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RAIN 01/02: Internet and radio predictions for 2009

Posted on: 01/02/2009


As we say goodbye to 2008, a handful of analysts have tried their hand at predicting what developments in Internet and radio we’ll see emerge in 2009. Contentinople’s Ryan Lawler presents a grim outlook, predicting that royalty issues will outright kill streaming music sites. “If you’re an avid listener to streaming music,” he writes (here), “you may want to begin weaning yourself off the good stuff now before your favorite sites slowly (or perhaps not so slowly) start to disappear.” He reasons Internet radio stations like Pandora can’t survive under the royalty rates set by the CRB in 2006, which tripled the former rate. Lawler cites an interview with Pandora CTO Tom Conrad who stated, “At triple the rate even in a fully-monetized form…there’s just no question there’s no business model that works for Internet radio.”

Industry attorney David Oxenford predicts (here) that “we may see the webcasting royalties issue be resolved one way or the other“ by the end of the year, while the recording industry will almost assuredly renew their fight for a broadcast radio performance royalty. Meanwhile, RBR predicts (here) that in 2009 “radio will strengthen its trend for calling itself WXXX.COM, instead of FM, AM or HD.” Finally, TargetSpot CEO Doug Perlson says that we may see, “Apple add pre-installed internet radio applications to all iPhones and connected iPods,” while bands may start to launch their own ad campaigns with easy-to-use ad creation technology and geographic targeting. Read Perlson’s 2009 predictions here.

Have any predictions of your own? Tell the world by commenting on today’s issue below!


More and more industry observers are joining the chorus that indeed the future of music broadcasting is the wireless phone platform. SFWeekly.com columnist Chris Parker writes (here), “Mobile phones are a radio-killing app, making the Web’s entire panoply of music fully portable… the mobile phone’s access to social networking sites, Internet radio, and subscription services threatens to revolutionize the idea of ‘broadcasting.’.. Online music companies can specifically target the techno-savvy, tastemaking under-35 demographic radio has left behind.” Driving this transition, he argues, are services that can suggest music based on listeners tastes, one-click purchasing options, and (eventually) a constant Internet connection that could render downloading obsolete.


Among Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jonathan Takiff’s edicts, if he were to “rule the (music) world,”: label-centric Internet radio stations. “Music labels have been making deals lately with such high-profile sites as MySpace, AOL and BET.com to stream previews of new releases,” he writes. “The labels would serve their own long-range interests better by establishing their Web-based, name-brand radio stations. An Atlantic or Universal Music channel could lure you in with that red-hot release, then expose you to other artists on the roster.” Takiff would also like to see labels better support the “$15/month all-you-can eat” subscription services, like Rhapsody. “If the music industry wants to dig out of its rut, there are lots of strategies it should pursue in 2009, most embracing the new tech rather than fearing it,” Takiff writes here.


Blaupunkt and miRoamer will announce at CES a partnership to launch an in-dash car Internet radio. The device tunes in to miRoamer’s library of Internet radio streams by connecting with an Internet-enabled mobile device (such as a smartphone) through Bluetooth. While Internet radio can be accessed while driving through devices like the iPhone plugged into normal car stereos, this is first player to offer in-dash Internet radio. Pricing and availability are currently unclear. For more, read Wired’s coverage here.

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  1. Looking into the Broadcasting Crystal Ball

    What do you see when you look into the Broadcasting Crystal Ball ?
    I see localization going down the drain, in most cases.
    I see syndication taking over what local talent can actually do better.
    I see management giving in, and getting rid of local talent, replacing them with syndication to save money.
    I see too many stations running syndication programs.
    I see too much of the audience, not having any choices, all stations running basically same program content and tired of listening to syndication.
    I see radio station running all this syndication and no audience to listen to it.
    I see local radio…fading off into the sunset.
    I see a sad day in America without “Local” Radio !

    Dave Stevens
    Lyndie Computer & Broadcast Service

    Dave Stevens · Jan 2, 08:26 AM · #

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