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RAIN 1/21: Off the air in L.A., "Heidi and Frank" keep show alive and growing online

Posted on: 01/21/2011

NOT NATIONALLY-KNOWN, DUO GAINING FANS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA, WORD-OF-MOUTH

PaidContent.org writes today about Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer, former Los Angeles morning radio personalities working to establish The Heidi and Frank Show as a viable Internet-only business.

While other well-known radio personalities like Adam Carolla and now Bubba the Love Sponge are trying to convert their brand-recognition to the online medium, Heidi and Frank are probably more easily compared to Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl, who’s been podcasting weekdays since September of 2009, after 30-year-plus broadcast career in Chicago.

(Dahl was a panelist at our RAIN Summit West at the NAB convention in Las Vegas last spring. To see video, go here, scroll down in the “Sessions” section on the lower-right, it’s the second-to-last video. Dahl also keynoted our RAIN Summit Midwest at the Conclave in Minneapolis in summer, here.)

After losing their jobs at KABC-FM in September, the two launched “The Heidi and Frank Show” online in October. They’ve since built a subscriber base of “well over 6,000” customers paying $5/month or $50/year for on-demand audio and video content, plus a 2-hour live show weekday mornings.

That fan base today is more than L.A. diehards who remember the two on the air. They credit “aggressively courting fans via social media” and “word of mouth” to help them build audience outside of the city and even internationally.

Read more from PaidContent.org here.

PANDORA’S WESTERGREN TALKS TO MEDIA ABOUT HIS PEOPLE ANDPERSONALIZATION

Tim Westergren was tight-lipped to both Fast Company and Reuters about revenues and his company’s likely upcoming IPO. But in the Fast Company feature, he was happy to credit the “magic” of Pandora’s service not to machines or algorithms, but to the people behind it.

After passing a musical aptitude test, “These wonks pour over every track that Pandora downloads or rips (yes, rips from hundreds of CDs purchased each week) and catalog its 400-plus attributes before adding it to the 850,000-plus song library,” writes Fast Company. It’s this hominal factor that has helped Pandora keep its engine serving so many new listeners in so many new places.” Whereas more and more companies grow by automating systems, Westergren says Pandora will continue “against the grain there.” Read more, and see a short video interview, here.

He told Reuters the important trend Pandora is capitalizing on is consumers’ expectation of “personalization.”

“It’s becoming more of a standard for consumers. I think that increasingly, people are expecting that they should be able to personalize their radio channels. That combined with the increasing number of distribution points (mobile devices, in-car, consumer electronics) is a very powerful combination.” Read more from Reuters here.

MTV CREATING DIGITAL MUSIC AND MEDIA AWARDS

MTV is reportedly planning a new “digital music and media” awards show, to “air” live on the web, social media sites, and mobile devices (but not on television!). The categories haven’t yet been revealed, but FMQB reports the show will honor music apps, blogs, etc. Look for the first awards ceremony in spring. Read more in FMQB here.

FORD DEALERS HOLDING MYFORD TOUCH TUTORIALS FOR CONFUSED NEW OWNERS

The carmaker’s in-dash system is a powerful and exciting way to (among many other things) listen to Internet radio in the car, but it can be a little daunting, especially for the less tech-inclined. Engadget reports that many Ford dealers are now offering 45-minute classes to familiarize car buyers with the system.

“Because, really, after we finally finish haggling and sign the paperwork there’s nothing we want to do more than spend another hour in the dealership,” quips Engadget. Read more here.

MINI CONNECTED VIDEO AD SHOWCASES PANDORA APP CTO CONRAD

Wonder if we’ll see this during the Super Bowl? It’s an ad for Mini’s “Connected” in-dash driver control system, which sports a Pandora connection. Unfortunately for Pandora’s CTO Tom Conrad, it’s too late to qualify for an Oscar this year.



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