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RAIN 6/7: Call for speakers for RAIN Summit Midwest

Posted on: 06/07/2011

INTERNET RADIO INNOVATORS NEEDED TO SPEAK AT RAIN SUMMIT IN MINNEAPOLIS JULY 16

RAIN will hold the second-annual RAIN Summit Midwest, the summer edition of our growing series of RAIN Summit Internet radio conferences, on July 16 during The Conclave Learning Conference in Minneapolis. We’re looking for expert speakers and panelists willing to share their insight and experience.

As you know if you’ve attended (or read about) past RAIN Summit events, the topics we cover typically include “Compelling Content” (How to create great programming for Internet radio), “Monetizing Your Streams” (How to maximize Internet radio revenues), “Going Mobile” (Launching apps for Internet radio on smartphones and other devices), and others.

If you’re an innovator in Internet radio — whether in general management, programming, or sales — and you would be interested in speaking at RAIN Summit Midwest, please e-mail us (feedback-at-kurthanson.com) with a one- or two-paragraph description of your proposed subject area, plus a one-paragraph bio.

APPLE DEBUTS MUSIC CLOUD SERVICES, BUT NO STREAMING

Apple unveiled a long list of new software and features yesterday, but iCloud and iTunes Match stole the show.

iCloud is a new platform, replacing Apple’s $99/year MobileMe system, that will store users documents, photos and other data for syncing across various Apple devices. It’s free for 5GB of storage and also syncs iTunes-purchased music (more on that from Engadget here).

For music not purchased through iTunes, there’s iTunes Match. The $25/year service “matches” music in your iTunes library (no matter where it came from, more on this in the story below) to Apple’s 18 million song catalog. If there’s a match, you get instant access to a 256 Kbps AAC file that can be sent via Wi-Fi to your other Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.). Otherwise your song is uploaded.

Unlike cloud services from Amazon and Google, Apple’s iTunes Match is not a streaming service. Songs are only wirelessly downloaded to your other devices.

This wireless syncing appears to be strangely replicated in a free feature of the upcoming new operating system for iPhones and other mobile Apple devices, iOS5. Dubbed Wi-Fi Sync, the feature would allow users to ditch their USB cables and sync their iTunes content to iPhones and other devices through their local network connection.

However, Apple’s website (here) conspicuously does not mention music in its description of Wi-Fi Sync — perhaps because otherwise there would be few reasons to pay $25 per year to wirelessly download music you already own.

Writes Elliot Van Buskirk on Evolver.fm (here): “Apple’s music locker is a nice feature for those who like Apple’s hardware and software, but it’s not the cloud endgame.”

Apple’s iTunes Match and iOS5 will launch in fall. The beta version of iTunes allowing iCloud syncing of iTunes-purchased music is available now.

ANALYSTS ARGUE iTUNES MATCH ACKNOWLEDGES, EVENENCOURAGESMUSIC PIRACY

Apple’s iTunes Match service, for $25 a year, offers wireless syncing of any music in your iTunes library — even if you stole it.

“It reinforces the practice of downloading music without paying for it,” writes Elliot Van Buskirk. He argues the new service “encourages piracy far more than MP3.com’s my.mp3.com CD-mirroring service ever did.”

He continues (here), “it leaves unfulfilled the possibility of convincing people to pay a monthly fee for all the music in the world, whether they’ve bothered to pirate it yet or not.”

Industry critic Bob Lefsetz agrees (here). “It’s a denial of the future. Who in the hell is going to buy a music subscription for even $3 a month when for $25 a year you can have everything you own, even stole, at your fingertips via iCloud[?]”

The AP writes (here) that “the service acknowledges a well-known fact – that most music on iPods, iPhones and iPads was ripped or swapped,” and provides labels with “some economic payback.”

Indeed, revenue from iTunes Match is being shared with the music industry. The L.A. Times pins the percentage at 70% going to labels and another 12% going to publishers (here).

TuneCore CEO Jeff Price estimated that iTunes Match could generate $500 million if only 10% of iTunes users subscribe.

ANALYSIS: PANDORA ROYALTIES ACCOUNTED FOR 23.5% OF 2010 SOUNDEXCHANGE REVENUE

Yesterday in her Audio4Cast blog (here), Jennifer Lane reported Pandora royalty payments account for over 23% of SoundExchange’s 2010 statutory revenue.

“According to SoundExchange‘s Annual Report for 2010 (here), the collections agency for the RIAA collected statutory royalties from all statutory classes of services in the amount of $263,593,310,” reported Lane. Taking 45% (the percentage Pandora paid in royalties for their fiscal 2010 year) of $137,764,000 (Pandora’s revenues for their fiscal year February 2010 through January 2011) yields a Pandora royalty payment of nearly $62 million, or 23.52% of what SoundExchange collected in statutory royalties not only for Internet radio, but other services like satellite radio and cable music services.



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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
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Dec. 3 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Los Angeles, CA