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RAIN 3/10: Tomorrow, CBS turns off ALL streaming outside U.S.
·Mar 10, 07:42 AM
Posted by: Paul Maloney

CBS RADIO MAKES IT OFFICIAL AND BLOCKS NON-U.S. LISTENING TO ALL STREAMS

In February (here) we reported CBS Radio had begun blocking online streams to non-U.S.-based listeners. CBS’s official stance was the move was to avoid complex and costly international royalty requirements, though at the time we questioned why they’d cut off access to non-music stations (news, talk, sports, etc.), which don’t incur music royalties. Tom Taylor reports today that CBS, in fact, hadn’t cut off the non-music streams (an “unexpected reprieve” he called it), but the broadcaster is doing it now.

Beginning tomorrow, CBS Radio’s news, talk, and sports station streams will be “geo-blocked” to prevent non-U.S. listening. Taylor quotes an internal CBS memo: “This project effectively disables all non-U.S.-based consumers from accessing content via the AOL, Yahoo! and CBS streaming networks“ (so, presumably, this means Internet-only streams from AOL Radio and Yahoo! Radio, which are operated by CBS). Foreign listeners trying to access a CBS stream will get a message (Taylor reports, again quoting the memo) “directing them to our sister property Last.fm.”

Last month we suggested that — while the complexities presented by trying to navigate royalty requirements in every country in which listeners might be located are indeed formidable — eliminating international listening will also save CBS Radio some dough on bandwidth costs. Costs which, since most U.S. advertisers are only interested in U.S. ad impressions, aren’t recouped. The company’s decision to stop streaming even its non-music stations beyond U.S. borders more logically stems from this fact. What’s more, Taylor also reported that CBS will reduce the amount of time a listener can tune in (without interacting with the player or stream) from two hours to one (in other words, if you leave the stream on and doze off or walk away, it stops after an hour).

With CBS Radio, Clear Channel, and Pandora not streaming beyond the U.S., the most-listened to U.S. webcaster that allows international listening becomes Digitally Imported (according to Ando Media’s Webcast Metrics here).

Read Taylor’s coverage in his newsletter for Radio-Info here.

PANDORA MAKES VENTURESOURCE’S TOP 50 MOST-PROMISING VC-WORTHY START-UPS

Research firm VentureSource is a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (owner of the Wall Street Journal, which reported this story). VentureSource winnowed down the ten-thousand privately held, venture-backed U.S. companies to just the 5,194 that “have raised an equity round of financing in the past three years… valued at less than $1 billion.” Then, to get its Top 50 list, they looked at the track records of firms founders’, management, and board members; the amount of capital raised over the past three years, the change in valuation over the year ending November 30th;

In VentureSource’s top spot is a California company that makes DNA-sequencing instruments, Pacific Biosciences. The Journal points out (at) “No. 23 (is) Pandora Media, the Internet radio operator founded by Tim Westergren, who says he ‘maxed out’ 11 credit cards after running out of seed money and pitched Pandora 348 times before securing more capital in 2004.”

On Monday we covered (here) a story from The New York Times in which a digital media analyst at William Blair predicted earnings topping $100 million for Pandora this year, doubling its 2009 revenue. Additionally, the paper said some investment bankers see an IPO in Pandora’s near future.

Read the Wall Street Journal story here.

DMR’S ELDREDGE EXPLORES BRANDINGMOMENTS OF TRUTH” IN FREE WEBINAR TODAY

The Conclave’s online Webinar today features DMR Interactive’s Tripp Eldredge answering the question: “What do your listeners think about you when they’re NOT listening to the radio?“ Eldredge will explore why “the 31 times consumers turn on the radio each week are ‘Moments of Truth’ for your brand” in the free webinar today at 2pm CT (3pm ET). Pre-registration is required here.



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