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RAIN 9/16: Slacker's new "Premium Radio" includes on-demand music service

Posted on: 09/16/2010


One of the top customizable Internet radio services Slacker last night debuted a new dimension to their business: on-demand music. The service, called “Slacker Premium Radio,” will cost $10 a month and will offer full-album streaming, custom playlists and the ability to search and listen to full songs on-demand. The service will be available on BlackBerry, Android and iPhone devices. According to BerryReview.com (which also has a full photo walk-through of the new service here), the new on-demand service will be available in around a month.

Slacker also currently offers a free ad-supported customizable radio service and a $4-per-month plan which removes the ads and offers unlimited skips.

It’s interesting to note that the new on-demand plan is supported by subscriptions, not ads. In a recent interview with Mark Ramsey, Slacker’s VP of Marketing Jonathan Sasse said the company’s “strength is in balancing the advertising radio and the subscription radio” approaches. Both are currently “phenomenal” producers of revenue for Slacker, but in the long run “it could go either way.” Find the full interview here.

Slacker currently has around 20 million registered users — half of which signed up through mobile devices, said Sasse. For more on Slacker’s new on-demand service, check out ZDNet’s coverage here.


We’ve added yet more speakers to the packed agenda of RAIN Summit East, set to get under way in Washington D.C. on September 28. Today’s additions are Denise Leary, corporate lawyer for NPR and Askin Emir of RDR’s media team.

Leary currently serves as Deputy General Counsel for Programming and Senior Legal Counsel at NPR. She’s been with the company since 1988, before which she was in private practice for 12 years. As Leary handles NPR’s copyright issues and other programming legal matters, she’ll provide unique and insightful thoughts on the Royalties: P.R.A. and Beyond” panel.

Askin Emir (pictured right) leads the media team at RDR (Radio Direct Response). In her native Turkey, Emir oversaw the radio planning and placement for many of America’s largest advertising agencies seeking to bring their brands to Turkey. She joins other experienced advertising voices to provide the industry’s view on Internet radio in the “Monetizing Internet Radio: From the Advertiser’s Perspective” panel.

RAIN Summit East is an official co-located event of the RAB/NAB Radio Show. It takes place Tuesday, September 28 in Washington D.C. The Summit will feature a long list of radio experts, from Bonneville president/CEO Bruce Reese to AccuRadio COO John Gehron. More details, and information on how to register, can be found here. We hope to see you there!


In as little as a year, consumers in this country could be enjoying longer-range, “wall-piercing” “super Wi-Fi” connections. That’s if the FCC, with a vote on September 23, resolves issues regarding the use of “white spaces,” those frequencies in-between the bands used for broadcast television. (The switch to digital broadcasting opened up the frequencies.)

“The regulatory move… could help alleviate pressure on overburdened mobile networks that have frustrated some smartphone users who deal with dropped calls and slow Web connections,” writes The Washington Post.

Liam Quinn, chief technology officer for client business at Dell, told the paper white space signals will be able to travel several miles, and offer speeds of 15-20 mb per second (comparable to a cable modem).

Read more in The Washington Post here and here.

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Conference schedules
Sep. 12 SF Music Tech Summit: San Francisco, CA
Sep. 13 RAIN Summit Chicago @ NAB/RAB RadioShow: Chicago, IL
Sep. 14-16 NAB/RAB RadioShow: Chicago, IL
Sep. 24 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Chicago, IL
Oct. 6-7 Digital Music Forum West: Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 13-14 Digital Content Summit/Music: New York, NY
Oct. 18-22 CMJ Music Marathon: New York, NY
Oct. 27-30 CBI Fall Convention: Orlando, FL
Nov. 5 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Boston, MA
Nov. 19 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: New York, NY
Dec. 3 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Los Angeles, CA