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RAIN 9/6: Clear Channel taps The Echo Nest to take on Pandora

Posted on: 09/06/2011

CC TO USE ALGORITHM-BUILT DATABASE FOR ITS VERSION OF PANDORA

The Echo Nest has partnered with Clear Channel to help enable iHeartRadio users to create custom radio stations — a key component in the broadcaster’s coming Pandora-like upgrade. That update arrives this month and will be promoted with a large concert on September 23-24 (RAIN coverage here).

The Echo Nest is “a music intelligence platform” with over 5 billion data points about 30 million songs. Information ranges from artist connections and song similarity to mood, style and other data. The info is gathered through automatic web crawling, data mining and digital signal processing techniques by “the world’s first machine learning platform for music,” (more info here).

Clear Channel says their music library includes 11 million songs. The broadcaster purchased on-demand music service Thumbplay earlier this year (more here).

Since even Clear Channel describes its coming customizable service as “like Pandora,” how would an Echo Nest-driven offering compare to the Net radio giant?

“Pandora relies on actual human beings to program the characteristics of each song,” writes Billboard, “which in theory may allow for a more accurate comparison between songs that an algorithm-based approach cannot. The downside of course is that far fewer songs are in the Pandora system — less than 1 million — than iHeartRadio’s 11 million, and iHeartRadio can ingest new songs into its system far more quickly.”

Billboard also states (here) we should expect more details about iHeartRadio’s new customizable service later this week.

CEA: 10% OF AFTERMARKET CAR RADIOS SOLD WILL INCLUDE NET RADIO BY 2013

Internet radio will be included in 10% of aftermarket car stereo receivers sold by 2013, up from 6% this year. That’s according to the Consumer Eletronics Association.

The CEA director of industry analysis Steve Koenig said he believes “Internet radio and its kin will do a lot more to lift this industry.” Find more coverage here.

Earlier this year the CEA reported that aftermarket car audio sales rose over 11% in 2010 after “3 consecutive years of double-digit declines.” Twice.com argued new features like Internet radio were behind the increases (RAIN coverage here).

Additionally, a recent study predicted 11 million Net radio-equipped cars would be sold in the U.S. by 2018 (RAIN coverage here). KnowDigital also hosted a webinar last week on its study of in-car Internet radio usage (more here).

FORD CONCEPT CLOUD CAR FEATURES DEEP NET RADIO INTEGRATION

Ford was one of the first carmakers to bring Internet radio to the dashboard, but — according to a new concept video — it has plans for even deeper integration.

The video shows off Evos, a concept cloud car of the future, which is capable of changing Internet radio stations based on your location, driving style, time of day and more. You can find Ford’s concept video from GigaOM here.

NEARLY 100m MOBILE WEB USERS IN U.S. BY END OF 2011, SAYS eMARKETER

Nearly 100 million mobile users in the U.S. will use their devices to browse the mobile web monthly this year, according to eMarketer. That’s up 25% from last year and most of the growth can be attributed to smartphones, which will be in the hands of 38% of mobile users by the end of the year.

By 2015, estimates eMarketer, nearly half of the total U.S. population will be using the mobile Internet. Find out more from eMarketer here.



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