Tom Taylor

Top-notch coverage of yesterday's RAIN Summit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

After we recover from the rush of yesterday's successful RAIN Summit Orlando event (and today's iTunes Radio launch), we'll get cracking on our own coverage of the Summit. In the meantime, our colleagues at news sources like Tom Taylor Now, Inside Radio, Radio Ink, and AllAccess were at the event, and all have published coverage of their own.

One of yesterday's most compelling Summit panel discussions addressed the contentious issue of online "simulcasting" versus the use of ad-insertion technology (Taylor, Inside Radio, and Radio Ink all led their coverage with it). The panel consisted of Saga's Steve Goldstein, Triton Digital's Mike Agovino, OMD's Natalie Swed Stone, AdsWizz's Alexis Van de Wyer, and Greater Media's Tom Bender.

The speakers on the panel -- broadcasters included -- acknowledged the attraction of customizable pureplay webcasts with few (or no) commericals, and agreed that broadcasters need to offer more than "an extension of the tower."

At least as "buzz-worthy," judging by the coverage, was Entercom president and CEO David Field's keynote address. A few contentious points may have been expected, what with a broadcast group head keynoting such a conference. Field, as you can read, insisted that the audio consumption "pie is growing," and that's for broadcast radio too. More controversially, he challenged the veracity of Pandora's self-described 7% share of overall U.S. radio listening, and contended that the webcaster's granular ad-targeting actually makes them a less efficient advertising vehicle. He says radio gets the "bonus weight" of delivering ad messages to non-targeted demos.

A research presentation from GroupM Next caught industry journalists' attention -- notably their finding that nearly half of Pandora and iHeartRadio users say they plan to switch to Apple's iTunes Radio product when it launches today -- even before testing it. Also making news was the strong the desire for a "connected-dashboard" car among younger demos. Newly-appointed RAIN managing editor Brad Hill moderated a discussion panel on this very topic. Read his coverage of "The Race to the Dashboard" here.

Also, please see our coverage of the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio Awards here.

Thanks to our colleagues for their coverage of RAIN Summit Orlando. Read more from Tom Taylor Now here, Radio Ink here and here, in AllAccess here, and at here.

Great RAIN Summit West coverage in industry trades

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 2:15pm

Over the next few days, we'll be recapping the panels and presentations from the RAIN Summit West conference in Las Vegas on Sunday right here in RAIN, as well as archived audio of the entire day's content from TuneIn and Backbone Networks. Today we want to point out some of the fine coverage of the event in these other industry news sources:

Tom Taylor Now (which was a media sponsor of the event) has excellent summaries of the Summit's first segment in its early Monday morning edition here.  

Inside Radio published extensive, front-to-back coverage of the Summit on Monday morning as well, here.

All Access also went wall-to-wall with keynote, panel, and presentation summaries here.

RadioInfo has coverage today too, here.

Thanks to all these news sources for their coverage of RAIN Summit West.

Radio will soon be just one of several entertainment and information options to the U.S. driver

Monday, December 10, 2012 - 12:30pm

Thursday was the second half of Arbitron's Client Conference, and two topics that emerged of interest to RAIN readers: in-vehicle Net radio and the importance of mobile to radio's digital strategy (as Tom Taylor Now reported on Friday).

It's clear the day is coming that broadcasters will be competing head-to-head with Internet-delivered entertainment and information in the car. Valerie Shuman (left) is VP/Industry Programs for the Connected Vehicle Trade Association. She told the conference we'll soon see, as Taylor reports, "a virtual dashboard and software-defined radio" (think of a device where its capabilities are easily updated and enhanced, as opposed to being limited by whatever "hardware" it uses).

Jacobs Media consultant Fred Jacobs (also pictured left) spoke too. He recommended radio programers to go and get the same in-car experience your audience will soon have, with a test drive of a car equipped with a connected dashboard system.

"You need to understand what the consumer is going through, to be an effective programmer," he said. That's one point, by the way, of his five-point plan for radio programmers, managers, and owners to make sure they're ready for for the "connected car revolution," which he offers in his blog.

"Radio needs to understand what the automakers – and aftermarket companies – are thinking, and how it will impact the listening experience – or should I say – the audio consumption experience," Jacobs writes, here.

Even out of the car, mobile is becoming the heart of digital radio listening. Clear Channel President of Digital Brian Lakamp (right) revealed to the conference audience that more than half of iHeartRadio usage is now mobile (that number is now 77% for Pandora). His company's research shows users of iHeartRadio's "custom radio" feature (its "personalizable" streams) "spent more time with live radio than they did two years ago... digital is 'in addition to,' not 'instead of' broadcast radio."

Read more of Tom Taylor's coverage on Day Two of the Arbitron Client Conference here.

Some critics wonder if joining iHeartRadio platform worth pulling streams from other sites

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 11:05am

iHeartRadio's growing networkVarious industry publications and commentators have recently voiced or reported second thoughts about iHeartRadio's role as an aggregator. Specifically, some question the wisdom of going along with Clear Channel's reported exclusivity requirement for joining iHeartRadio.

Clear Channel has recently added hundreds of third-party station streams to iHeartRadio from Greater Media, Cumulus, EMF, Univision, as well as various non-comms and college stations.

Jennifer Lane writes in Audio4Cast that some of these companies "are rumored to have made iHeartRadio their exclusive digital portal." She thinks that's a dangerous move: "Content creators should work with every distribution platform they can to give listeners access in as many ways as they want it." (Find her blog post here.)

That echoes industry journalist Sean Ross, who in late 2011 wrote (more here) "I’m still in favor of station streams being available in as many places as possible," (though with the warning: "aggregation is not curation").

Earlier this month Carleton College "snubbed" an offer from Clear Channel to join iHeartRadio, Radio-Info reported (here). The student station manager said that to join iHeartRadio, the college station "would have to pull its live stream from all other sites" like TuneIn.

Soon after that story broke, an unnamed commercial station executive told Radio-Info's Tom Taylor that his or her station too "had second thoughts about the requirement that we would have to remove our signal from all other Internet services." The executive did not reveal if the station ended up joining iHeartRadio anyway.

Finally, industry commentator Ken Dardis today points to data from Google to argue iHeartRadio isn't as popular, or as easy to find, as you might expect.

"Be careful about getting caught up in hype," he argues (here). "The exclusivity clause offered to new iHeartRadio stations may turn out to be more a shackle for acquiring, than a bridge to exposure."

What do you think? Is going exclusive with iHeartRadio a good idea? Share your opinion by commenting on this article.

Don't blame the platform, when bad content and lack of promotion are at fault, argues Cridland

Friday, December 9, 2011 - 11:00am

Radio's "futurologist" James Cridland had to bust out the "spicy" language to make his point (which we think is a pretty ****ing valid one). James spoke at the Jacobs Media Tech Summit in Baltimore this week (see Tom Taylor's "zingers" section yesterday in, and clarifies a point he made there in his blog today.James Cridland

Cridland took exception to the idea that a delivery platform -- HD Radio in this case -- could be at fault for an underperforming brand. To paraphrase, the reason nobody’s listening to your HD2 channel isn’t that HD Radio is s**t, it’s that your HD2 channel is s**t.

"It is not a discussion about platform – it’s a discussion about content," Cridland wrote. "And, as I regularly say, you may have good reasons why you have chosen not to be on a given platform, but that doesn’t give you licence to slag it off, because that’s bad for radio listeners and radio advertisers."

Interestingly, the point came out of Cridland's attempts to sample WMMR/Philadelphia HD-2, MMaRchives, which also streams online. And Cridland doesn't really have any problem with the content of that actual channel -- but the fact that it was so hard to find led to his conclusion that the lack of listening to the channel is a result of lack of promotional support by the station. 

"If you tell nobody about a new station, bury it four screens down in an unintuitive place on the website, and don’t tell anyone how to tune in, it’s unfair to blame the platform for your failure to promote a service well," Cridland suggests. Read his blog here.

David Oxenford explains in-store music royalties following Pandora-DMX partnership

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 8:10am

David OxenfordEarlier this week Pandora announced a partnership with DMX to license its stations to businesses (RAIN coverage here). Yesterday Radio-Info's Tom Taylor asked industry attorney and Davis Wright Tremaine partner David Oxenford (pictured) to explain the royalty situation for businesses playing music to customers. As usual with royalties, the requirements are more complicated than you might expect.

You can find Oxenford's explanation in yesterday's Taylor on Radio-Info newsletter here and more on the Broadcast Law Blog here.

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