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RAIN 9/22: Apple's AirPlay service can create a multi-room Internet radio system

Posted on: 09/22/2010

AIRPLAY WILL STREAM MEDIA FROM APPLE MOBILE DEVICES TO APPLE TV, STEREO RECEIVERS AND MORE

Apple’s coming AirPlay system is receiving a growing amount of press attention for its potential to stream video content from iPhones and iPads to the new Apple TV — but it could also be used to create a multi-room Internet radio stereo system using Apple devices you may already own.

However, this depends on what Apple allows — they’re known for tightly controlling how their products are used and the content available on them. But let’s back up a minute for a refresher.

AirPlay was announced earlier this month (along with the new iTunes Ping social network), and basically streams media content from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to the new Apple TV, AirPort Express routers and other AirPlay-enabled third-party devices. That includes media from third-party apps like Netflix, Hulu and Internet radio options like Pandora, Last.fm and others (though, again, Apple may not allow such apps to use AirPlay).

If Apple allows third-party apps to access AirPlay, you could stream your Internet radio applications from your iOS device to a number of speakers around your house — essentially turning your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad into a fancy touchscreen remote for a wireless home music system.

This means you could stream Pandora, for example, from your iPod Touch to your new Apple TV — presumably attached to your home theater system. Or to AirPort Express routers, which can be hooked up to any set of speakers. Or to a coming wave of stereo receivers with AirPlay built-in (you may even own one already). Or all of them at the same time. We can’t wait to try it out! — MS

eMARKETER: LOCAL AD SPENDING EXPECTED TO GROW IN 2010 THANKS TO NET

Early estimates that 2010 would see local ad spending decrease have been reversed, reports eMarketer, thanks to a 30% increase in local online advertising. In fact, BIA/Kelsey expects online ads to account for nearly 25% of all local ad spending by 2014. Meanwhile, traditional local advertising “will continue a downward trajectory through 2011 and will not recover to earlier spending levels.” Read more from eMarketer here.

ABACAST OFFERING FIXED-PRICE STREAMING TO WEBCASTERS

Internet radio service provider Abacast recently began offering fixed-price streaming. Basically, the company offers different plans based on listener hour volumes per month (25,000, 50,000 and so on). Customers can exceed these limits by up to 50% for 2 consecutive months without caps or overage charges — sort of like a cellular plan that allows you to go over your monthly minutes limit without charging per-minute overage fees.

Abacast says this model should help webcasters better achieve profitability. “Generally, industry pricing plans allow streaming costs to grow unpredictably with audience growth, inhibiting profitability,” Abacast stated. “Fixed Price Streaming provides stable and predictable streaming costs, even while the broadcaster’s audience is growing.” Find more on the plans here.

CHICAGO RADIO ONLINE GATHERING A REUNION OF CHICAGO RADIO GREATS

Chicago Radio Online, an AccuRadio project developing Chicago-focused online music channels, now boasts the talents of several well-known longtime Chicago radio personalities. A dinner in Chicago’s Greektown yesterday hosted by AccuRadio CEO Kurt Hanson and COO John Gehron served as a both a “staff meeting” and a reunion of sorts for these pro’s of what many consider to be Chicago radio’s heyday (70s and early-80s).

(Pictured: Front row, L-R, Mitch Michaels, Linda Marshall, Danae Alexander, John Gehron. Middle row, L-R: Bill Garcia, Clark Weber, Connie Szerszen. Back row, AccuRadio’s Paul Maloney, Doug Dahlgren, Kurt Hanson, Tommy Edwards, Fred Winston).

OPTIC FUSION BUYS EARLY NET RADIO COMPANY STREAMAUDIO

StreamAudio, an early provider of streaming and ad insertion solutions for Internet radio, has been purchased by business connectivity company Optic Fusion. StreamAudio launched in 1999 and, as Jennifer Lane reports at Audio4Cast (here), served Cox, Susquehanna and other broadcasters.



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