Follow up: UK streaming numbers misquoted in recent Pandora article

Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 11:55am

It seems as if Pandora founder Tim Westergren got some of his numbers confused when when comparing his company's streaming numbers to those of the entire UK (as reported in RAIN this week here).

The Pandora founder was suggesting that prohibitively high royalty rates would continue to keep his company from entering the UK market, in turn depriving both that country's consumers and copyright owners and performers of a healthy Internet radio sector. Westergren told PaidContent that his service, in a single day, basically matched the number of hours all Net radio services in the UK streamed in the entire fourth quarter of last year.

"The total number of hours spent listening to internet radio in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 35 million," said Westergren. "By contrast, Pandora alone streamed 975 million hours in the U.S. in just the most recent month."

Oops. RAJAR (the official body for measuring radio audiences in the UK) CEO Jerry Hill later told the newssource, "The actual number was 35 million hours per week , not 35 million hours for the quarter as Pandora had quoted you."

What's more, Westergren's comparison doesn't take into account the obvious population disparity between the two countries, the differences in methodology between RAJAR metrics and his own company's, and fundamental differences in the radio industry as a whole in the UK.

Perhaps still a valid point Westergren makes, but we wanted to correct the math error, as PaidContent has.

UK net radio device maker Roth adds colors to its K Radio line

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 11:25am

This sure caught our eye!

It's the Roth K Radio, with an FM receiver, Internet radio tuning (through wifi or ethernet), DAB (digital radio), and an iPhone dock.

The Roth K Radio isn't new, and it isn't even available in the U.S. But they just rolled out this new line of colors for the unit, and we couldn't resist adding this picture to today's issue.

Maybe the next time we're in the UK, we'll snag one!

See more on the Roth K here.

Westergren: "No indication" UK copyright society will offer rates allowing Pandora re-entry

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 11:25am

Tim Westergren, founder of PandoraWith the UK's streaming royalty rates set to expire in June, Pandora founder Tim Westergren tells paidContent: "We’ve seen no indication from PRS [For Music (the UK copyright collection society)] that it is prepared to offer economically viable rates for services like Pandora."

He continues, "The current rate demanded by PRS of 0.065 pence per listener per track equates to 47% of the revenue Pandora achieved on a per listener per track basis in the year we just completed, during which we generated $274 million in revenue and were the clear leader in monetizing internet radio."

Pandora closed its service to UK users in 2008. Westergren said then: "Both the PPL (which represents the record labels) and the MCPS/PRS Alliance (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate" (RAIN coverage here).

Currently Pandora is only available to U.S. users.

Westergren argues that Pandora's absence from the UK market hurts artists and consumers. He cites recent Rajar figures that time spent listening to web radio in the UK was 35 million in Q4. "By contrast, Pandora alone streamed 975 million hours in the U.S. in just the most recent month," or roughly 32.5 million hours per day.

paidContentThe current UK streaming rates expire in June and will be reviewed after "informal discussions" between web services and PRS For Music, paidContent reports.

"But, unlike in 2009, when and others joined the throngs of services demanding cheaper rates from the royalty agency, so far Westergren’s sounds like the only voice speaking up so loud for a further downward revision," writes paidContent.

You can find paidContent's coverage here.

Radioplayer a testament to cooperation, fairness, and product-focus, says The Telegraph

Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 11:40am

You many know Radioplayer (see RAIN coverage here) is the online aggregate of radio in Britain, 315 streaming audio channels and on-demand content. It's a not-for-profit cooperative co-owned by the BBC and (most of) the UK's commercial radio industry, launched one year ago this month.

Today Radioplayer boasts seven million monthly unique users. And it represents a victory in successfully transitioning traditional media to an online platform, compared to television in the UK, says Emma Barnett, The Telegraph's Digital Media Editor.

"Where British TV companies have failed... the radio industry has genuinely managed to build a successful aggregator through clever cooperation and by focusing on the product, rather than the potential new revenue streams," she wrote. "British TV content crucially still doesn’t have a single web player."

Each participating station is given equal prominence in the player, and each displays their own advertising and content. And there is total autonomy for each contributing station. Radioplayer managing director Michael Hill credits the platform's success to "its fairness, openness and its not-for-profit status."

Radioplayer also generates revenue (which goes back into developing and improving the player) by licensing its technology. Two such improvements are the coming mobile app and an app for Internet connected television systems (more here).

Read coverage from The Telegraph here.


TuneIn strikes new deals with HTC, talkSPORT

Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 11:30am

TuneInOnline radio aggregator TuneIn has reached new partnerships with phone maker HTC and UK commercial sports broadcaster talkSPORT.

The deal with HTC will result in TuneIn's Andriod app coming pre-loaded on new HTC One smartphones. Those devices will boast other web radio-friendly features (RAIN coverage here).

TuneIn's partnership with talkSPORT will bring the latter's lineup of talk programs and soccer broadcasts to TuneIn's directory.

You can find more in TuneIn's press release here and Radio World's coverage here.

Cridland explains his definition of "adding visuals to radio"

Friday, February 24, 2012 - 11:00am

"I’m specifically not talking here about video," self-christened Radio Futurologist James Cridland blogs. "I’m talking about things that allow audiences to engage when they want to, and discover more about what they’re listening to."

Cridland's long promoted the idea that digital media allows for a "visual radio" experience. But in his recent blog post, he contrasts his thinking against that of a video/television approach. "Stuff that enhances a radio broadcast – stuff that can be completely automatable, and stuff that reflects what’s on that radio station," he explains. "It’s not television."

What Cridland's after is more along the lines of Capital FM on the Radioplayer (here). "Static slides appear containing news, travel information, now-playing stuff, weather, pictures of the DJs, and more glanceable information," writes Cridland. Another example, BBC Radio 1's homepage (here)."As you listen, more information appears to let you learn more about what you’re hearing. Images of songs, tweets and Facebook messages from the audience, promotion of other things on the station, and links to video and more. Once more, it’s glanceable information that allows more interaction when you’ve the time to do so."

Read Cridland's blog here.

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