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RAIN 7/14: Internet radio may be iPhone's hottest app

Posted on: 07/14/2008

CBS NEWS STORY: NEW iPHONE MAY CHANGE FACE OF RADIO: CBS News’ Larry Magid recently test drove the new iPhone in a friend’s car — not trying out the GPS or phone capabilities — but the slew of Internet radio applications released in the wake of the device’s debut: “Even at 66 miles an hour on U.S. Highway 101, the sound was better than what you’d expect from a clear FM signal.” AOL Radio to Last.fm (read RAIN’s coverage below) have released applications for the 3G iPhone, meaning that without Wimax or in-car hi-speed Internet, drivers can tune in to webcasts—a development that “could be incredibly disruptive to both the terrestrial and the relatively new satellite radio industries.” Beyond in-car use, the Internet radio capabilities of the iPhone (as well as in similar smart phone devices) untethers Internet radio from the PC, without the use of “transmitters, satellites or hard-to-get-FCC licenses,” as Magid points out. “Of course, having a delivery vehicle doesn’t mean you have a good product or the ability to market it well but, as we’ve discovered with blogs and podcasts, new media technologies do enable some creative new players to succeed while giving incumbent players – including CBS and other broadcasters – the opportunity to take advantage of new distribution systems.” Read Magid’s full article here.

LAST.FM, VIRGIN SWARM TO iPHONE: Last.fm announced yesterday (here) the launch of an iPhone application. Additionally, Virgin Radio also has an application for the Apple device as well, allowing users to stream Virgin broadcasts. Both applications are free to download and use. The Last.fm application (pictured) streams the site’s personalized stations, along with its standard controls of love, ban, skip, etc. While tracks listened to through the application are scrobbled to users’ Last.fm accounts, music played elsewhere is not, and the application can not play music in the background while the user is doing other tasks on the iPhone (such as checking email). Other Internet radio applications for the iPhone include Pandora, AOL Radio, SomaFM, and a station aggregator called Tuner (RAIN coverage here).

AOL’S NAMEROW: BROADCASTERS SHOULD FIND PARTNERS OUTSIDE RADIO: In a guest post at RBR.com, AOL Radio’s general manager Lisa Namerow recommends radio broadcasters find partners outside of the radio industry, and preferably online. She uses CBS Radio’s partnership with AOL as an example, a move that benefited both parties by filling content-gaps in AOL Radio’s offerings and by bringing CBS Radio content online (as well as to the iPhone). She points out that as everyone is “expected to do more with less…why not combine resources [to] deliver the best consumer experience possible and monetize it in the most efficient way?“ Read Namerow’s full column here.

RADIO STATION ADDS ONLINE WIKI: KSWD-FM/Los Angeles “The Sound” has launched an online wiki, intended to host conversation about music played on the station between listeners. “The Sound” hopes as it evolves, the wiki will also host tips for surviving shows at L.A.‘s music venues, as well as other topics. Said Sammy Simpson, “The Sound” Director of Marketing/Advertising, “The Sound wiki is another way for our listeners to stay informed and offer opportunities to get involved in making things better in the community.” For more, read RBR.com’s coverage here.



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