In a stock for stock transaction, Randy Michaels and his partner Marc Chase have exchanged ownership of their “pureplay recommendation system” called Up Your Ratings (UYR) for RadioIO stock. Michaels and Chase also become strategic advisors to the company. It’s an announcement that has been in the works for a while – Michaels and RadioIO CEO Tom Bean are old friends, along with Bubba, who joined RadioIO at the beginning of this year.
UYR, which is owned by Randy Michaels and Marc Chase, is a private company with unique intellectual property that has been developed by Mr. Michaels and his team. UYR’s pure play recommendation system (ScenarIO) is designed to deliver a one-to-one, vs. a one-to-many, consumer preference based custom audio product that is specific to the users tastes, locations, moods or activities thus creating a unique audio experience.
“IOWorld and RadioIO have long been innovators and pioneers in the Internet Radio Space including most recently with the launch of RadioIO Live® and The Bubba the Love Sponge® show,” stated Randy Michaels. “Marc and I look forward to continuing that tradition of innovation and with UYR’s IP and IOWorld’s platform we will implement a plan for internet radio that combines the best practices of traditional media with the most successful interactive characteristics of leading internet businesses.”
Following on the heels of that announcement comes another – Shannon Burke, a former Clear Channel personality who lost his morning show gig when he ran into trouble with the law (involving a gun and a wounded wife and dog) will leave the AM radio job he has had since July and join Radioio’s Bubba Army with an uncensored show. I for one cannot wait to find out who’s next..
IO World Media, the parent company of Radioio, has announced second quarter results that reflect revenue gains over a year ago. The company reports revenue of $473,321 in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $191,544 for the same period in 2010, and a net loss of $197,774 as compared to $274,323 for the same period in 2010.
The company press release notes that the revenue growth is attributable to the very successful launch of RadioioLive and the Early Enlistment Program for the Bubba Army. This revenue will be recognized pro rata over the thirty-six month life of those subscriptions.
Early this year Bubba The Love Sponge joined Radioio after leaving Sirius XM last year. During an early campaign on his new station, many loyal listeners signed up for long term subscriptions, giving them access to both live and archived content as well as Radioio’s music channels.
The company’s stock, trading as IWDM, has ranged from $.05 to $.68 in the last 52 weeks and is currently at $.11.
Last week was a busy week for Internet radio. Clear Channel shook things up at the beginning of the week with their announcement of the coming “New iHeartRadio”, later in the week Spotify launched its US based service. While I think Spotify’s entrance here is interesting, I don’t think it will have an enormous impact on free streaming radio options.
Spotify’s on-demand service is more competitive with other highly interactive services that are looking to replace personal listening collections. Those include services like MOG, rdio and Rhapsody. Cloud based services that allow a listener to sync their own music files and stream from multiple devices are a competitor to on-demand services as well. Premium Internet radio services, such as Pandora One and Slacker’s premium ad-free option may also be affected, as I think they will compete for the same dollars.
More than 2/3’s of Internet users here in the US have paid for digital/online content already, according to The Pew Internet and American Life Project, 1/3 have paid for digital music online. That information validates the consumer subscription model. But how many different services will the consumer pay for? Probably not more than one or two.
In addition to all the streaming on-demand services competing for digital dollars, there are subscription based podcasts such as Adam Carolla, Bubba The Love Sponge and others. In fact, I think Sirius XM, with its monthly subscription fee, is ultimately competing for the same monthly listening subscription dollars.
The arrival of Spotify, long heralded by themselves, has been anticipated by industry watchers aware of their large listening share in Europe. But the general public is largely unaware of them so far. Interest in earlier Euro based services has been weak – GOOM Radio launched and quickly fizzled, and UK born Last.fm, which CBSRADIO picked up a few years back, has not been able to build a massive following.
It’s an interesting case study from the get go, one that I’m looking forward to tracking..