RAIN Summit/Orlando Examines Internet Audio And Broadcast Radio's Future
September 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM (PT)
The RAIN SUMMIT/ORLANDO was held TODAY (9/17) at the ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK Resort in ORLANDO.
The afternoon openied with a panel on "Alternative Revenue Strategies" that included PANDORA's DAN WEINER explaining his company's use of local events like concerts targeted to listeners in a specific area as being effective in attracting new business. He cited one promotion with AMAZON that used a campaign to get college students to buy textbooks through the online retailer with a concert as an incentive. Adked by fellow panelist DANIEL ANSTANDIG of LISTENER DRIVEN RADIO what buyers WEINER is finding most receptive to PANDORA's pitch, WEINER said that "clients drive everything." The panel, which also oncludes UNIVISION's TED GURLEY and WESTWOODONE's MATT CUTAIR, also discussed the trial of automated ad buying (GURLEY noting that UNIVISION is part of the system but that "it's too early to tell" if it's working).
On an animated panel on ad insertion technologies, SAGA's STEVE GOLDSTEIN said that representatives from several radio groups met with AFTRA for the first time recently to discuss the union's stance on simulcasting broadcast ads over streams; he said that the union, after explaining that it does not follow up on execution of the "move over fee" once it sets the rates, appeared to be open to further discussion. But OMD's NATALIE SWED STONE, stressing that as an agency her company does not want to see radio split into separate online and broadcast sales entities, challenged the radio industry on putting its broadcast model onto the Internet, asking why a listener would listen to long stop sets of advertising "when they now what button to push for practically zero commercials." The comments came in a vigorous discussion involving TRITON's MIKE AGOVINO and GREATER MEDIA's TOM BENDER of the merits of pure play Internet audio versus streams of broadcast stations. ADSWIZZ's ALEXIS VAN DER WYER noted that the issue doesn't exist in most other countries -- AUSTRALIA, in fact, mandates that broadcast station's streams duplicate the terrestrial version 100%.
ENTERCOM's DAVID FIELD issued a rousing defense of broadcast radio in a keynote address, asserting that "the medium is thriving... broadcast has the largest share of the pie. The sky isn't falling... (radio) should be immensely pleased with its position." He took direct aim at PANDORA for its unwillingness to explain its methodology and noted the massive lead in audience share broadcast enjoys over PANDORA, and added that what PANDORA sells as an advantage, the ability to target with no "waste," is actually a minus for the pure play streamer, since broadcast adds many listeners outside the desired demo as a bonus. FIELD added that his own company's stations have seen a 200% increase in mobile streaming use more than offsetting a drop in computer listening.
The later sessions included a panel on building a digital sales team moderated by the INTERACTIVE ADVERTISING BUREAU's MICHAEL THEODORE, a presentation by GROUPM NEXT showing that avid Internet audio listeners are an "advertiser's dream," because they don't avoid ads and are more likely to buy after hearing audio ads than are traditional broadcast radio listeners, and a panel on the connected car with FORD's SCOTT BURNELL, PANDORA's GEOFF SNYDER, PIONEER's TED CARDENAS, TUNEIN's KEVIN STRALEY, and SLACKER's STEVE COTTER, which touched upon issues of safety (BURNELL noted that car manufacturers "learned from their mistakes" in integrating touch screens and eliminating easier-to-manipulate buttons and dials) and the advent of iTUNES RADIO (all panelists agreed that APPLE's entry into customizable audio validates the space).
RAIN founder KURT HANSON's State of the Industry keynote, themed around the 1960s TV series "THE TIME TUNNEL," looked at the move to mobile, the rise of the tablet, and the primacy of customizable radio moving forward. He discussed the introduction of iTUNES RADIO as a positive development -- "battles are good," he suggested of the pending fight between PANDORA and the upstart. Picking up on the time travel idea, HANSON said that people who went back to 1968 could snap up FMs and target specific audiences, and that the same opportunities exist today through specialization on regional or format lines. For AM and FM stations, he said that the move would be to "Triple L": Live, local, linear, like all-News, all-Sports, personality-based CHR, or "very curated" music.
The final session of the day looked at streaming music trends, with RCS/MEDIA MONITORS' PHILIPPE GENERALI, the CBC's CHRIS BOYCE, CLEAR CHANNEL's BRIAN LAKAMP, and SONGZA's ERIC DAVICH on the panel and THE ECHO NEST's JIM LUCCHESE asking the questions.
RAIN Internet Radio Awards Bestowed
Winning RAIN Internet Radio Awards for 2013 were:
Best Steaming Broadcast Station: ENTERCOM Sports WEEI-F/BOSTON
Best Single-Stream Webcaster: THEBLAST.FM
Best Overall Digital Strategy: TUNEIN
Best Overall Online Radio Service: PANDORA
International Excellence in Online Audio: RADIONOMY