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RAIN 7/14: Off the air tomorrow, it'll be an online-only life for Chicago alternative Q101

Posted on: 07/14/2011

Q101 WILL TRY THE PATH OF LEGENDARY STATIONS LIKE KNAC, WOXY

WKQX’s alternative format (“Q101”), which will disappear as the station flips to all-news tomorrow, will apparently continue online.

An update on Q101’s Facebook page (here) reads, “Regardless of what happens to Q101 at 101.1FM, know that Q101 will live on at Q101.com. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week you’ll still be able to hear Chicago’s Alternative, Q101 at Q101.com.” H/T to Radio Insight, which tweeted this news.

In June a group called Merlin Media (led by radio programming, management, and ownership vet — and ousted Tribune Company exec — Randy Michaels) announced it had acquired controlling interest in WRXP/New York and WKQX and WLUP/Chicago from Emmis Communications (RAIN coverage here).

It’s not yet known if Emmis or Merlin will host and produce the stream, or if any current Q101 personalities will be involved. Likewise, we’ve heard no word of an online-only version of WRXP to follow that format’s on-air demise.

Beloved Cincinnati alternative WOXY attempted to permanently transition to life as a pureplay webcaster after a 2004 sale and format change, but was unable to keep the operation financially viable (RAIN coverage here, and a cool video documentary of WOXY is here). L.A. station KNAC ended its legendary heavy metal programming in 1995, but was reborn (and continues) online in 1998.

[AccuRadio COO John Gehron is consulting the Chicago properties for Merlin Media.]

SPOTIFY (FINALLY) ARRIVES IN THE U.S.

On-demand music service Spotify today finally launched in the U.S. Free accounts are invite-only (request one here) but paid subscriptions are open to everyone. For $5 a month users remove ads and get unlimited streaming, for $10 they can stream via mobile devices and can download playlists for offline listening.

Last week Spotify debuted a U.S. landing page offering invitations (RAIN coverage here).

What separates Spotify from services like Rdio and MOG already in the U.S.? Eliot Van Buskirk argues (here) it’s the free, ad-supported service Spotify offers (other services offer trial periods, but usually require a credit card first). Free users will even get six months of unlimited streaming on Spotify, after which they’ll be limited to 10 hours of listening per month, according to Spotify’s Terms and Conditions of Use (here). For comparison, Pandora allows 40 hours of free listening per month.

Spotify also offers Pandora-like Artist Radio, but interestingly we couldn’t find the feature this morning. Spotify’s website (here) shows an “Artist Radio” tab on artist pages, but in our Spotify application it was nowhere to be found. — MS

2011 CONCLAVE UNDERWAY IN MINNEAPOLIS

The 36th annual Conclave Learning Conference is now underway in Minneapolis, MN. The conference runs through Saturday, July 16 and will conclude with RAIN Summit Midwest, which includes keynote speaker Lee Abrams. The Conclave kicked off today with Jacobs Media’ “Summer School.” Find out more about RAIN Summit Midwest here and more about this year’s Conclave here.

STEVE DAHL TALKS TO CHICAGO TONIGHT ABOUT PAID PODCAST

Earlier this week, Steve Dahl announced he would begin charging $10 a month for his podcast beginning 8/1. His contract with CBS Radio, for whom he last worked, ended Friday (RAIN coverage here).

Last night, Dahl was interviewed by PBS’ “Chicago Tonight” about the news. Dahl explained that he had to adhere to CBS Radio and FCC guidelines with his podcast, but now that his contact is over he can make the show uncensored and more “freewheeling.” Find the full video interview here.

MOBILE BANNER ADS OUTPERFORM STANDARD WEB BANNERS, SAYS STUDY

Mobile banner ad click-through-rates (CTR) were found to be more than eight times as high as standard web banner ads’ CTR, according to a new study from MediaMind.

Mobile platforms were found to influence CTR. For example, iPhone and iPad users were “significantly more likely to click on mobile banners than those with an Android device or BlackBerry,” reports eMarketer. They have more coverage here.



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