Innovative technology for connective cars continues, this week Pioneer Electronics debuted a new line-up of in-dash receivers that offer bluetooth and usb connectivity for Androids and iPhones. These affordable, aftermarket products make it even easier for consumers to connect and listen to streaming audio in their car, featuring Siri technology for voice commands, simplified Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming, enhanced playback compatibility, and Pandora internet radio.
“The smartphone has become a part of most consumers’ lifestyles and a source of both entertainment and communication,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “Pioneer’s new CD receivers provide various means for integrating a variety of smartphones into the vehicle.”
At prices starting at $90. That sounds like a pretty affordable price point to me.
Pandora continues to lead the pack of services that come integrated into the new offerings, they recently announced that they are now integrated with more than 100 car models and 23 manufacturers. That doesn’t mean other services are unavailable – just that Pandora is front and center as the featured service in the car. Mazda recently integrated Pandora into its 2014 Mazda6, incorporating voice commands that make listening while driving very easy and fun.
Pioneer Electronics Ted Cardenas and Pandora’s Director of Automotive Business Development Geoff Snyder will join a panel discussion at RAIN Summit Orlando on Dashboard Integration. Other panelists include Ford’s Global Lead, Business Development and Partner Management Scott Burnell, Slacker SVP Steve Cotter, and TuneIn VP Kevin Straley.
RAIN Summit Orlando takes place Tuesday September 17 starting at noon and finishing with a cocktail reception in the evening. Register here, and use the code Audio4cast to save a few bucks. I hope to see you there!
Last week Pandora announced a significant milestone when they reached 200 million registered listeners. The fact that the number of registered listeners leapt from 100 million to 200 million in two years makes it still more impressive. Remember, Pandora’s user base is largely in the US, although they have recently expanded to a few other places such as Australia.
During a presentation last week at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, hundreds in the audience got a first look at updated trends in Infinite Dial 2013. Arbitron SVP Bill Rose and Edison Research President Larry Rosin offered some stats on Pandora, which has an impressive brand awareness recognition rate of 69% among adults 12+ in the US, a number that grew 10% since last year’s study. iHeartradio showed impressive brand awareness in the new study as well, with 45% brand recognition, a jump of almost 15% since last year.
The study also reported that close to half of the folks surveyed had downloaded the Pandora app onto their cellphone. This fact reveals the steam engine driving both the growth in audience and brand awareness for industry leader Pandora – their amazing success with mobile apps. As usage of smartphones and tablets has soared, Pandora’s been right out there in front, gaining front page status on those devices. 21% of cell phone owners now saying they have used their phone to listen to a stream in their car, yet another indication of the growing importance of mobile devices.
We’ll be discussing mobile devices, connected cars and a lot more again on May 23 in Brussels at RAIN Summit Europe. Have you registered? Hope to see you there!
The share of FM radio stations simulcasting online in Germany grew 2% last year to make up 13% of all online stations in that country. Most online stations in Germany – 82% – are pureplays, which are available only online.
According to Web Radio Monitor 2012, an updated study just released by Goldmedia, listening is up 36% over 2011. The study surveyed all online radio providers in Germany and found that online radio providers’ total net ad revenues grew to 14.1 million euros, a 37% increase over 2011. 45% of online stations sell ads, and their outlook on the future is positive, they’re forecasting a market of 30 million euros by 2016.
Not surprisingly, mobile devices are gaining importance in the German streaming marketplace, just as they are in the US. Three quarters of the respondents regard mobile online radio as their central method of broadcasting. In fact, 57% predicted that mobile online radio might be able to replace classical FM radio in the long run. Mobile streaming, via apps or mobile browsers, now makes up 17% of all hits, compared to 14% in 2011. By 2014, mobile devices are expected to make up a quarter (24%) of all online radio hits.
Professor Klaus Goldhammer, Managing Partner of Goldmedia, will present the findings of this study at the debut of RAIN Summit Europe in Berlin on October 5th. He joins a highly informed pan-European list of speakers for the event. For more info on the summit, click here.
RAIN Summit Chicago on tuesday was an incredible event – in my opinion the best one ever. It was very well attended by and the agenda was packed full of interesting people. I could have spent several more hours at the cocktail party connecting with them all.
The highlight of the day – no slight intended to any of our wonderful speakers – was the keynote speech given by Tim Westergren. I found him to be insightful, geniune, inclusive and generous. Tim started his speech by thanking Kurt Hanson for all that he has done for the industry by creating RAIN Summits. He offered a toast to everyone in the room who has been involved in nurturing Internet radio, and he said he is excited about the prospects not just for his company, but also for their “colleague companies” in the space. That’s how a leader talks..
Tim then went on to share a lot of inside info about Pandora with the audience. He started out by telling everyone that he believes the future of radio is Internet radio and in particular personalizable Internet radio. He talked about all the valuable data they get from interacting with their listeners and told a story about how Pandora can use that data. Like the time they packed a club in LA for an Aimee Mann performance by telling all the folks who lived within an hour radius who had clicked “thumbs up” on an Aimee Mann song that she was going to be playing nearby. To further illustrate his point, he mentioned an obscure artist from Waukegan, Illinois named Jason Michael Carroll who had a local gig coming up. Pandora can find all the listeners who clicked thumbs up for that artist and live in the area (5300), and then look for other similar sounding artists and people who liked those artists and live nearby, and tell all of them about Jason’s show, and really impact the way an artist can grow its audience.
Of course, it’s not hard to recognize the value that sort of relationship with listeners can have on advertising as well, and Westergren spent time talking about the progress that Pandora has made in generating revenue. He listed lots of major ad agencies and advertisers who are now buying ads on Pandora and talked about specific ways they have produced strong results.
It was a little disappointing to read some of the trade coverage of Tim’s speech the next morning. I noticed that a couple of publications, despite all the consensus building remarks that Tim made, simply had to portray Westergren’s speech as an attack on radio. It was not that at all. In an informed and informative speech, Westergren shared a lot of details about the success of Pandora. And in my opinion, he spoke to the audience as a fellow radio guy, confident and excited about his product and sharing info as every speaker at The Radio Show will do this week.
If there was a threat, warning or shot across the bow in that speech, it was only a perception by those in the audience who refuse to acknowledge that the definition of radio has changed and now includes Pandora, Slacker and other digital audio platforms. Clearly advertisers have begun to see it that way as well. Closing the windows, locking the doors and arguing that it’s not so will not change that reality…
Here’s the first half of the speech. The second half is also available on YouTube. I’m President of RAIN Summits and am admittedly less than impartial..
Kurt Hanson gave his annual State of the Industry keynote presentation during RAIN Summit West earlier this month in Las Vegas, telling the record attendance that “Things are moving faster than you think!” In his nearly 30 minute presentation, Hanson, Publisher of RAIN: The Radio and Internet Newsletter, cited research and gave excellent examples of the acceleration taking place in the Internet radio industry. Domestic listening to streaming is up, supported by Webcast Metrics monthly data as well as The Infinite Dial Study. Revenue is climbing as well, on track to exceed a billion by 2015 according to SNL Kagan‘s reports.
Internet radio, by offering more variety, personalized listening options and fewer commercials, is driving a major audience shift to online listening. Smartphone use is making streaming more mobile and ubiquitous. Pandora is the industry’s first success story, built on variety, low spot load, ubiquity and personalization.
Vast opportunity awaits but only if the industry can overcome a few obstacles and learn a few lessons. More emphasis should be placed on selling music, and the music industry and stations should work together to make this happen. The music industry is suffering, noted Hanson, because the value proposition is out of whack. Music is too expensive.
Broadcasters need to offer more compelling content to their audiences and focus on the formula for successful streaming online (variety, low spot load, ubiquity and personalization).
Peppered with lots of contemporary cultural references, Hanson’s keynote was both entertaining and astute. Things are moving faster than you think – that’s both a cheer for the industry and a word of caution to those that might not be paying close enough attention…
RAIN Summit West 2011, the largest gathering of Internet radio people and information, will take place on Monday April 11th at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas. This will be the 9th annual event, each year it gets bigger and better, growing in scope and size along with the marketplace. (As a disclaimer I’ll tell you that I’m very involved in organizing it.)
One of the scheduled panels will be a discussion of the future of music, featuring some really smart entrepreneurs in the streaming music space. Michael Robertson, Founder of MP3Tunes is one of streaming music’s true pioneers, having founded MP3.com and sold it to Universal/Vivendi will be on that panel. He will be joined by David Hyman, Founder of on-demand subscription streaming service MOG. Hyman’s past lives include CEO of Gracenote. Eric Johnson is the COO of Wolfgang’s Vault, one of my favorite online streaming places. Ari Shohat‘s Digitally Imported is one of the most listened to online stations, and he’s a sharp entrepreneur as well. The panel will be moderated by TAG Strategic’s Ted Cohen, a past record company executive and well known digital music consultant.
Need more reasons to attend? You can review the full agenda here. To save 20% on standard registration, go here and use the code AUDIO4CAST20. If you’re a broadcaster or webcaster, you don’t even need to use that discount, there’s a special rate of $79 for you. Including lunch and cocktails!
RAIN Summit West is a really great opportunity to meet people, get information and expand your expertise. See you there!
RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter, the leading trade publication for the Internet radio industry, today announced the creation of the “RAIN Internet Radio Awards” to recognize the achievement of the industry’s most ambitious and innovative services.
Broadcasters and webcasters in the Internet radio industry can enter their services for awards in three categories:
- Best Overall Online Radio Service
- Best Streaming Broadcast Station
- Best Overall Digital Strategy
“For over ten years, the Internet radio space has been evolving and maturing, and we want to begin to recognize those stations and services whose work has driven that innovation,” said RAIN Publisher Kurt Hanson. “An invited panel of Internet radio’s movers and shakers will review the entries and select winners for this year’s round of awards.”
I’m proud to be working with Kurt, Paul and RAIN on the creation of these annual awards for Internet radio. I think it’s time to begin recognizing excellence in our industry as inspiration to streaming radio services everywhere.
Streaming services and stations can enter the competition by visiting the RAIN Internet Radio Awards webpage and clicking on the category they wish to enter. A fee of $19 per entry is required, and services/stations can enter as many categories as they are eligible for.
Awards will be announced during RAIN Summit East in Washington DC in September (details coming soon on that..)