I’ve said before that side channels are a great idea for online stations. Whether the station is a streamed broadcast or an online station, adding side channels is an excellent opportunity for stations to expand and diversify their offerings and give listeners more reasons to listen and listen longer.
One popular use of side channel programming is the creation of holiday channels. AccuRadio takes the concept of Christmas channel programming to the extreme – offering 43 channels of Christmas music — from R&B to Smooth Jazz to Celtic and Pop Christmas choices. Each year AccuRadio sees a nice spike in their audience as a result of their holiday offerings.
Not surprisingly, new data from AndoMedia shows that holiday side channel programming contributes to long term audience growth as well. Here’s a couple of charts showing pre and post holiday audience average active sessions on AccuRadio.
Stations should take a retailers approach to holidays and create specialty programming on side channels, according to Patrick Reynolds, Sr. VP at AndoMedia. This approach boosts their short term listening, and adds to their long term audience growth as well.
We’ll be exploring more ways that stations can expand their audience and brand with digital audio offerings at the upcoming RAIN Summit West on April 12 in Las Vegas. In fact, there’s a panel discussion specifically dedicated to the topic. To register click here. Audio4cast readers can save 30% by entering the code Audio4cast during registration.
Navigating the rules of using music in a digital media platform is complicated. Whether you’re a streaming music service, offering podcasts, downloads, videos with music from your site, or simply creating ads for advertisers, chances are you’re creating a public performance when you’re doing that, which in the digital world means you have to have a license and pay a fee. In many cases, statutory or blanket licenses already exist. Which means all you have to do is figure out which ones apply to you…
To make that much easier, my friend David Oxenford of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine has created an excellent resource. Guide to the Basics of Music Licensing is essential reading for anyone in the digital audio space. (It’s free!)
Oxenford is the most knowledgeable guy I know in areas related to copyright issues and digital audio. He has represented webcasters in lots of royalty negotiations including the settlement last summer between pureplay webcasters and SoundExchange. He’s also a busy FCC attorney for lots of broadcasters. He’ll be speaking at RAIN Summit West on April 12th as well.
This week, RAIN: The Radio and Internet Newsletter announced that Kinsey Wilson, Senior VP and General Manager of NPR Digital Media will be a keynote speaker at RAIN Summit West on April 12th in Las Vegas. The RAIN Summit event in Las Vegas is an official event of the NAB Show and features a full day of panels, presentations and speakers on the topic of Internet Radio and digital audio platforms. In it’s 8th year, this event is the best event of the year for anyone involved in the industry to learn, connect and network with others in the business of Internet radio.
Wilson oversees an impressive digital media platform at NPR that includes web, podcasting and mobile operations. Previously, he was the executive editor of USA Today and oversaw the award winning redesign of that paper’s website.
NPR’s digital platform is impressive and innovative, I’d go so far as to say that they’re doing the best job of any broadcaster in utilizing their digital platform to distribute their content, engage their audience and extend their brand. This is a great opportunity to see what they’re doing and listen to a lead digital thinker in our industry.
You can get more information and register for the RAIN Summit here.
RAIN: Radio and Internet Newsletter has announced dates for two exciting, informative and prestigious industry events. On March 12th in Toronto during Canadian Music Week, RAIN will host its first Canadian RAIN Summit, featuring interesting speakers and topics related to Internet radio both in Canada and the United States.
On April 12th, RAIN will host its annual flagship event at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas. This event takes place during and is an official co-located event of the NAB Show. It’s the premiere educational and networking event for Internet radio. Broadcast radio executives, Internet radio entrepreneurs, and sales and technology visionaries convene at the Renaissance Hotel adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center for engaging panels and presentations on technical and legal aspects of the business, programming expertise and business strategies. All RAIN Summit registrants will also receive access to the 2010 NAB Show exhibits.
Join RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson and a slate of industry leaders for a full day of information and networking in Las Vegas, or an afternoon’s worth in Toronto – or both! Then end the day socializing with other broadcasters and webcasters at the famous RAIN Summit cocktail party.
Attendees to the RAIN Summit this week in Las Vegas were immersed in a deluge of discussions on Internet radio platforms, strategies, legal issues. The keynote addresses were delivered by two thought and execution leaders in the space – David Goodman, President of Digital Media and Marketing for CBSRadio, and Joe Kennedy, CEO of Pandora. Goodman provided an overview of their digital platform and strategy, including CBSRadio’s willingness to invest in the future with its major purchase of Last.fm. He humbly credited his boss Dan Mason with a futuristic approach that has driven them to create their impressive digital platform.
Kennedy was equally inspiring, talking about the way media must shift from a mindset of broadcasting one channel to thousands of people to a one to one approach that understands the way listeners wish to consume their media in the future. Both companies have seen remarkable success in the past year with their digital platforms, and have lead the space in terms of audience growth and innovation. They’ve also generated substantial buzz which has benefitted the industry as a whole.
Highlights from the five panels were too numerous to mention, so here are some random notes. On a panel about monetizing streaming audio, Jag Duggal of Google Audio provided hints of their new Internet radio ad platform which will resemble AdSense in many ways. Later he told me that within a month or so we’ll hear more. Cheryl Lucanegro talked about Pandora’s :10 audio units with banners or links that are seeing very high click through rates (.02 to .10).
On a panel about Performance Royalties, moderated by legal expert David Oxenford, Citadel’s John Rosso provided a very good explanation of the benefits and thoughts behind the recent negotiated settlement between NAB and Sound Exchange. Most interesting was his statement that his company is already monetizing streaming at a higher rate per listener hour than broadcast.
There were two panels discussing Internet radio’s new devices, mobile, automotive and tabletop. Bonneville’s Russell Banz noted that station’s shouldn’t have “digital strategies” separate from broadcast strategies at this point, rather, digital platforms are an essential part of any broadcaster’s strategy. RadioTime’s Dan Halyburton added that times are certainly tough, ad sales are challenging, but now is the time to move toward establishing a mobile platform.
There were so many industry wizards in the room it’s hard to mention them all: Cox’s Gregg Lindahl hosted a panel; Targetspot’s Perlson, Katz Online’s Benedik, and Triton’s Freund sat side by side to discuss revenue strategies; Online stations like Radio Paradise and Digitally Imported shared their wisdom; the CEO of Goom Radio Rob Williams talked about their strategy; Bob Maccini of AndoMedia, Paul Jacobs of Jacobs Media, and Tom Webster of Edison Research gave excellent research presentations. Kurt Hanson capped off the day by delivering his signature state of the industry talk, The Future of Radio, followed by a cocktail party by the pool.
I’ve been “around” Internet radio for a very long time now, since around 2001. There have been many frustrating days (years) waiting for audience to grow, advertisers to catch on, buzz to build. This week at the RAIN Summit the room was full of optimism, and everyone was bullish on the industry. It was a fine, fine day to be in Internet radio. If you were there, please comment on what you thought the highlights of the day were!