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RAIN 2/23: Radio "Off-Air" revenues up; Real blamed for DiMA/SX breakdown

Posted on: 02/23/2009


According to the new RAB revenue report, fiscal year 2008 “Off-Air” revenue — which includes online/digital platforms — was up 7% over 2007. It was the only revenue category that grew in 2008, as overall industry revenue slipped 9%.

At just under $1.8 billion, the sector now accounts for 9.2% of industry revenue. The RAB says Off-Air revenue is on pace for a $2 billion 2009.

Read more in the RAB’s press release here.


Unnamed sources in the royalties negotiations between SoundExchange and DiMA lay the blame for the breakdown at the feet of RealNetworks, according to a CNet article today. An attorney for Real who spoke to CNet denies the charge, and DiMA executive director Jon Potter says the sticking points in the deal are “substantive” and no single party is to blame.

The large webcasters represented by DiMA “blew a golden opportunity* to reach an accord that would have given them much of what they asked for,” writes CNet’s Greg Sandoval. Sandoval says his sources say RealNetworks reversed its position on a deal that SoundExchange and DiMA had agreed on in principle in November.

RealNetworks associate general counsel Michael King told Sandoval, “We aren’t willing to advocate for rates that are insane… If SoundExchange intends to do a deal that everyone agrees to… they should do deals that we will sign up for.” King told Sandoval that there is nothing to stop SoundExchange from striking one-off deals with other Webcasting companies.

Sandoval notes, “There is still a chance the two sides can come to terms. Talks are ongoing.” Read the full CNet article (here).


And “debt” and “collisions with other satellites” don’t make the list. There are lots of competing services and hardware out there. Other services offer wider variety and personalization with low (or no) cost to listeners; other hardware oftne has a wider range of capabilities.

Topping the list: Pandora (and its iPhone app) and Slacker (the service, plus its G2s dedicated device and apps for the Blackberry (pictured) and iPhone). The remaining three “killers”: the Squeezebox Boom and Sonos Bundle 150 devices and the Apple iPhone itself. Read the PC Magazine piece here.


Wired’s Eliot Van Buskirk writes today that the Apple’s iPhone app store may be revolutionizing how major labels promote their artists — by encouraging fans to “subscribe” to them.

A software company called Kyte is creating apps for Sony and Universal which gives fans who subscribe access to “behind the scenes” content, video, and more. The app store now offers Kyte-developed apps for Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, Keri Hilson, The Pussycat Dolls, The All American Rejects and Lady Gaga.

“It took Apple to convince the labels to sell music on the internet. Now, the company’s transformation of the phone into something resembling a computer, onto which just about anything can be installed, has set the stage for the next phase of music distribution.“ Read the Wired piece here.

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