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RAIN 3/15: Pandora CEO Kennedy's keynote, expert panels highlight successful RAIN Summit North

Posted on: 03/15/2010


Judging by feedback from attendees and participants, Friday’s first-ever RAIN Summit North educational and networking event in Toronto (part of Canadian Music Week) was a success on all counts.

The half-day session of panels, presentations, and keynote address from Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy took place in the stylish Fairmont Royal York Hotel Concert Hall (hopefully you can get a sense of the room in the long-view shot of Joe Kennedy giving his speech, below left). The afternoon featured four discussions by our expert panels, which covered copyright tariffs in Canada and the U.S., features of digital services for radio from several vendors, online ad revenues, and trends in mobile delivery (Several people mentioned the mobile panel as their favorite — in the photo above, left to right, is moderator Barnaby Marshall of RockPeaks, Livio founder Jake Sigal, Corus Radio’s Earl Veale, RIM/Blackberry’s Pete Watson, and Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media/JacAPPS). Vision Critical’s Jeff Vidler previewed a new study, Radio Futures 2010, on Internet radio listening in Canada, the U.S., and the UK; Listener Driven Radio’s Daniel Anstandig presented his company’s crowd-sourced programming platform; and RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson offered the latest installment of his State of the Industry address on the present and future of Internet radio.

By 6:15 the crowd moved to the reception area on the Royal York’s Conference floor to finish the afternoon at the RAIN Cocktail Party, where we had the pleasure to visit RAIN readers from Canada (and elsewhere) and touch base with industry colleagues. And while a rainy Toronto evening on Friday limited our attendance to the (quite enjoyable) acts at the Royal York’s Library Bar, we did make it out on Thursday to take in some of the great acts that showcased at Canadian Music Week.

We’re very grateful to the sponsors whose help allowed us to stage RAIN Summit North, especially: StreamTheWorld, JacAPPS, Listener Driven Radio, and Pandora. We’re also very appreciative to the RAIN readers and our panel participants who are the most important factors in the success of our events. Thank you!

Look for more coverage of RAIN Summit North coming later this week!

Registration is now open for our next event, RAIN Summit West, Monday, April 12th, in Las Vegas (during the NAB Show). More info and registration are here.


The FCC is expected to unveil a sweeping plan for broadband development tomorrow with the intention to bring high-speed Internet into most American homes. Specifically, the plan will call for speeds of 100 megabits per second (10 times faster than most current connections) in 100 million homes by 2020. The FCC also wants to double the amount of spectrum devoted to wireless Internet, thanks to the popularity of smartphone devices. SiliconValley.com has more details on the plan here.

How might this affect Internet radio? More wireless spectrum may help make listening to Net radio on mobile devices easier and cheaper, Matthew Lasar of Radio Survivor writes (here). Additionally, if the plan helps get more low-income people online — folks who “make up a huge constituency for broadcast radio” — they may become new Internet radio listeners. “They’ll change the nature of Internet radio, which currently plays to a more middle class audience,” Lasar writes.


Jacobs Media’s mobile app development division jacAPPS can now create radio applications for Android devices. The company has previously released station-specific apps for the iPhone, releasing 140 apps so far (one of which is pictured at right). Jacobs Media will now build apps for Android as well because the platform “is showing signs of rapid consumer acceptance and appears to be the second option for smartphone applications behind the Apple platform,” says the company’s press release.


Wired’s Eliot Van Buskirk reported over the weekend that Slacker is reportedly readying an on-demand subscription service “combining elements of Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify.” According to “a well-placed source,” the service should be arriving in the next few months though no price has been revealed.

Slacker’s pre-existing streaming radio services may give the service a leg up over other on-demand services, Van Buskirk writes. “Even after they subscribe, users might still spend a majority of their time streaming custom Slacker stations, which can cost about a tenth less per song than on-demand plays.” Find Wired’s article here.


TargetSpot took the top spot in comScore’s adjusted February report for entertainment radio, attracting 29 million unique monthly visitors. That includes CBS Radio, AOL Radio, Yahoo Music, Live365 and over 70 other partners. This was comScore’s first month ranking TargetSpot’s audience. In second was Westwood One‘s partner sites (27.4 million unique views). ReplaceAds (18.6 million) took third, with Pandora (12.5 million), and Clear Channel Online (9.2 million) following in fourth and fifth. For more on the story, check out Mediaweek’s article here or Jennifer Lane’s coverage at Audio4Cast here.

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Conference schedules
Sep. 12 SF Music Tech Summit: San Francisco, CA
Sep. 13 RAIN Summit Chicago @ NAB/RAB RadioShow: Chicago, IL
Sep. 14-16 NAB/RAB RadioShow: Chicago, IL
Sep. 24 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Chicago, IL
Oct. 6-7 Digital Music Forum West: Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 13-14 Digital Content Summit/Music: New York, NY
Oct. 18-22 CMJ Music Marathon: New York, NY
Oct. 27-30 CBI Fall Convention: Orlando, FL
Nov. 5 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Boston, MA
Nov. 19 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: New York, NY
Dec. 3 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Los Angeles, CA