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RAIN 8/15: iPhone doubles Pandora mobile listening; experts say mobile wi-fi should scare FM, satellite

Posted on: 08/15/2008

PANDORA TELLS TRIBUNE iPHONE HAS DOUBLED ITS MOBILE AUDIENCE: In an interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Eric 2.0 blog, Pandora founder Tim Westergren reveals that the service has doubled its daily mobile listeners since the advent of the new iPhone. “We went from 20,000 listeners to 40,000 a day,” he reports, also stating that Pandora picked up 400,000 new users in the first 10 days after the Pandora iPhone application was available. “I’m amazed at how many people have said they have known about Pandora but have not used it until the iPhone came out,” Westergren said. To read the full article, click here.

DEL COLLIANO SAYS MOBILE WI-FI IS ACTUALLY RADIO’S GREAT NEXT-GEN OPPORTUNITY: “WiFi is radio’s best chance,” writes media inside Jerry Del Colliano, referencing the coming implementation of in-car Wi-Fi, and thus of in-car Internet radio (RAIN coverage here). He surmises that broadcasters fearing satellite radio will find even more to fear from the plethora of choices Internet radio offers, but that smart broadcasters will survive because they’ll understand how “to super serve the available listener.” To do this, Del Colliano recommends readjusting programming to create customizable podcast-length, online-only stations that aim for a “target audience” rather than a basic demographic, and are free of traditional DJs and advertisements. “This is taking nothing away from radio formatics that have served the industry well for decades. It’s simply something new.” Read his full article at his Inside Music Media blog here.

SATELLITE MUST ALSO INNOVATE TO SURVIVE IN FACE OF MOBILE WI-FI, SAYS MOTLEY FOOL: The coming of Chrysler’s in-car Wi-Fi is “an ‘uh-oh’ moment for investors in premium auto-related products,” especially Sirius XM satellite radio, writes Rick Aristotle Munarriz at The Motley Fool. Internet radio delivered into cars directly competes with satellite radio’s in-car services, he writes, and “if Sirius is going to compete, it’s going to have to raise the bar yet again…The real potential rests in the company improving its receivers to make its service even more indispensable to radio fans.” Munarriz suggests receiver innovation could include a button to purchase the current track playing, or to pull up more information about a current advertisement. “Satellite radio will have to try that much harder to stand out.” Read the full article here.

iTUNES COMES TO THE AIRWAVES: iTunes expands its reach to radio, as Premiere Radio Networks launches “The iTunes Download,” a weekly syndicated radio program playing the 30 most downloaded songs. The three hour show will also feature artist interviews and playlists created by users and celebrities. iTunes’ director of music programming Alex Luke will host. For more, read Ad Week’s coverage here.

SIRIUS XM iPHONE PLAYER “IN THE WORKS: A Sirius XM satellite radio streamer application for the iPhone, dubbed Starplayr, is currently being developed by GeeksToolBox and NiceMac. The application is reportedly in alpha, but apparently sound quality is “very good” as is battery usage. NiceMac’s StarPlayr site confirms that, “an iPhone version of StarPlayr is in the works.” For more, read MacNN’s coverage here.

PANDORA HIRES REGIONAL VP: Pandora has hired Christopher Negron as the regional vice president for the central region. Negron recently was director of sales for Double Fusion, and was with CNET Networks’ entertainment group previous to that.

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