RAIN Summit Convenes In Chicago
September 13, 2011 at 4:40 PM (PT)
The RAIN Summit arrived in CHICAGO TUESDAY (9/13), a day in advance of the NAB and RAB's RADIO SHOW at the same venue, the HYATT REGENCY CHICAGO. The agenda included panels on driving offline listening using online marketing, mobile streaming, measurement of Internet listening, mobile advertising, and other issues facing streaming audio, and featured a closing keynote by PANDORA's TIM WESTERGREN.
Opening with a brief panel on using online tools to direct listeners to traditional stations moderated by PRESSLAFF INTERACTIVE's RUTH PRESSLAFF and featuring MOFUSE's ANNETTE TONTI, TRITON DIGITAL's MICHAEL FISCHER, and RADIO ONE's JOE PRUS; The IAB's MICHAEL THEODORE moderated a panel on the future of mobile streaming with LIVIO's JAKE SIGAL, SLACKER's JIM CADY (who stressed that the move towards mobile streaming will be evolutionary), and AIRKAST's LARRY LEUNG.
THEODORE asked the panel about making money, and CADY said that the key is "building a better system" to serve advertisers and customers and to make the advertising "value-added" (specific to their interests and interactive). SIGAL said that "hyperlocal" advertising "makes a lot of sense." Asked what one thing will make mobile streaming move forward, SIGAL said that codec support is key, and CADY raised the issue of breadth and depth of content availability in a seamless experience.
Issues surrounding measuring Internet listening were the focus of a panel including ARBITRON's PAUL KRASINSKI, TRITION DIGITAL's ROB FAVRE, and THE MEDIA AUDIT's PHIL BESWICK, moderated by CUSTOM CHANNELS' DAVE RAHM. KRASIMSKI said that his company is trying to leverage measurements from the server side and the listener side to be able to track listeners however they choose to access programming. BESWICK described his company's methodology (telephone surveys of Adults 18-plus); FAVRE's company, he said, measures directly off server information and said that the challenge is not to double-count listeners who might be accessing programming through two different devices, which KRASINSKI said his company is working on.
The panel proceeded to debate the value of unifying the numbers from various versions of a station's streams into one unified number combining online and broadcast. KRASINSKI said agencies tell ARBITRON that keeping online and broadcast sales separate have made radio "difficult to buy." FAVRE noted a lack of education about the metrics on both sides of the business, and KRASINSKI said that buyers are getting more analytical with less to spend, and the industry needs to "make it easier to buy." "If we don't get the foundation right," he said, "we get seen as a medium that is incresingly difficult to buy." Asked about mobile phone measurement, FAVRE noted that apps like PANDORA are already doing that measurement for themselves.
RAIN Publisher KURT HANSON delivered the afternoon's first keynote with a talk about radio's future themed around the '60s TV series "The Time Tunnel" and revisiting some themes from past Summits, including his assertion that radio is entering its fourth golden age and a discussion of the "long tail formats" that are enabled by the advent of Internet streaming. He noted that his past assertion that music will move to the Internet and talk to FM is now happening. HANSON also added a rundown of the latest ratings for streaming audio providers.
Pandora Remains Bullish
LIQUID COMPASS' ZACKARY LEWIS moderated a panel with AOL RADIO/SHOUTCAST/AOL MUSIC's LISA NAMEROW, FOX NEWS RADIO's WILLIE SANCHEZ, and CLEAR CHANNEL's BRIAN LAKAMP that spent some time talking about the various players the companies use online and the features each company is adding to their offerings, including the revamped CLEAR CHANNEL iHEARTRADIO and AOL's subscription plans.
And WESTERGREN closed the proceedings with the afternoon's second keynote, saying that "there is little doubt that the future of radio is Internet radio ... particularly, personalized radio." WESTERGREN, a former musician, touted the benefits of Internet streaming for musicians as opposed to broadcast radio, offering as an example an AIMEE MANN concert that drew an audience by notifying local PANDORA listeners who "thumbed up" her music.
Noting that PANDORA is at a 3.6 share, he said, "Imagine what it's going to be like when that number gets bigger -- which it's gonna." He also related advertising successes with the auto, hospitality, and grocery sectors and the benefits of Internet advertising’s flexibility with use of video, and spoke of the need for better measurement of Internet radio. "Really good news on the financial front, the business front," WESTERGREN said.
And The Winners Are....
The RAIN Internet Radio Awards closed the day's proceedings. Winners included:
Rainmaker Award, sponsored by TRITON DIGITAL: TIM MURPHY, ENTERCOM
Best Overall Online Radio Service: PANDORA
Best Streaming Broadcast Station: JOHN CHARLES YERXA Top 40/Rhythmic CJNW (HOT 107)/EDMONTON
Best Overall Digital Strategy: HUBBARD News WTOP/WASHINGTON
Best Single-Stream Webcaster: HEALTHRADIO.NET