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RAIN 3/30: Biz Week: Sirius may need to change to a webcaster to survive

Posted on: 03/30/2009

ACTUAL SATELLITE DELIVERY PERHAPS NOT IN SIRIUSFUTURE

In a new Business Week article, “Serious Threats to Sirius Radio,” columnist Olga Kharif writes, “As Web radio and mobile radio applications flourish, they are beginning to erode the value of Sirius’s pricey content deals.” She points out that several webcasters like Slacker and Pandora (for music) and Foneshow and Stitcher (for talk radio) can replicate Sirius programming, and offer it much cheaper (or even free).

Kharif credits Susan Kevorkian, a program director at researcher Interactive Data, and writes, “To find growth, New York-based Sirius must change from a satellite radio company into one that offers pure content through new distribution channels, such as mobile… In the coming years, some analysts say expensive satellites could well fade as a distribution medium as wireless networks improve.” Read more in Business Week here.

OXENFORD EXPLAINSPERFORMANCE COMPLEMENTWAIVER IN NAB/SX DEAL

Industry attorney David Oxenford brings to light some of the waivers of old restrictions on programming that are part of the NAB’s streaming deal with SoundExchange. The rules, which limited the number of songs from a single artist or album that could be played consecutively or in given time span, are known as the sound performance complement. Under the new agreement, labels have waived the requirements that the station streams play (1) No more than 3 songs in a row by the same artist, (2) not more than 4 songs by same artist in a 3 hour period, (3) and no more than 2 songs from same CD in a row.

According to Oxenford, the waiver agreements also cover HD-2 channels, but not any Internet-only “side channels” a broadcaster may run. For more, read Oxenford’s Broadcast Law Blog post here.

CBS RADIO TO LEVERAGE BROADCAST TALENT ON INTERNET-ONLY STREAMS FOR ADS

CBS Radio will reportedly begin delivering live audio commercials hosted by “known and trusted station personalities” during CBS Radio, AOL Radio, and Yahoo! Radio web and mobile streams. Radio Daily News reports the talent-hosted “live reads” will begin in May.

LAST.FM EXPLAINS MOVE TO FANS, SAYS IT’LL POSTPONE SUBSCRIPTION REQUIREMENT

Last.fm announced last week that it will begin charging subscription fees to those who want to listen from outside the U.S., UK and Germany. In a blog post today, Last.fm “blogsman” Richard Jones writes, “We simply can’t be in every country where our radio service is available selling the ads we need to support the service. The Internet is global, and geographic restrictions seem unfair, but it’s a reality we are faced with every day when managing our music licensing partnerships.”

Jones says Last.fm has postponed the move to subscription for other markets, but gave no specific date. Here’s the blog post.

NAPSTER’S WOLFE JOINS INTERACTIVE ONE

David Wolfe, former SVP/Chief Technology Officer at Napster, has joined Radio One’s Interactive One as Chief Product & Operating Officer. For more, check out Radio Ink’s coverage here.

STUDY FINDS PEOPLE SPENDING MORE TIME WITH COMPUTER THAN LISTENING TO RADIO

The average consumer spends more time on the computer than listening to radio, according to a new study from the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), with funding by The Nielsen Company. The Video Consumer Mapping Study, while focused on video media, also looked into computer and radio use. It found that even in areas of long commutes, the computer is the second-most used form of media after TV. Radio has been bumped to third. Find more from the CRE website here.



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