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RAIN 7/8: Lee Abrams envisions radio's next "rock" (hint: it's not rock)

Posted on: 07/08/2011

RAIN SUMMIT KEYNOTER JOINS ACCURADIO’S GEHRON IN DISCUSSION OF QUESTION: IS ROCK RADIO DYING?

You never know what radio legend Lee Abrams is going to discuss, but this may just be a preview of the kind of content he’ll tackle in his keynote at RAIN Summit Midwest (more info here).

“Is the Rock format dead? Well, maybe. But who cares? It’ll never go away,” he told Radio Ink. Abrams’ article follows comments from AccuRadio COO John Gehron to the Chicago Tribune about the struggles of rock radio in the Windy City (here).

“In many of the major markets, rock is struggling,” Gehron said. “It’s not the dominant sound that it was in the ’60s and ’70s.”

Interestingly, Abrams argues (here) that the “new rock ‘n’ roll” is news and information. “The new number one ‘song’ is a news story.”

(Coincidentally, it’s rumored that the new Merlin Media — for which John Gehron serves as Chairman/Advisory Board — will flip two major rock FM stations — New York’s WRXP and Chicago’s Q101 — to news/talk in the near future.)

Lee Abrams will be a keynote speaker at RAIN Summit Midwest, which takes place at the Conclave in Minneapolis a week from tomorrow (Saturday, July 16). You can find out more about our second-annual RAIN Summit Midwest here or register to attend here.

TURNTABLE.FM REPORTEDLY RAISES $7.5 MILLION

Business Insider reports that social music service Turntable.fm has raised $7.5 million in funding, based on a $37.5 million valuation. However, Turntable.fm co-founder Seth Goldstein tells TechCrunch that “We have not closed any new financing.” Find the original Business Insider article here and TechCrunch‘s write-up here.

Turntable.fm is a new music streaming service that allows users to basically act as a DJ, picking songs to play to other users in various “rooms.” Users can chat with one another and award good DJs points (more RAIN coverage here).

CLEAR CHANNEL’S iHEARTRADIO: “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTCOMING MONDAY

iHeartRadio has created a Facebook event for a “major announcement” on Monday, July 11. The invitation teases some sort of playlist system, asking “Who would be on your list?” Find the event here.

Some have speculated that the announcement will be Clear Channel’s answer to Pandora, which chairman of media and entertainment Bob Pittman has been talking about since January (RAIN coverage here).

In late June, Radio Ink reported that Clear Channel’s Pandora-like service would arrive in fall (more here).

MIT PROF: RECOMMENDATION SYSTEMS SHOULD BE FUELED BY COMPARISONS

The recommendation engines that power sites from Pandora and Slacker to Netflix and Amazon could be improved, according to an associate professor at MIT. Rather than having users rate individual items on some sort of scale (5-stars, for example), Devavrat Shah says recommendation systems should have users compare pairs of products.

To prove his point, Shah created a car-buying recommendation service that “predicted car buyers’ preferences with 20% greater accuracy than existing algorithms.” Read more from MIT News here.



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