USA Today reports web radio apps landing in consumers' living rooms inside "smart" TVs, video game systems and Blu-ray players

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 11:05am

A "smart" TV with plenty of web apps built right inConsumers are increasingly purchasing gadgets that enable them to experience web services -- from Netflix to Pandora -- on their TVs, reports USA Today. "Driving it is the consumer [appetite] for a wide variety of content on demand and the availability of devices that allow them to get that content on their big-screen TV," said an analyst at market research firm In-Stat.

Plus, "this holiday season could be the perfect time to bring these new services to your living room," writes USA Today. "There are bargains to be had."

The publication proceeds to run-through the various ways you could bring Internet services into your living room, from set-top boxes (like offerings from Roku, Apple and Boxee) to Blu-ray players to video game consoles to TVs with web apps built right in.

Though USA Today mostly focuses on the video app side of things, Internet radio and on-demand music streaming services are available on nearly all of the devices the article recommends.

Pandora on Google TVIf the research in USA Today's article is any indication, web-connected TVs are becoming more and more mainstream. We've seen indications of the desire for web radio on TVs in the past, from Comcast testing a native Pandora app for Xfinity cable customers (here) to Roku adding a dedicated Pandora button to their remote controls (here).

In fact, Roku said then that Pandora was one of the top five most popular apps on its devices.

And even if consumers don't necessarily buy a "smart" TV or Boxee Box for Internet radio services, they will be exposed to apps from Pandora, TuneIn Radio,, iHeartRadio and others. As we've written about before (here), that could very beneficial to webcasters.

Finally, it's not just on the TV that web radio and streaming music is making in-roads with mainstream consumers. The New York Times reports today on a wide range of stereo devices ready to stream music from Internet radio and other web services.

You can find USA Today's article here and the New York Times' article here.

UK's Radioplayer planning synchronized video for radio on connected TVs

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:10am

RadioplayerThe UK's all-in-one web radio platform Radioplayer is developing "ways for radio stations to offer live, simultaneous video streams via connected TVs, including synchronized ads," reports New Media Age.

“Currently, the visual user experience for radio on TV sets is very clunky," said Radioplayer UK MD Michael Hill. "We think we can improve on both the navigation and what you see when you are listening. We will offer radio stations the ability to run live video content and ads, along with display slideshows, album art or any other visual that individual station may want.”

You can find more coverage here.

Radio sees ulterior motives in music industry's support for TV spectrum auction

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 12:00pm

Four music industry lobby groups sent a letter to the Congressional debt-reduction "supercommittee" yesterday, encouraging lawmakers to let the FCC auction television broacast spectrum wireless operators. The American Federation of Musicians, the Recording Academy, SoundExchange and the Music Managers Forum say the auctions could raise billions of dollars in revenue for deficit reduction, as well free up spectrum for wireless broadband devices. Broadcasters that own television licenses want to choose whether they relinquish this spectrum, and want to be fully compensated for doing so.SoundExchange

But why are music industry interests speaking up regarding television spectrum? The Hill's "Hillicon Valley" blog put it simply: "Broadcasters and the music industry have a long-running feud over whether artists should receive royalties when radio stations play their songs."

The music industry groups say they are interested to "hasten the migration of music fans to cutting edge (wireless broadband) platforms that compensate artists," by paying royalties they say are a "basic economic and civil right for musicians."

The groups wrote, "It would seem to us that the NAB is not entitled to spectrum owned by the public, or costs associated with relinquishing it, and the federal government reclaiming this spectrum for purposes of deficit reduction is the kind of shared sacrifice that is required in these difficult times."

The NAB doesn't buy it. Spokesman Dennis Wharton fired back, "By coupling a TV spectrum issue with an unrelated performance tax on radio stations, the music industry sets the standard for grasping at straws. This is a Hail Mary pass that deserves to fall incomplete."NAB

Inside Radio believes the letter is part of a new music industry "tactic: find ways to make it difficult for broadcasters to do business such as by opposing license renewals.  The request to the Super Committee fits into that strategy, and similar moves are in the works, according to insiders who say bad feelings among many in the music community linger."

What's more, Inside Radio sees implications for online radio too. "As online streaming royalties grow bigger with each passing year, (NAB president Gordon) Smith believes webcast rates are likely to become intertwined with an on-air royalty issue," they write today. "Broadcasters’ current streaming royalty agreement with SoundExchange expires in 2015 yet Smith thinks there could be a way to resolve both the on-air and digital royalty issues sooner than that, potentially with something similar to a universal settlement. But with some broadcasters more digitally invested than others, radio’s internal royalty debate may once again break down between large and small market operators. Smith said he was optimistic that won’t happen, suggesting any new proposal would include an even more 'progressive system' where size dictates costs."

Read more from The Hill here. Subscribe to Inside Radio here.

TV web streaming device Roku to add Pandora button to remotes

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 8:10am

Roku will add a Pandora button to its remote controlsRoku, the maker of TV boxes that stream web content from Netflix among many services, will soon add a dedicated Pandora button to their remote controls.

Pandora is reportedly one of the top five most popular "channels" on Roku. The Pandora button-touting remotes should arrive early this month.

Find more from Pandora's press release here.

Nation's largest cable-TV provider Comcast reportedly testing Pandora app for digital Xfinity service

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 12:05pm

Pandora on TVComcast is reportedly testing a Pandora app for its Xfinity TV cable subscribers. Comcast's CEO said the company is also testing apps for Facebook, sports programming and other services that will be announced soon. 

Presumably this would allow Comcast subscribers to listen to Pandora streams through their TVs. Comcast is the largest cable operator in the United States, with over 22 million subscribers (according to to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association here). 

However, FierceCable reports that the new apps may only be available to certain cable boxes. Find more coverage here.

New Google TV update to include apps from Slacker, TuneIn Radio, Rhapsody and more

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 11:00am

Pandora on Google TVGoogle will this week unleash a major update for Google TV, including support for third-party apps from the Android Market. That includes 13 music apps, as Eliot Van Buskirk writes at ("but we suspect that number will soon balloon as more developers realize they can tweak Android apps and build web apps in order to appear on Google TVs").

Slacker, TuneIn Radio, Rhapsody and Napster will be available on Google's TV platform, as will other apps like Vevo and Baeble Music. Pandora will be present too, though it was already available.

"We can’t wait to try it out," writes Van Buskirk. "Television will be an excellent platform for music and other apps," writes Van Buskirk. We can't help but agree (more here). Find's original article here.

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