin. Irwin, Rhapsody International president, gave the second of two keynote addresses at the recent RAIN Summit West event in Las Vegas.

Liner note-style credits would also help the listener and the artist to "connect in a meaningful way," to again paraphrase Irwin -- fundamentally necessary for creating the experience for which consumers will pay. 

The streaming music/Internet radio space is certainly crowded, yet Irwin maintained that none of these companies are "really killing it" from a customer experience perspective, or from a profitability perspective (and he includes his own company in that assessment). "Nobody has nailed it across all content types and all listening modes," he said, to offer what he termed "the Ultimate Stream." That is, the various types of content (music, news, sports, comedy, live radio) a listener might want at different times, in any listening venue or device (in the car, the mobile phone, at home).

Irwin listed what he thought the necessary qualities of the perfect music service interface. It would (be):

  1. deeply personal
  2. drop-dead simple
  3. connect fans to artists, personalities
  4. new yet familiar
  5. easier than piracy
  6. guided by trusted sources
  7. needs to be embraced by artists and personalities.

Yet creating that is just half the challenge. There's the question of creating "a rational business model" he mentioned. That is, balancing the need for momentum and growth, yet "making sure you're following a sustainable business model, in which you're delivering enough value to your listeners so that they'll pay you for the service" (either by accepting ads or paying a subscription fee).

One solution he offered is for streamers to partner with services with which consumers already have "trusted billing relationships" -- like mobile carriers. Rhapsody itself has partnerships with moblie carriers Metro PCS in the U.S., and E-Plus in Germany. The cost to the consumer is decreased (as its subsidized by the carrier), and it's easier to pay because it's rolled into a bill they already pay. Parntering in this way "takes you down off that $10 price point, you can get actual and perceived reductions in well over 50% for consumers and still give them a great experience," Irwin said.

We have audio of Irwin's speech (and all our RAIN Summit West content) available for free via SoundCloud. Look for the links in the right-hand margin of kurthanson.com. Irwin also published an op-ed summarizing his speech in Hybebot here.

Mediatic Conseil executive director Michel Colin to speak at Thursday's RAIN Summit in Brussels

Monday, May 20, 2013 - 11:50am

Dozens of top radio and online audio executives from across Europe will meet in Brussels this week for the second annual RAIN Summit Europe, at the stylish Hotel BLOOM!

As with other RAIN Summit events such as last month's successful RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, web radio professionals will gather to discuss all facets of Internet radio and online audio, participating in panel discussions and presentations and advancing the development of the business of online audio across Europe.

Brussels, just a few hours away from almost everyone in Europe (either by plane or train), is an ideal location for the Summit. And even though we're just days out, and the seating that remains is limited (last year's gathering in Berlin sold out), we're not raising prices for last-minute attendees. You can register for the event using either Eventbrite or Amiando.

Topics on the agenda will range from business to technology to programming and include best practices for measurement of online audio, multiplatform content distribution, mobile streaming, sales strategies, and programming for audience growth.

And we're happy to announce a last-minute addition to the day's agenda: Mediatic Conseil’s executive director Michel Colin will make one of the day's "featured presentations." Based in Switzerland, Mediatic Conseils offers training courses on local advertising techniques and on the effective use of local media. 

Other confirmed speakers already include an impressive mix of Internet radio and online audio executives, including:

  • Ali Abhary, CEO, Spectrum Medya, Turkey
  • Jan-Willem Bruggenwirth, Managing Director, 538.nl, The Netherlands
  • Matthew Carver, Radio Coordinator, EGTA, Belgium
  • Ben Drury, Founder/CEO, 7Digital, U.K.
  • Hakan Kostepen, Executive Director, Product Strategy & Innovation, Panasonic, U.S.
  • Jan Poelmann, RMS, Germany
  • Robert Proctor, CEO, Audioboo, U.K.
  • Alain Reyes, Head Manager, NRJ, France
  • Patrick Roger, VP/Global Sales & Marketing, Adswizz, France
  • Jöel Ronez, Director of New Media, RadioFrance, France
  • Christian Schalt, General Manager, rs2 and KISS FM (Berlin), Germany
  • Kjarten Slette, Head of Music, WiMPmusic, Norway
  • Holger Weiss, CEO, Aupeo, Germany
  • Steve Whilton, Director of Product, Last.fm, U.K

The day's entire agenda is now available on the RAIN Summits Europe web page here. We hope to see you in Brussels!

RAIN Brussels event features presentation from NRJ exec, panel appearances from metrics experts

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 12:20pm

This Thursday RAIN Summits comes to Brussels for the second-annual RAIN Summit Europe event.

There's still limited space available. The RAIN Summit Europe web page has all the information you need: the day's full agenda, the complete list of presenters and panelists, social media links, and links to Amiando and Eventbrite to register. The entire day, including lunch and post-show cocktail party, is still just €99.00.

This year's conference will be equally-split between panel discussions and feature presentations from Europe's Internet radio leaders. The day's final feature presentation will be made by Alain Reyes, COO of NRJ Audio (pictured right).

NRJ Group is the French multimedia ownership group that began with a single Paris radio station and grown to own and license stations in more than 20 countries in and outside Europe. NRJ Audio is the company's new media division and mobile app maker. Reyes will demostrate how the NRJ Group's philosophy on new media plays out on the company's digital platform. 

Two more of Europe's Internet radio experts have recently signed on for the panel on audience measurement, "Every Listener Counts:"

Jean-Luc Halleux (left) is managing director of TouchCast, the Liège, Belgium-based company behind CasterStats. CasterStats delivers real-time and historical audience reporting for Internet radio, television, mobile TV, podcasts, or any streaming media. Late last year U.S. webcaster RadioIO became a CasterStats client, and most recently Swiss TXT, the multimedia center of the Swiss public broadcasting organization, signed on. Halleux is an electronics engineer and owns his own website software company, InternetOfficer SPRL.

Pushkar Kulkarni is UK-based Kantar Media international business development director. Kantar Media specializes in gauging the media image and impact for publishers, advertisers, and PR firms. Halleux and Kulkarni, along with the other panelists (we have more on this panel in RAIN here), will discuss the best ways to measure the online audio audience, and consider standards for measurement, including advertiser concerns.

RAIN Summit Europe is this Thursday at the Hotel Bloom in Brussels.

RAIN Summit West recap: NPD Group research

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 11:55am

NPD Group SVP/Industry Analysis Russ Crupnick sees the music industry headed towards another cliff -- and thinks streaming audio and capturing the favor of the 100 million "casual music fans" may be the keys to averting it. Crupnick presented recent research findings at RAIN Summit West last month in Las Vegas. 

"We desperately need streaming radio to succeed," Crupnick told attendees. "We need to get the lawyers, guns, and money out of the way, and start having a better understanding of how to get consumers on to the next model."

Back in the '90s, 90% of adult Americans regularly bought CDs. NPD research shows it's now 35%, and that's not being replaced by paid downloads. Just about 23% of people have purchased a music download in the last year, which means 3 of 4 haven't! And, as much as CD purchasing has dwindled, it's still more prevalent than downloading! And the amount of time people spend listening to these legacy formats (CDs, MP3 files, and even radio a bit) is down too.

Here's the bright spot: online radio usage is up 6% among young people (see the chart) -- and up 23% among baby boomers -- in the past year. Online radio is even the "way number-one" reason people are quitting P2P downloading: "It's just so much easier to use a streaming service," Crupnick paraphrased.

And, Crupnick adds, "these are really valuable customers" to the music industry. While the average American spends $24 on music in a year, Pandora listeners spend $40, and Spotify users $52. Streaming audio listeners also strongly out-index average Americans buying concert tickets.

But the real opportunity for streaming radio to succeed, and the music industry to avoid another cliff, Crupnick argues, is not going after the "core" music fans (the 30% of the population that accounts for 80% of the money spent on music). Radio and streaming services are already "serving them really well." The opportunity lies with attracting the other 70% of people -- the "casual" music fan.

Consider: Nearly all "core" music fans listen to AM/FM, and 77% listen to non-subscription online radio, according to NPD figures. And while a good majority of casual fans also listen to music on AM/FM (74%), just 25% listen to free online radio. That's the 100 million people market opportunity. That's the potential audience gain for Internet radio, if it can reach beyond the hard core music fans and get to everyone else who listens to AM/FM.

And to do that, Crupnick advises, it's necessary to understand the mentality of that casual listener. He stresses that the research shows these people aren't at all focused on those things broadcasters and webcasters obssess over. NPD found, as he put it, "98% of people don't know what 'an Rdio' or MOG is!" Most casual listeners don't really have any interest at all in mobile apps (though he suggested an Apple streaming radio entrance might change the game).

The lack of interest in mobile apps notwithstanding, Crupnick says "this battle is going to be won in the car," as that's where the vast majority of casual music fans' listening takes place.

And casual listeners aren't interested in subscribing for music either. "We've gotta figure out a way to help these services thrive outside of subscription," he concluded. "We can work together, labels, artists, services, to grow the pie."

RAIN Summit West was April 7 in Las Vegas. You can listen to audio from Crupnick's presentation, and all the RAIN Summit West content, on our website. Look for the SoundCloud links in the right-hand margin of kurthanson.com.

Our next event is RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at the Hotel Bloom in Brussels. Limited space is still available. Information and registration links are available on the RAIN Summit Europe website here.

"Radio futurologist" Cridland will give Summit's "feature presentation," then lead mobile panel

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:50pm

Those who follow Internet radio -- like RAIN readers -- are likely familiar with Media UK managing director James Cridland. The self-described "radio futurologist" will give the featured presentation at RAIN Summit Europe (now less than two weeks away).

He was digital media director of Virgin Radio in London, and joined the BBC in 2007 to work on the BBC iPlayer for radio. Since then he's worked with various audio and new media companies (including receiver manufacturer Pure and stream aggregator UK Radioplayer) He organizes the nextrad.io radio conference, and is a founder of hybrid radio tech association RadioDNS.

Cridland's "The Future of Radio: Mobile and Personalised" will examine the medium's future on portable devices, in the context of case studies of broadcasters from all over the world.

Later in the afternoon Cridland (right) will return to moderate a panel discussion on a very similar topic. "Mainstream Mobile" participants will share their views on "best practices" for building listenership on mobile devices and monetizing it.

Two CEOs, both from Germany, join this panel. Based in Hamburg, Christian Richter leads Spoiled Milk, an international digital agency and consultancy on brand management and user experience. Richter (left) is a serial-entrepreneur: he's co-founder of Net radio tuning guide radio.de, and also founder of digital and marketing solutions wathory.com.

Holger Weiss is Berlin-based AUPEO! CEO. AUPEO! is personalized Internet radio with over 120 channels, available in over 40 countries. Weiss (right) joined AUPEO! in 2010 after working for Nokia. He's a specialist in business development, contract negotiations, strategic alliances, leadership, and sales. He spoke at RAIN Summit West.

Interestingly, just after RAIN Summit West, came news that AUPEO! had been acquired by Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America and an integrated supplier to the automotive industry in North America) (see RAIN here). Hakan Kostepen (left, who also spoke at RAIN Summit West) is that company's executive director of product, planning & innovation. 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." Kostepen was responsible for "industry first" Jaguar S-Type Voice Recognition Infotainment System. He's based in the U.S.

Also an engineer by training, Ulrich Köring (right) is head of new media for Austrian hit music broadcaster Kronehit. There he handles all digital products, including the website, side-channels, podcasts, and social networks. His experience also includes work at Radioszene industry trade magazine.

"Mainstream Mobile's" final panelist is online audio distribution platform Soundcloud VP/business development Dave Haynes (left), from the UK. Soundcloud, originally started in Stockholm, but established in Berlin, launched in 2008 and now boasts over 10 million registered users. Hayes himself is a former DJ who has run a record label, a record store, and worked in digital music distribution. He writes a blog and hosts the OpenMusicMedia meetups in London, and organizes Music Hack Day events.

Limited space is still available for RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Brussels' Hotel Bloom. All the details, including registration links, are on the RAIN Summit Europe page here.

Syndicate content