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RAIN 7/29: Big ticket webcast Goom Radio "alpha" testing for U.S. audiences

Posted on: 07/29/2009

SEAN ROSS TAKES A FIRST LOOK AT $16 MILLION WEBCASTER

A team of former radio execs made a splash in spring when they announced they had secured $16 million in backing to launch a webcast they said would “reinvent radio for the Internet generation.” With a brand licensed from a French webcast, Goom Radio is now available in “alpha” test mode, and radio expert Sean Ross has given the service a try. Goom’s alpha version includes several radio streams, including “Just Hits,” indie/new music channel “The Tastemaker,” hip-hop station “Explicit Content” and alternative stream “Rock-It Radio.”

Ross found that “Goom’s Just Hits is a well-produced, hosted channel“ and heard some “nice touches of the sort that I’d been hoping for from Goom’s U.S. arrival.” He reviews a sample hour of programming on “Just Hits” in a Ross on Radio column here. According to an e-mail sent to registered beta testers, Goom is also “introducing G-Sound, our new high definition audio technology.” The user-created stations and “record a message” features are not yet available, however. Test Goom Radio’s “alpha” version for yourself here.

Goom Radio is a New York Internet radio station, featuring former Clear Channel/New York managers Rob Williams and Tim “Romeo” Herbst. For more, check out our previous RAIN coverage here. Goom Radio’s CEO Rob Williams also spoke at the RAIN Summit this year in Las Vegas (here).

NET RADIO AGGREGATOR LAUNCHES REDESIGNED WEBSITE

Internet radio aggregator OnlineRadioStations.com has unveiled a redesigned site (here). The site organizes over 6,000 streams into genre and region classifications, while also allowing users to search for stations and save their favorites in a “playlist.” Integration with social networks like Twitter and Facebook is also available. OnlineRadioStations.com says they have 31,000 registered users and that people tune in to online radio through their site over 13,000 times a day. For more, check out the site’s press release here.

HOBBYISTS, MICROCASTERS STILL LOOKING FOR THEIR OWN ROYALTY DEAL

Small-audience, niche-targeted webcasters — including those that webcast as a hobby — say they are still holding out for an alternative to the sound recording royalty rate they say makes it financially impossible to continue to operate.

Commercial and public broadcasters and “pureplay” webcasters successfully negotiated settlements with SoundExchange that allow them to pay sound recording royalties at rates more favorable than those handed down by the Copyright Royalty Board two years ago. However, hobbyist webcasters, as well as some educational and religious webcasters, say no available settlement makes it feasible for them to operate.

SoundExchange unilaterally offered very small webcasters a royalty deal in February (RAIN coverage here). But some, like Live365’s Media GM Johnie Floater say the required $500 per year minimum fees aren’t appropriate for webcasts that don’t generate revenue. After the “pureplay” webcaster settlement was announced earlier this month, Live365, which provides services for and aggregates many of these small webcasters, (RAIN coverage here) made a public call for a “microcaster” deal.

Eliot Van Buskirk (who’s pictured above) writes more in the San Francisco Weekly here.

VERIZON PUSHES SLACKER APP TO SECOND DEVICE: BLACKBERRY TOUR

Earlier in July, Verizon “pushed” Slacker’s Blackberry application to every Storm mobile device—that is, the app simply appeared, rather than users having to head to an application store and download it manually (RAIN coverage here). Now, Verizon is pushing Slacker’s app to a second cell phone model: the Blackberry Tour. For more, check out Orbitcast’s coverage here.



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