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RAIN 10/7: TV platform may just prove more beneficial to Net radio than you might expect

Posted on: 10/07/2010

TV FORCES A SIMPLIFIED, EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND NET RADIO EXPERIENCE

Pandora and other Internet radio services are becoming a common feature in web-connected TV systems — Roku, Boxee, Apple TV, Google TV, just to name a few — and the TV may be a bigger ecosystem for webcasters than you might first expect. Of course, very few people will rush home from work to settle themselves on the couch and watch a Pandora stream. But the nature of the television experience, added with the exposure factor, may make the TV an unexpected way to introduce new listeners to the world of Internet radio.

Most web-connected TV media systems come with a very basic remote (check out the Roku remote at left). A 4-way directional toggle and a select key is about it. Add to that the fact that users are sitting a few feet away from the screen, and suddenly the many features and intricacies of Internet radio services become cumbersome and unusable. The result, when done right (Pandora on Boxee, for example, pictured above) is a streamlined, no-frills, easy-to-understand product. “Oh, it’s just radio,” said one friend after I fired up Pandora on his Roku box. Now he’s a regular Pandora user on his computer, a site that “confused” him before.

In other words, the exposure of putting Internet radio next to Netflix and Hulu in these gadgets, combined with the necessarily simple interfaces, is an excellent way to gather listeners otherwise put off or confused by Internet radio.

I would add to this the fact that, in most cases, our best speaker systems are hooked up to our TVs. And, at least in my house, the social gathering place is usually the seating in front of the TV. What better place to fire up Internet radio? Not to watch, but to listen and expose to new potential Internet radio fans. — MS

IAB REPORT TOUTS NET RADIO’S VIABILITY TO ADVERTISERS

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released a report called the “Digital Audio Advertising Overview” about advertising opportunities in digital audio, largely Internet radio.

The report “provides a snapshot of the marketplace audience size and demographics as well as outlining the players in the market, the vehicles currently used to deliver content and advertising formats, and some of the most important metrics for measuring success,” the IAB explains in a press release. It was written by the IAB Digital Audio Committee, which counts Katz360 president Brian Benedik and TargetSpot president Andy Lipset as co-chairs. The report includes findings (and graphics) from Ando Media, Bridge Ratings, Edison Research, Arbitron, the RAB, Accenture, and others.

The report should hopefully expose interactive marketers to the advertising opportunities of Internet radio. For years, the Internet radio medium seemed to “fall through the cracks” between broadcast media buyers who felt it was the purview of the interactive buyers, and the interactive buyers who felt the opposite. Now, hopefully, both broadcast and interactive media planners will consider Internet radio among their options.

The IAB represents “more than 460 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising” in the U.S. The Digital Audio Committee also includes Ando Media, Clear Channel Radio, Cox Cross Media, ESPN, Google, Pandora, and others.

Download a copy of the IAB report (.pdf) here. Jennifer Lane covered this development in her Audio4Cast blog yesterday.

LIVE365 ROADSHOW IS OCT. 16 IN SAN FRAN

Live365 will hold the 2010 Broadcaster Roadshow on Saturday, October 16th in San Francisco. The Roadshow is a free event for Live365 webcasters which includes presentations about programming, marketing, royalties and monetization. The event will run from 11am to 5:30pm, after which Live365 will host a party to celebrate 10 years of continuous broadcasting. Find out more from the company’s press release here.

PANDORA COMING TO MERCEDES-BENZ

Mercedes-Benz joins Ford, GM, BMW’s Mini and other car-makers in integrating Internet radio — specifically, Pandora. Joe Kennedy, Pandora CEO, announced that the service would be coming to select Mercedes Benz models this week at Billboard‘s Mobile Entertainment Live! gathering in San Francisco (more coverage here). Meanwhile, the car-maker is also making headlines for announcing a factory-installed iPad integration option for backseat passengers (Engadget has more here).



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