Traffic to SoundCloud is ramping up quickly. According to a monthly report by comScore Media Metrix, the number of unique visitors to the site grew 26% from Feb 2013 to March 2013 and landed them in the top ten fastest growing sites on the web (for US users). SoundCloud, which enables anyone to share audio in much the same way that users share video on YouTube, saw nearly 10.5 million users in March.
SoundCloud is based in Berlin. They are well funded, and count both Fred Wilson and Mary Meeker, two investors who pay quite a bit of attention to the online audio space, as investors and board members.
Want to hear more about SoundCloud ? VP of Business Development Dave Haynes will be joining us at RAIN Summit Europe coming up in just a couple of weeks, on May 23 in Brussels. He’ll join a panel discussion called Mainstream Mobile, hosted by James Cridland. Come to the conference and join the conversation. Hope to see you there!
Developers at The Echo Nest have put together a fun tool to demonstrate their ability to create music profiles for individuals based on the music they like or say they like. The way it works – you can either type in a few artists, or allow access to your facebook likes and it stereotypes you based on your musical selections.
Without much thought, I typed in a few of my favorites: Joan Armatrading and the B52s (from my college days), Dar Williams, Jack Johnson and Michael Buble. Up pops my musical listening persona, which I was fairly disappointed in: I’m a Sheltering Suburban Mom who likes Cabernet and 50 Shades of Grey, at least according to the game. And I thought I was so cutting edge.
The Echo Nest, on the other hand, is cutting edge. I’ve been to their offices in a trendy renovated warehouse in Davis Square in Somerville (not far at all from the now infamous Watertown). The company was started by a couple of smart MIT guys who originally thought they were building a streaming service like Pandora, and then decided that they would instead go into the backend business of powering personalized music services. Somewhere along the way they hired CEO Jim Lucchese, a smart and likeable guy. Now they are powering the likes of Spotify, iHeartradio, MTV, Vevo, and others.
Personalized music experiences are becoming a standard offering of most of the bigger music services. Go on and play What’s Your Stereotype, it’s easy to understand how your listeners will like it. And I dare you to tweet it, or post it below when you’re done..
Jim Lucchese is one of the smart people who often speaks at RAIN Summits. Our next conference is RAIN Summit Europe in Brussels on May 23.
Forty Five percent of Americans now listen to online radio occasionally, at least once a month, according to the newly updated Infinite Dial Study by Arbitron and Edison Research. That translates to 120 million Americans, and it’s a number that grew 6% over last year. The weekly number – Americans that listened to online radio weekly – grew 4% to 33% and roughly 86 million.
What’s more, those weekly listeners reported spending an average of 12 hours a week listening to radio online. Arbitron defines online radio as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to audio content available only on the Internet – a definition that I concur with, since I think that’s how consumers define it.
But here’s the big news of the study: Consumers reported spending more than two hours more listening online than they did a year ago! Weekly listeners spend an average of 12 hours a week listening to online radio, versus close to ten hours last year.
The Infinite Dial Study is the best comprehensive snapshot of the growth of online listening. Arbitron and Edison Research have been updating this yearly study for more than ten years, providing the industry with cold hard data chronicling the growth of listening online. Arbitron VP Bill Rose and Edison Research President Larry Rosin will present their study at the upcoming RAIN Summit West on this Sunday April 7th. Hope to see you there!
With more than 5000 stations and 260 genres of music, Live365 may well be the most diverse streaming audio platform on the planet. Live365 offers a platform where folks who want to start their own radio station can do that for an affordable monthly fee that’s all inclusive – streaming, programming tools, royalty coverage, etc.. Monthly costs range from under $5 bucks a month for a station that you and just a few friends can listen to, to $99 or more for larger reach and even the ability to run commercials.
They’ve recently upped their game by offering a new app called Studio365 that lets their broadcasters to manage their radio stations from their mobile device. Among other things, it features a nifty tool called ShoutOut that enables the capability to go “live” on the microphone whenever and wherever a broadcaster may choose. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the Studio365 mobile app lets users create, preview, and manage Shout Out voice messages, set and update station ID and pre-roll messages, update station profiles including title, image, description, review current and historical station listening stats, as well as monitor their station.
Live365 has been around a long time, since 1999, enabling the long tail of Internet radio, with more than 5000 individual stations, including some nifty curated stations by the likes of Carlos Santana, Pat Metheny and Jethro Tull. They’re one of the true pioneers in the space. CEO Hong Lau will join a panel discussion on International Trends in Online Audio at RAIN Summit West, which is just a couple of weeks away – so if you haven’t registered, I hope you will. More info here…
Digital revenues generated by US radio broadcasters shot up 11% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the previous year, and pushed the full year over year increase to an impressive 8%. Spot dollars increased a mere 1%, further emphasizing the brightness of the digital horizon for radio.
“The continues stellar showing of the Digital sector…underscores the fact that th eRadio industry is finding additional ways to monetize these streams and that advertisers are taking advantage of new platforms to reach our listeners,” said RAB President and CEO Erica Farber. The digital revenues category represents revenues generated by websites, Internet/web streaming and HD Radio including HD2 and HD3 stations.
As the overall contribution that digital revenues makes to radio’s revenue edges closer to 5%, Internet advertising revenues are hitting record highs. The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that Q3 of 2012 was up 18% over a year earlier, with Q4 numbers yet to be released. With spot radio dollars stuck in barely positive territory, digital solutions that enable broadcasters to unlock a portion of that pie become an important piece of the radio economy.
RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will deliver a keynote speech at RAIN Summit West on April 7th, offering her perspectives on radio’s digital initiatives and prospects for the future. Other panels will explore online options to capture more revenue as well. For more information and to register, click here. (Early bird registration ends next week.)
I’m heading to Europe this week for the very first RAIN Summit there – in Berlin on Friday October 5th. It is looking like it will be a great event – the room is close to sold out at this point, and the agenda and speaker list are impressive. I expect to learn a lot.
AdSwizz, Triton Digital and Liquid Compass are the presenting sponsors of this event, and they were instrumental in convincing my colleague and partner Kurt Hanson and I to bring RAIN Summits to Europe. We’ve been planning this day for almost a year.
The event will take place at the very trendy nhow Hotel on the River Spree in Berlin, a city that is full of folks who know a lot about new media in general, and Internet radio as well. I’m looking forward to panel discussions that will focus on technology and programming, business and monetization. A panel discussion on the Connected Dashboard will feature execs from BMW and Open Synergy. We’ll hear experts talk about measurement topics, both from the content side, and then from the agency perspective. Our Agency Roundtable features executives from agencies across Europe.
There will be two keynote presentations – Kurt Hanson, Publisher of RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter, and Jonathan Forster, General Manager of Spotify Europe.
No doubt we’ll discover many similarities as well as differences between the US and European streaming marketplace. In fact, that’s the point of RAIN Summit Europe: provide a format for discussion and debate among industry experts, in a group small enough so that everyone can network and communicate. I hope to see you there, and can’t wait to tell you all about it…
Radionomy, a French-Belgian service that enables users to set up their own online radio station and share it with others, is opening an office in San Francisco. The service, which has 6,000 user programmed stations, is similar to Live365 in its business model, taking care of the actual broadcasting and promotion of the stations, rights management, scheduling and audience monitoring and reporting.
They also have an advertising option that sells advertising across their network of stations, helping users of the service to monetize their content.
Radionomy has more than 42 million listener hours per month across its group of user generated stations. The new US office will be their fifth – they currently have offices in Germany, Spain, France and Belgium as well.
Radionomy CEO Alex Saboundjian will join a panel discussion on monetization strategies for Internet radio at RAIN Summit Europe on October 5th in Berlin. Also joining the panel will be Caroline Graze, NRJ International (Germany); David Deslandes, Deezer (France); Frank Nolte, RMS.de (Germany); and Zachary Lewis, Liquid Compass (US).
RAIN Summit Europe promises to be an exciting day of discussions focused on Internet radio in Europe. Check out the impressive speaker list here, and make plans now to join us!
BThis fall, on October 5th, a very smart group of people are getting together in Berlin, Germany to spend a day networking and discussing Internet radio. RAIN Summits, the very popular conferences for the Internet radio industry in the US and Canada, will debut RAIN Summit Europe this fall. If you are involved in Internet radio in Europe, or globally, this is an event you will want to attend.
The keynote speaker at the event is Jonathan Forster, General Manager of Spotify Europe. The most successful streaming service on the continent. Spotify launched in 2008 and has millions of users. About 25% of those users pay for a premium version of their service. Spotify originally launched in Sweden, and in that country their market share is unbelievable – one in every 3 people (37%) listen once a month! The service reaches 85% of 16 to 25 year olds and 55% of them listen daily!
In addition to hearing Forster, attendees to RAIN Summit Europe will meet and hear a long list of prestigious and smart speakers from across Europe discuss the business of Internet radio, from content to revenue. Agency executives from across Europe will debate online audio’s value proposition, sales experts will discuss monetization, and programming peeps will examine content trends. There will be dynamic discussions of online audio targeting and audience measurement. All taking place in a format that promises to enable lots of networking and idea sharing, similar to what takes place at RAIN Summit events here in the US.
I don’t have to tell you about the buzz that already surrounds Internet radio, if you’re reading Audio4cast you already get it. So contribute to the future of Internet radio by joining the conversation. If you are part of the online audio marketplace in Europe, don’t miss this chance to be part of the very first RAIN Summit Europe in Berlin on October 5th.
You can get more information about the event here. And save €20 when you register by entering the special code Audio4cast20 . See you there!
Tim Castelli, President of National Sales, Marketing & Partnerships for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s RAIN Summit Dallas, Tuesday, September 18th at the Anatole Hilton in Dallas. Castelli joined Clear Channel in March from AOL as their digital chief. His resume also includes Tech Industry Director for Google and Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Clear Channel’s role as a leader in the development of radio’s digital future is significant and Castelli’s keynote should be an insightful perspective from one of the company’s key players.
RAIN Summit Dallas will be held on the day immediately preceding The Radio Show produced by RAB and NAB. A “partner event” of The Radio Show, RAIN Summit Dallas is the premiere educational and networking event for Internet radio, focusing on the intersection of radio and the Internet. RAIN Summits are geared to both broadcasters on the Web (like Clear Channel Radio and CBS Radio), and Internet-only webcasters (like Pandora, Slacker, and AccuRadio).
As another highlight of the event, “RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter” Publisher Kurt Hanson will present his “State of the Industry” address on the future of radio in this age of new media. Hosted by Hanson, the Summit will feature a variety of other speakers and panelists, offering insights on the business, programming and technology aspects of online radio, including topics such as “Monetizing Mobile” and “Social Radio.”
RAIN Summits are a great way to learn and network in the Internet radio space. The speaker list for September is growing and already includes execs from NPR, CBS Local, Myxer, Cox Media Group, TuneIn and many others. For more info, click here. Hope to see you there!
By way of disclosure, I am the President of RAIN Summits.
Spotify’s General Manager for Europe, Jonathan Forster, will be a keynote speaker at RAIN Summit Europe – the first-ever pan-European conference specifically focused on the fast-growing field of Internet radio – to be held in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, October 5th.
As you may have read here before, RAIN Summits are the premiere educational and networking events specifically focused on the Internet radio industry. I’m very involved in RAIN Summits, in fact, I’m the President. So naturally I think they are just great. We’re especially excited about this one because it will be our European debut.
RAIN Summit Europe will take place at the award-winning nhow Hotel (“Berlin’s Music and Lifestyle Hotel”). The conference will be a day-long event, including panels, keynote speakers, and various networking opportunities.
Spotify’s Forster is responsible for the overall development of Spotify’s European business, leading the strategy and development of advertising sales at Spotify and managing Spotify’s workforce across the region including the UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark. Spotify is the most listened to streaming service in Europe, with more than 20 million registered users worldwide.
“Internet radio is an extremely fast-growing field,” said Kurt Hanson, Publisher of RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter, and CEO of RAIN Summits. “In some countries, Internet radio listening now comprises up to 10% of all radio listening, and it is growing at the rate of 50-100% per year.”
RAIN Summit Europe will feature a pan-European list of speakers who are experts on various aspects of the field of streaming radio. Other featured speakers include:
- Stephan Moller, President, Association de European Radios
- Ali Abhary, CEO of Spectrum Medya
- Elisa Escobedo, CEO AudioEmotion
- Patrick Roger, VP Global Sales, Adswizz
- Franck Si-Hassan, Directeur Délégué Mediametrie
- Clive Dickens, CEO, Absolute Radio
- David Deslandes, Sales Director, Deezer
- Mike Agovino, COO Triton Digital
- Caroline Grazé, Head of Internet and New Business, NRJ International
- Frank Nolte, Deputy Director of Sales, RMS
For more information on the agenda and speakers, visit the RAIN Summit Europe website. Hope to see you there!