Panel will look at audience metrics, plus SBS Radio Play presentation, at RAIN Summit Europe

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 12:00pm

EGTA is a non-profit trade association for television and radio sales based in Brussels. So it's appropriate for Matthew Carver, radio coordinator for EGTA, to lead our discussion of audience metrics at RAIN Summit West May 23 in Brussels. Carver will moderate "Every Listener Counts," a panel discussion on the best ways to measure online radio listening.

Like Carver, panelist Erik Barraud is based in Brussels. He's product manager for AdsWizz, which offers the AudioMetrix audience measurement software suite. AdsWizz also provides online audio and video ad solutions.

Triton Digital offers its clients its own audience measurement and ad sales solutions. Also on the panel will be Triton's top source for insight on tallying online listening, U.S.-based Robert Favre, who is CCO/GM of data and measurement. Robert served as SVP of technology for Ando Media, the audience metrics and ad-delivery provider, now owned by Triton.

Rounding out the panel will be Frederic Antelme, director of brands, content, and digital for radio group Top Radio Vermarktung in Berlin. Antelme manages brand strategy for the Kiss FM, RS2, and Berliner Rundfunk brands, overseeing corporate identity, ad campaigns, website development, social media strategies, and mobile apps. He was formerly a director at the German subsidiary of webcaster GOOM Radio.

RAIN Summit Europe will also feature a presentation from SBS Discovery Media executive Simon Gooch, on its Radio Play platform.

SBS Discovery Media was just formed this month, when Discovery Communications (the U.S. company that began as, and still owns, The Discovery Channel) acquired SBS Nordic, a major Scandinavian commercial broadcaster. Radio Play is the platform that aggregates SBS Radio's live streams with on-demand content from across the company, and offers listeners the ability to create their own stations based on SBS's music library. Gooch is the Nordic manager of Radio Play.

We have all the information you need for RAIN Summit Europe, including links to register for the conference and the day's full agenda, on our RAIN Summit Europe page.

Deezer exec to speak; panel to address ad sales at RAIN Summit Europe

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 11:05am

One of the five special presentations scheduled for RAIN Summit Europe will come from Deezer VP/ad sales David Deslandes. Deezer is the web and mobile music streaming service based in France that's perhaps Spotify's most primary competitor. It's available in 182 countries (but not yet the U.S.), and boasts 30 million users.

Deezer already has an app for Microsoft Windows 8. And like Spotify, Deezer allows developers to create unique-purpose apps that access the Deezer music library. A former Microsoft executive, Paris-based Deslandes (pictured) joined Deezer as Deputy GM/Head of ad sales in July 2011.

RAIN Summits this week released the full day's agenda for the May 23 RAIN Summit Europe event in Brussels (RAIN coverage here).

RAIN Summit Europe has also scheduled five panel discussions. The first of those, "Identifying Online Audio's Sales Proposition," will focus on sales for ad-supported music streaming services. Adswizz VP/sales & marketing Patrick Roger and Havas Media head of radio Jean Pierre Cassaing (both also in France) will join Radio Marketing Service head of business development for digital media Lars Peters (Germany), Spotify Benelux managing director Tom Segers (Belgium), and Lagardere Active CR director of digital vision Lubor Zoufal (Czech Republic) on the panel. Nicolas Moulard, consultant at Actuonda in Spain will moderate.

The full agenda for RAIN Summit Europe is here, where you can also find Amiando and Eventbrite links to register for the event (just €99.00).

RAIN Summit recap: TargetSpot examines Hispanic and African American Net radio listeners

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 11:35am

TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger encouraged RAIN Summit West attendees to look to multicultural audiences for marketing opportunities. Goldwerger delivered one of the day's two "POV" addresses, extolling the likely benefits of marketing to Hispanic and African American audiences via Internet radio.

Earlier this week we covered news of a study from The Media Audit (here) which focused on Internet radio adoption in the Hispanic audience segment.

The TargetSpot research revealed that while mobile device adoption in these segments is similar to that of the general U.S. population, African American Net radio listeners are even more prone to listen on mobile devices. Calling it an "early adopter market," Goldwerger revealed African Americans respondents were almost twice as likely to own an in-car Internet radio device as the general population (26% to 14%), and that African Americans' listening on all mobile devices topped the general index (see screenshot).

Goldwerger called multicultural listeners' social engagement -- both while listening, and engagement with services themselves -- "one of the biggest upsides of this market segment." In the study, 70% of Hispanic listeners reported being on a social media site while listening to Internet radio, topping the level for the general population (60%). African American listeners' engagement wasn't quite as high, yet still topped overall levels. Both market segments surpassed overall population numbers in other social media behvavior like "link Internet radio profile to social network," "share a station, band, or artist," and "look at what others are listening to."

The study also examined these populations propensity to shop online (and how that relates their listening habits), their recall/response rate to online radio ads, and specfics that make these segments "extremely attractive demos" for online advertisers.

You can listen to Goldwerger's entire presentation from RAIN Summit West here. All of the audio from the Las Vegas event is available on this website (look in the right-hand margin of

May 23rd European Summit event features 5 special presentations, 5 panel discussions

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 11:35am

RAIN Summits yesterday released the full agenda for next month's RAIN Summit Europe in Brussels.

RAIN Summits produces the Internet radio and online audio industry's premiere educational and networking events. The May 23rd (at the Hotel BLOOM!) follows last year's successful inaugural European Summit in Berlin, and the recent RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas.

The Summit begins with the first of five panel discussions, "Identifying Online Audio's Sales Proposition." The panel will focus on sales for ad-supported Internet radio, and will be moderated by Nicolas Moulard (whose company, Actuonda, is an online audio sales network based in Madrid). Moulard will speak with executives from Adswizz, Havas Media, RMS, Spotify, and Lagardere Active CR.

Following that, Simon Gooch of the newly-created SBS Discovery Media (it includes 20 television networks plus a leading radio portfolio and digital brands across Scandanavia) will deliver a short presentation of his company's "Radio Play" commercial online radio project.

The Summit includes five other presentations in its schedule. Media UK (an aggregator of the United Kingdom's online media) managing director and "radio futurologist" James Cridland's featured presentation will be called "The Future of Radio: Mobile, and Personalised?" Cridland will present research and case studies from around the world of broadcasters' multi-platform distribution solutions.

Cridland will also moderate the day's final panel, "Mainstream Mobile," to examine best practices for delivering radio on mobile devices. He'll speak with experts representing companies like Aupeo, Audioboo, Panasonic, NRG, and Spoiled Milk.

"In Europe today, Internet radio is an extremely vibrant and fast-growing media segment, with many of the top AM/FM broadcasters actively participating in the category along with a number of innovative entrepreneurs," said Kurt Hanson, publisher of this newsletter. Hanson is the Summit's keynote speaker.

"This agenda features an excellent complement of speakers from across Europe for a full day of panels, presentations and networking that endeavors to advance the business prospects for online audio," said Jennifer Lane, president of RAIN Summits.

The day's entire agenda is now available on the RAIN Summits Europe web page here.

Hanson advises Summit on 7 key trends and 7 action items to get us to the year 2020

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 1:10pm

The year 2020 sure sounds like the space-age future, but so did "2000," remember? (If our calculator is to be trusted, it's less than 7 years from now!)

RAIN Summit West attendees heard Kurt Hanson's "'new-for-2013' State of the Industry" address in which he encouraged broadcasters and webcasters to make a plan for 2020, based on seven key industry trends and seven possible "action items" to get there.

Kurt Hanson is CEO of multi-channel webcaster AccuRadio, and publisher of this newsletter. His "State of the Industry" speech is a recurring feature of RAIN Summits.

Kurt cited several specific, quantifiable changes in consumer behavior that he says are key to understanding where radio might be in 2020. Chief among them is the explosive growth in Americans' consumption of online radio.

Based on the latest numbers from "The Infinite Dial" (Edison Research and Arbitron, read more here and here), 86 million people now listen to radio online weekly. That's a third of the U.S. population, and 253% of what it was just five years ago. Online radio's time-spent-listening (TSL) has nearly doubled since then, to almost 12 hours a week.

Multiplying the number of listeners by the time they're spending listening, and you see online radio listening is almost 500% higher than it was five years ago.

Next, Kurt brought in listening measurements for leading webcaster Pandora from Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics. Pandora is now up to a 1.6 million "average quarter hour" (AQH -- which can be understood as "the number of listeners at an average moment"), which is about equivalent to an eight-share of all radio listening (In other words, in your market, about 8% of those listening to radio right now are listening to Pandora).

"It's an undeniable trend," Hanson said. Looking to a 2020 plan, broadcasters can see this consumer behvavior "as a threat, or as an opportunity."

A second key consumer trend Kurt spotted is the "primacy" of mobile phones in people's lives ("This is basically a full-featured personal computer that is 4 oz and fits in your shirt pocket," Kurt said.).

The remaining key trends include (3) our "world of on-demand variety" (in which consumers are offered 42 types and flavors of Crest toothpaste and at least 12 versions of Cheerios cereal); (4) the rise of the tablet as a media-consumption interface; (5) "open" car dashboards (that is, car makers won't limit Internet and mobile access to a single, select technology vendor), and (6) "near-infinite" bandwidth (ever-increasing connectivity via mobile and wi-fi).

The seventh "reality" professionals should understand in creating their "2020" plan: there are "billion-dollar" opportunities out there, evidenced by the fact that online radio has produced its first billion-dollar brand, Pandora.

The public company's market cap is more than double the combined market caps of the country's top-five biggest "pureplay" AM/FM radio groups (Cumulus, Entercom, Saga, Beasley, and Radio One): $2.1 billion compared to $1.2 billion.

"Again," Hanson advised, "you can see this as a threat, or as an opportunity. You can build a brand like this." As a public company, Pandora's historical financial reports are easy to access. Anyone can "see how they did this," Kurt said.

The matter of sound recording royalties remains the biggest threat to all of this, however. But Kurt offered this: "I believe it's going to be resolved, because in the debate on royalties over the last decade, musicians and net radio have been on opposite sides -- but for musicians, Internet radio is one of the best things that have happened to them."

Given the royalty arrangements in place today, one million "performances" on Pandora would yield an artist about $600. Webcasters lobby for royalty relief, and the record industry calls for higher payouts. But Kurt argues that this tug of war on this price point (should it $500? $700?) misses the far greater value artists get from those plays.

By way of demonstration, Hanson showed how it's possible that one million "performances" of a talented but niche-appeal band like Chicago's Canasta could result in an eventual payoff of $980 thousand over time.

[For go over the math with Kurt, please listen to the audio of his presentation here, at the 22:30 point]

On the matter of Apple's likely entry into webcasting, Kurt suggested "it might be great for all of us." He cited other battles between brands -- like when two CHR stations in the same market go head-to-head -- as being great for the product category.

Looking to create a plan for 2020, Kurt offered broadcasters and webcasters seven "action items" they might incorporate into a strategy.

First, define radio "inclusively." When limited to AM/FM, "radio" does not appear to be a growing industry. But when segments like online and mobile are included, and growing and aggressive companies like Pandora, radio is healthy, growing, and well-positioned for the future.

Second, as you look for growth opportunities in online radio, maximize the value of AM/FM signals. "Be live, local, and linear," according to Kurt. "Linear," in this case, means a focus on content that makes sense in an "in-sequence" presentation (talk, sports, most news).

You'll need to (3) build a great team, and (4) be ready to embrace new business models. "You'll be better off if you can be flexible and embrace new approaches" to ad sales and programming.

Next, when entering a new product category, it's best to come up with a new name, and specialize the product to a specific consumer market, Kurt offered. Consumers perceive that "specialist" brands (think McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurants, or Ruth's Chris steakhouses) are of higher quality in their focused segment.

(6) Be prepared to take that brand global, and (7) have the guts to gamble.

"Don't wait until it's a sure thing to get started," Kurt said. "Don't take the 'wait-and-see' approach to develop your '2020 vision.'"

Listen to Kurt's "State of the Industry" speech (and all thet content from our recent RAIN Summit West) on SoundCloud at (look in the right-hand column).

Our next event is RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Hotel BLOOM in Brussels. Event information and links to register are here.

Deeper understanding of listener expectations and preferences key to building audience, say Summit experts

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 1:50pm

Unsurprisingly, the panelists in our RAIN Summit "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" panel stressed the importance of good, "differentiating" content to build an audience -- especially as music (and even news) becomes "commoditized."

More interesting was this point: An important step towards delivering the right content is a more thorough understanding of your listeners.

Edison Research cofounder/president Larry Rosin (left) moderated this first panel of the afternoon half of the Las Vegas Summit. He asked Pandora VP of Engineering Chris Martin about Pandora's "genre" stations

[sidenote: Pandora not only creates channels "on the fly" by asking the listener for a favorite song or artist, it also offers more traditional radio-style channels programmed by genre, e.g. country or pop hits]

Martin (right) explained them as the product of realizing that not all Pandora listeners come to discover new music. Rather, these channels are an "entry point" for those listeners who want a "super simple" experience based around artists they already know.

Rachna Bhasin is SiriusXM SVP/Corporate Strategy and Business Development (lower on the left). She explained SiriusXM is always looking for new content and talent intended to drive more subscriptions. Those efforts are informed by significant amounts of research and interviews with listeners, and an understanding of the expectations of "key audience demographics" to develop that content ("We're doing a lot with Latin right now," she illustrated.)

The Echo Nest CEO Jim Lucchese introduced his company's concept of "audience clusters" as an example of understanding the listener to deliver the right content.

[The Echo Nest is a "music intelligence" service with a massive database on listeners preferences and musical attributes of millions of songs, which is used by services like Spotify and iHeartRadio (and SiriusXM's new MySXM customizable streaming service).] 

Putting "a real keen focus" on understanding the listener, Lucchese explained, means looking at "clustering audiences into different types of music listeners" and examining how different underlying programming rules need to be applied for those different clusters.

"We found different 'rule sets' drive engagement wildly differently based on (listeners') geography, (preferred) style of music... you need to understand your fan base better before messing around with rules."

Rosin followed up with a question on how The Echo Nest client services learn about listener preferences, especially new listeners. Lucchese (right) explained some services can scan a new listener's local media library (by examining their iTunes XML file, for instance) to get a sense of the listener. There's also public preferences expressed on social media (such as Facebook 'likes'). Then, of course, later the services can simply track "what you listen to" -- and, importantly -- "how you react to it and build that up over time."

The Echo Nest CEO spoke directly to broadcasters and advised them to improve their streams by spending more time "focusing on and understanding" their audience: "Online listeners provide you with a ton of information about who they are. We're still in the stone age about recognizing not just what they like, but how they listen. Developing that will make a more engaging experience, and a more profitable one," he said.

Speaking to this very point, ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (left) described how he wants this guide the development of his service.

For a hypothetical 28-year old country music listener, Jones' company has vast amounts of "non- fiction spoken word" that she'd find of interest (she could learn how to "advance her career, manage her boss, get relationship advice").

"We can't yet, but what I'm excited about is being able to, when that listener is finished listening to a Taylor Swift song to let her know there's an opportunity right now to drive that listening experience into one of those other areas," Jones said. "That, to me, is the future, to control how listeners are going to consume audio beyond any one narrow niche..."

SiriusXM's Bhasin even returned to the theme of "understanding the listener" when discussing Apple's expected entry into streaming radio: "They have lots of data" on purchase history and customer preferences from which they can draw to program the right content. "They're trying to build curation now."

Consultant Alan Burns (Alan Burns & Associates president/CEO) (right) even suggested streaming broadcasters and pureplay webcasters could look to each other for better ways to present content.

"What radio needs to do most of all, the thing that would boost online listening to (music) radio streams," Burns said, is to "make broaddcast streams skippable" (that is, replicate the ability of most Net-only streaming experiences in which a listener can instantly skip to the next song).

For pureplays, his advice was that "jukeboxes don't hold up as well" as programming with "deeper branding and content." Pureplays need to create experiences "that will help them develop the personal bond you get with traditional radio," he suggested.

You can listen to the audio of "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" from RAIN Summit West. Go to RAIN's homepage to find all the RAIN Summit West audio in the right-hand column.

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