RAIN 6/19: Sprint boasts Internet radio capability in new iPhone competitor
SPRINT’S iPHONE COMPETITOR INCLUDES NET RADIO: Sprint’s Samsung Instinct, the newest and certainly most touted iPhone competitor, includes streaming net radio alongside other media playback functions. Sprint’s press release (here) boasts that the Instinct includes “more than a dozen streaming-radio applications, including Sprint Radio with more than 150 channels.” While Sprint Radio’s 150 channels are fairly straightforward (including channels like “Alternative Hits” and “‘70s Station”), we were unable to determine what Sprint meant by more than a dozen net radio applications. Twelve channels? Twelve webcasters who have made deals with Sprint? Or twelve separate “applications” allowing access to third party sites like last.fm or Pandora? We’ll have to wait and see: the Instinct is scheduled for a June 20 release. Other highlights include web access through Sprint’s EV-DO Rev A Mobile Broadband Network, GPS navigation, a customizable home screen, and not least of all a $130 price tag (after $100 mail-in rebate).
NET RADIO STATION CELEBRATES NATIONAL MARTINI DAY: In case you are one of the few people who don’t know, today is apparently National Martini Day (why on a Thursday?) and The Standard Media Group’s internet radio station MartiniInTheMorning.com is celebrating with a martini recipe contest. Music-wise, the station is playing hits from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, among other “classic cool” aritsts—“the perfect soundtrack to lounge around with friends or get your martini cocktail party started.” The station’s site is fairly straightforward, with non-customizable streaming audio (only compatible with Internet Explorer and Netscape), and although conversation centered around how to sell your house when we tuned in, the entire site is decked out in semi-tacky Vegas lounge room style—complete with a red die volume dial. Read more about MartiniInTheMorning.com’s celebration here.
BBC TO STAGE SUMMIT FOR INTERNET RADIO DEVICE MAKERS: The BBC will reportedly host an event called “The Internet Radio Summit” next Thursday (June 26th), geared towards the Net radio devices industry. The invitation-only event, RAIN understands, will be held in conjunction with vTuner, a New York-based company that supplies a directory and aggregates Internet radio for device manufacturers, and will take place at the legendary Broadcasting House in London. “The aim of the Summit is to discuss the future of internet radios and how they can be effectively promoted to the public,” reads the invitation. “Each attendee should gain some form of design and promotional benefits from being part of this initiative. The agenda is currently being formalised and will comprise of panel sessions/breakout sessions and presentations. We hope that by holding this conference we will be in a position to form an alliance of the major players in the industry to jointly work on issues that affect the development of internet radio.”
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ROYALTY RATES CONFIRMED: National Music Publishers’ Assn. president/CEO David Israelite (pictured) has confirmed that the publishers, record labels, and digital music providers have settled a royalty rate for limited downloads and Internet streaming (the latter refers to on-demand music streaming, not net radio) for the next five years. Until the three U.S. judges sitting on the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rule on the matter in October, the rates will reportedly remain confidential. The rates for digital permanent downloads, physical product and ringtones have yet to be set. Read more coverage at Billboard here.
ADS HAVE MORE “POSITIVE IMPRESSION” IN TRADITIONAL MEDIA: The New York Times reports on a new study by Yankelovich in association with Sequent Partners, released Wednesday, which found that advertisements in traditional media (TV, print, billboards, etc.) are “much more likely” to have a positive effect on consumers than ads in new digital media (e-mail, banner ads, social networking sites, etc.). Only 31% of respondents said digital ads left them with a “positive impression,” compared to 56% for traditional media. Additionally, the study found that traditional ads were more likely to spark word of mouth conversations. J. Walker Smith, president at the Yankelovich Monitor division of Yankelovich in Atlanta, explained the results by claiming that people using new digital media are “seeking control or solving a problem” and don’t want to be bothered by ads. “Advertising will always have to work harder to make a positive impression in digital media…we don’t quite know how to develop advertising for digital media. There’s a lot of experimentation, and we’re probably not as good as we think,” he said. Read the full New York Times article here.
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