Vegas

We hope to see you Sunday in Vegas for RAIN Summit West!

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 11:50pm

We hope you've planned to join us this Sunday for RAIN Summit West at the LVH Hotel in Las Vegas.

As you probably know, our Las Vegas Summit is our annual full-day Internet radio conference and a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, it's the premiere learning and networking event for the industry focused on radio and the Internet.

This year RAIN Summits is very happy to have partnered with online radio tuning service and mobile listening app maker TuneIn to stream live audio from the event (using Backbone Networks technology). If you're not able to attend, you'll be able to listen to live audio of RAIN Summit panels, presentations, and keynote speeches during the event. TuneIn will also archive the audio for later listening. (We'll post the link to the live audio stream here on Sunday.)

One of the industry thought leaders joining us will be Targetspot CEO Eyal Goldwerger (pictured left), to give a "POV" (point of view) address. TargetSpot is the nation's largest digital audio ad network, with nearly 40 million unique listeners to its more than 85 radio group and pureplay affiliates, nearly two-thirds of the online listening population. TargetSpot recently added six new partners to its network, including Songza and Radionomy (see RAIN here). Goldwerger is a board member of Galil Software, and was CEO of XMPie, Inc., which Xerox purchased in 2006.

One topic which will undoubtedly be on many Summit-goers minds is Apple's nearly-certain entrance into the Net radio field. Today we hear Apple may be close to label deals affording them royalty rates at half what Pandora pays!

Our panel "The Song Plays On" is dedicated to the issue of webcasting royalties, and ways services and the industry might work together better. We're very happy to welcome to the panel and to RAIN Summit composer, arranger, and performer Patrick Laird (pictured right), cellist and founder of the group Break of Reality. Last fall when multi-platinum artists signed on to an "open letter" ad critical of webcaster Pandora's efforts for royalty reform, Laird took his own stand and wrote an op-ed for The Hill in strong support of our medium.

He wrote: "It is clear that the effectiveness of internet radio with regard to both product sales and promotional power is overwhelming, and the success and expansion of these companies are of the utmost importance for the future of our group. Internet radio creates an unparalleled opportunity for us to reach millions of people who otherwise might not discover music like ours" (see our coverage here). Laird's an Eastman School of Music graduate with a Performer's Certificate. (Listen for Break of Reality music during breaks at the Summit!)

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is one of three "performance rights organizations" in this country that collects license fees from businesses that use musical compositions, and distributes royalties to songwriters, composers, and music publishers. David Levin (left) was named BMI VP/New Media & Strategic Development in October, and he leads digital revenues efforts for BMI. Prior to his current position, Levin spent 12 years at Sony Music Entertainment, where he rose to SVP/Digital Sales. He was also VP/New Media and Senior Director/Online Marketing at Sony. He was Director of Marketing at GetMusic.com, a joint venture of Bertelsmann and Universal, and managed market research for BMG.

"The Song Plays On" will be moderated by attorney David Oxenford (more here), widely-regarded as one of the foremost experts on the matter of webcasting royalties. Our other panelists include Brad Prendergast of SoundExchange, Ted Cohen of TAG Strategic, and Rusty Hodge from Soma FM (more info on these three here).

Our RAIN Summit keynote speakers on Sunday will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). More information, including a complete agenda and list of speakers, is available on our RAIN Summit West page.

RAIN Summit tips for last-minute travelers

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 12:40pm

If you haven't yet booked your flight and hotel for Las Vegas for our RAIN Summit West event on Sunday, Bottom Line Publications has three nice tips to help you find last-minute travel deals.

Pauline Frommer (of the guidebook family) recommends deals sites like VacationsToGo.com, last-minute deals from stalwarts like Priceline and Expedia, and specialist sites like LastMinute.com.

She also says following certain airlines on Twitter can help. You may want to add @JetBlueCheeps, @VirginAmerica, and @AllegiantTravel to your feed.

Finally, the Hotel Tonight mobile app "tends to beat the pants off the competition" when it comes to finding quality rooms at affordable rates at the last minute.

Read this column from Bottom Line here, and we'll see you in Vegas!

"Accelerating Your Audience Growth" at RAIN Summit features execs from Sirius, Pandora, ABC Radio News

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 3:20pm

It's said that the premium in our digital economy is "attention" -- listeners simply don't have the time to consume every bit of content that's churned out. Your marketing needs to effectively attract audience, and your programming needs to be compelling to keep listeners. Certainly your potential audience is the world, but you have global-scale competition too. And new technology is constantly giving potential listeners new options across so many digital platforms -- print and video as well as audio. So what are the best practices to get more new listeners, and how do you get your existing listeners to listen more?

For this April's RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, we've assembled the "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" panel to address these very questions.

SiriusXM knows about listeners. They ended 2012 with nearly 24 million subscribers, a record for the company. Sirius also reported $3.4 billion in revenue, also a record. We welcome to RAIN Summit Rachna Bhasin, SVP/Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Sirius XM Radio. Her background working for EMI Music will be valuable in our audience growth discussion.

Alan Burns (upper left) laid the groundwork for his Alan Burns & Associates research and consultancy firm with experience as a former major market program director, on-air talent, and researcher. Alan Burns & Associates produces the "Here She Comes: Insights into Women, Radio, and New Media" study.

ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (middle right) returns to the RAIN Summit stage. He's leader of a team that creates audio and text content for terrestrial radio, Internet radio, satellite radio, and mobile distribution -- including customizable news/lifestyle content for Slacker Radio. He's twice been awarded "News Executive of the Year."

Another returning RAIN Summit vet is Jim Lucchese (lower left) CEO of music intelligence company The Echo Nest. Jim's company powers many of the music services that "adapt" to a listener's tastes: Echo Nest APIs have been used for more than 350 apps for companies like Spotify, Nokia, Vevo, and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio. The Echo Nest raised $17.3m of funding in 2012.

The bulk of Internet radio's audience are Pandora listeners: 1.39 billion hours of listening in January, 65.6 million active listeners, and a 7.19% share of U.S. radio listening. Chris Martin, Pandora's VP/Engineering (bottom right), manages software development, quality assurance, customer support, device development, device certification, and production support. His efforts helped Pandora forge 20 U.S. auto partnerships and get the app in 85 different car models.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting the even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while flights and hotels are still readily available, via the RAIN Summit West page.

RAIN Summit West will take place April 7th in Las Vegas

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 1:35pm

RAIN Summits has confirmed Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin as the second keynote speaker for RAIN Summit West, April 7th in Las Vegas.

Rhapsody is the U.S.-based online music subscription service with more than a million subscribers. It offers access to over 16 million tracks on more than 70 consumer electronics devices. Just this month Rhapsody announced a partnership with wireless phone provider MetroPCS allowing customers to add Rhapsody for $5 to its newly simplified select monthly smartphone plans. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Rhapsody announced its availability in Ford and Lincoln vehicles with SYNC AppLink.

Irwin, Rhapsody International's top executive, joined Rhapsody America in 2009 as COO and chief of staff. He planned and oversaw Rhapsody's 2010 spinoff from parent RealNetworks into a standalone company. In late 2011 Rhapsody acquired competing service Napster. His specialty has been in building strong subscription businesses, with prior senior positions with Boingo Wireless, Earthlink, InfoNet Services Corporation, and WorldCom. He recently told Inc. magazine he doesn't believe in the "freemium" approach embraced by some of Rhapsody's competitors (RAIN coverage here).

Earlier this month RAIN Summits also announced (here) Radio Advertising Bureau's Erica Farber as a RAIN Summit West keynote speaker.

RAIN Summit West, Internet radio's premiere industry gathering, is held annually in Las Vegas during the week of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet, and is geared to both broadcasters on the Web (like Clear Channel Radio and CBS Radio), and Internet-only webcasters (Pandora and AccuRadio).

Previous keynote speakers at RAIN Summits include ESPN senior vice president Traug Keller, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, Hubbard Broadcasting (at the time Bonneville International) president and CEO Bruce Reese, NPR SVP/Digital Media Kinsey Wilson, and Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy.

RAIN Summits will announce more speakers and panel topics in the coming weeks. Other RAIN Summits are set for later this year, including Europe in late spring, and Orlando (at the RAB/NAB Radio Show) on September 17th. For information on the event or for sponsorship information contact RAIN Summits president Jennifer LaneRAIN Summit West is a co-located education program of the NAB Show.

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