Last week was a big news week for online music news and RAIN Summit Orlando was front and center. The speaker list and agenda for the event were spectacular, featuring smart people from online music services and digital savvy broadcasters, global agency executives, and forward thinking industry folks. The discussions were dynamic – professionals from Ford and Pioneer Electronics discussed dashboard strategies with guys from Pandora, Slacker and TuneIn; and top Triton exec Mike Agovino didn’t mince words while debating benefits of ad insertion with agency exec Natalie Swed Stone and Saga’s Steve Goldstein.
It was a breath taking day full of meaningful conversation that took place on the stage as well as in the audience, in the halls and during breaks. The absolutely best part of every RAIN Summit is the audience. It’s a group that’s always engaged, leaning forward, listening and asking questions, engaged with what is going on. It’s one of the biggest and brightest audiences at the entire Radio Show.
David Field’s keynote at RAIN Summit Orlando presented an interesting, if perhaps defensive perspective of the online audio marketplace. He did admit that audio consumption is expanding, presumably with the help of steaming services, but went on to imply that Pandora’s numbers are a hoax and question the value of targetability of audio ads. While I don’t really understand the wisdom of taking such a position, I also have no doubt that the people in the room are smart enough to figure that out for themselves as well. This is not a room full of lemmings.
RAIN Summits are places where the industry – and I mean the entire online audio marketplace – can come together and engage in dynamic dialogue, maybe even debate, on best ways to grow the space. We don’t set an agenda or require our speakers to take a certain point of view. Pushing forward means considering all the perspectives, forming opinions and then questioning them again. That’s the true value of an industry conference, and that’s what I think we witnessed in Orlando last week. It was, in my opinion, the best RAIN Summit yet. If you were there, thanks for coming. If you missed it, please join us next time.