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RAIN 6/30: U.S. mobile phone buyers now more likely than not to buy a smartphone

Posted on: 06/30/2011

NIELSEN STUDY SHOWS WE’VE HIT A “TIPPING POINT

For the first time ever, a majority of Americans buying a cellphone report purchasing a smartphone. Nielsen found that 55% of U.S. phone-buyers got a smartphone, up from 34% last year.

The news marks a “tipping point,” writes Evolver.fm’s Eliot Van Buskirk. Android is the most popular smartphone platform, but its growth is flattening. Meanwhile, growth for Apple’s iPhone continues to increase. Find more coverage from Evolver.fm here.

PANDORA LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER IN-PLAYER ANIMATED VIDEO AD CAMPAIGN

Pandora has launched its first-ever in-player animated video ad campaign — for beverage company SoBe. The video campaign is novel for the webcaster because it involves animation: a lizard “crawls” across the screen before an in-stream video ad plays.

SoBe’s ad takes advantage of Pandora’s user information to target just men between the age of 18 and 29. It only runs when the user interacts with the player (like changing stations) and is limited to today only.

The ads are part of PepsiCo-owned SoBe’s largest campaign in years. AdWeek has more coverage here.

UK’S ABSOLUTE RADIO TO TARGET ADS, OFFERS HIGH-QUALITY STREAMS IN EXCHANGE

The UK’s Absolute Radio has announced it will begin playing targeted ads online to its registered users. In exchange, those users (who have provided demographic information) will gain access to a higher-quality audio stream (we assume this means a higher bit-rate stream, but we don’t know for sure).

Plus, Absolute Radio plans to offer loyal registered users fewer ads. “As you listen more and accumulate virtual points one of the rewards you could get is to choose a track from our database of songs which you could use to replace an ad for instance,” said Absolute’s Head of Digital Sales James Wigley.

Absolute Radio is the re-branded incarnation of Virgin Radio, which was acquired in 2008 (RAIN coverage here). RadioToday has more coverage here.

VEGAS STATIONS FLIP SWITCH ON 24/7 JELLI CROWDSOURCED PROGRAMMING

Jelli’s crowdsourced radio programming has gone live, 24/7, on two Las Vegas FM stations. The two stations — Jelli 96.7 (KYLI-FM) and Jelli 94.5 (KXLI- FM) — are now completely powered by listener voting online (here) and via an iPhone app.

The multi-year deal with LKCM Radio Group and Aurora Media was announced in May (RAIN coverage here). Read more from Jelli’s press release here.

PANDORA TO HOST FIRST FINANCIAL ANALYST DAY IN JULY

Pandora has scheduled its first Financial Analyst Day for Tuesday, July 12. The in-person event is invite-only, but Pandora will also stream audio from the Analyst Day via a free webcast. It begins 8AM Pacific time. You can find out more here and tune in to the webcast on July 12 here.

StreetInsider notes that the Analyst Day is scheduled for two days after Pandora’s 25-day post-IPO quiet period ends. “The timing of the event and quiet period expiration could act as a buoy for investors.” Read more here.



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