Emmis has implemented technology on all of its stations that enables visual song ID and tagging on mobile Apple devices. The system, called TagStation, was developed by Emmis Interactive, the innovative online division of Emmis, and Broadcast Electronics. Basically, it enables iPod, iTouch, iPhone and iTunes listeners to Emmis’ FM and HD stations to get artist and title on the radio display info and iTunes tagging.
What is iTunes tagging you might ask… According to info on the Apple website, it’s an easy way to hear a song on a station and click to tag that song – on a connected iPod device. Then when you sync the device with iTunes on a computer, a playlist of songs that you have tagged will show up, complete with handy links to download those songs on iTunes. Stations earn commissions on the songs sold through iTunes.
No doubt, stations also earn points with listeners for enabling this nifty technology that creates a much more interactive experience for FM and HD listeners. It is available to non-Emmis stations through either BE or Emmis Interactive.
In the last twenty years there has been a huge transformation in the way we listen to music. It started with the Sony Walkman which enabled us to carry ten or so songs of our choosing in our pocket. From there we moved to mp3 players – my first one only held about ten songs – to larger and larger iPods, to iPhones and other connected mobile devices. With those, today’s music lover has access to millions of songs in a wide variety of genres by an enormous number of artists.
Now the challenge is to find the music they want to listen to.
Platforms like Pandora’s Genome and iTunes’ Genius systems have created music recommender systems that attempt to analyze current personal music tastes based on data provided by the listener, and recommend similar new artists or tracks. But what if you want to listen on another platform, or find music that is more eclectic than those platforms might be?
There’s a lot more to be done on the creation of music recommender services, according to WOMRAD, the Workshop on Music Recommendation and Discovery, recently convened in Barcelona, Spain. Tools can focus on social tagging, human interaction via computer, content analysis and time of day listening patterns to analyze data and enable better management of larger and larger music collections.
The documents presented at this symposium are available here.
Ironically, Sony last week announced that it has stopped making the Sony Walkman. RIP…
- Some iTunes special promotions aren’t so special (news.cnet.com)
- Apple introduces iTunes Sidebar, brings back Genius (macworld.com)
- Music in the lives of kids has increased to more than two and a half hours a day since the last study.
- Among 15- to 18-year-olds, just under half (45%) say they have ever listened to the radio through the Internet.
- On an average day, an 8-18 year old spends 32 minutes listening to music online, 32 minutes on (broadcast) radio.
- They dedicate the same portion of listening time to Internet radio as they do to broadcast radio (23%).
The main conclusions of the study focus on the fact that young people’s lives are “filled to the bursting point with media,” as they pack nearly 11 hours of media content into 7.5 hours per day (thanks to multi-tasking). According to the study, “The transformation of the cell phone into a media content delivery platform, and the widespread adoption of the iPod and other MP3 devices, have facilitated an explosion in media consumption among American youth.”
You can read more about the study at RAIN.
Big news for HD Radio this week is that it’s available on iPhone. While the HD Radio app for iPhone is free, listening requires the purchase a Gigaware HD Radio receiver accessory, which costs $80 and is only available at Radio Shack.
In this interview with wsj.com, iBiquity chief executive Bob Struble mentions that first HD Radio went portable with Microsoft’s Zune, and now extends its mobile offerings to Apple’s incredibly popular iPhone. In addition to being able to listen to your favorite stations digitally, the app enables you to tag songs that you hear and like for future purchase.
HD is simply a brand name for the digital upgrade to AM and FM, says Struble. AM/FM is the last analog medium in the US, and HD is the digital version of those offerings.
The question is, will listeners adopt the new HD technology and move to HD devices and listening, or will they shift directly to an alternative like Internet radio? Streaming Pandora, for example, is free for everyone on iPhone. The reason to purchase the HD Radio iPhone accessory, according to Struble, is that it will allow listening to HD Radio stations on your iPhone even when you don’t have a wifi connection. (but your purchase of the iPhone required you to pay for a monthly data plan that gives you unlimited broadband…)
He hopes they will convince Apple to build HD Radio receivers directly into iPhones and iPod Touch devices, which would eliminate the need for additional hardware. It sounds far fetched to me, but a while back I was betting against FM on iPhones…
A newly released study done by Targetcast, a communications firm, has some good and bad news for broadcast radio. The good: Adults 18 to 64 were found to still consider radio to be an important touchpoint for new music discovery. The not-so-good: 18 to 24 year olds were likely to indicate that radio is not so relevant to them.
Released study findings show that consumers indicate that several traditional media including newspapers, magazines and, to a lesser degree, radio, will need to change the most in the coming years. Newspapers led the pack of media needing to change, with nearly 60% of consumers surveyed identifying this medium as the one that will need to change the most – compared to 30% for magazines and 20% for radio.
Another notable discovery from the research: Men are more likely than women to replace radio with digital alternatives such as mp3 players or Internet stations, while women are more likely to stick with their favorite radio stations.
The bottom line should be taken as a shot across the bow by broadcast radio: “41% of those surveyed indicate that radio is still relevant in today’s media environment. According to respondents, radio provides a great venue to discover new music that cannot be experienced elsewhere. Maybe somewhat surprising, respondents overall prefer to listen to music through the radio station vs. Internet stations or on their mp3 player. ” However, within that overall conclusion there are several key demographics that are indicating a willingness to transfer their affinity to digital music sources including personal devices such as Internet radio, ipods, iphones and other multi-media devices.
My inbox is full of Google Alerts on Podcasting, thanks to an announcement by Volomedia that they have been granted a patent entitled “Method for Providing Episodic Media.” According to the press release, the “patent covers the fundamental mechanisms of podcasting, including providing consumer subscription to a show, automatically downloading media to a computer, prioritizing downloads, providing users with status indication, deleting episodes, and synchronizing episodes to a portable media device.”
The company filed a patent claim in 2003, “almost a year before the start of podcasting. This helps underscore the point, that for nearly six years, VoloMedia has been focused on helping publishers monetize portable media…. and has continued these efforts with the addition of a wide array of smartphone-based applications.” (from a blog post on their site)
This announcement has generated quite a bit of skepticism by folks wondering if anyone should be able to lay claim to such a broad method of content delivery. Without contributing to the controversy, I’ll add some facts that I have read in various articles on the topic. According to Contentinople’s Ryan Lawler, Volomedia’s CEO Navar notes that Apple, which helped popularize podcasts through its iTunes music store, didn’t add podcasting to its media application until 2005.
Navar told Ars Technica that “Our focus is to generate revenues through our products and technologies.” “VoloMedia is not entertaining or pursuing any licensing conversations… VoloMedia’s main intent is to continue to work collaboratively with key participants in the industry, leveraging its unique range of products to further grow and accelerate the market, not introduce new impediments.”
Volomedia is not a so-called patent troll company, in the business of scooping up potentially lucrative patents and then licensing them to potential infringers. Rather, the company has been in the business of podcasts for a while and it has a long list of clients that includes MSNBC, ABC, Fox News, Slate, Scientific American, Public Radio International. Sounds like that list may get a lot longer…