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RAIN 3/16: Online radio pioneer KPIG turns to subscriptions to manage royalty burden

Posted on: 03/16/2010

MAPLETON CEO BETS SUBSCRIPTION TAKE WILL OUTPACE AD REVENUE

All Access reports Freedom, CA-based KPIG, as of yesterday, will charge a subscription fee to access its online stream as a well to contain royalty costs. Subscriptions cost a little over $5/month.

KPIG parent Mapleton Communications President/CEO Adam Nathanson told the news source, “The more listeners you have and time spent listening, the more royalties the radio station pays to SoundExchange. Converting the online stream to a subscription model that is ‘commercial-free’ makes business sense as it will preserve the KPIG online stream with subscriber support and also address consumer demand for more PIG music online.”

Radio Paradise founder Bill Goldsmith was webmaster at the adult alternative station when it launched the world’s first full-time webcast in 1995. All Access has more here.

NPR CREATING ALTERNATE VERSION OF SITE SPECIFICALLY FOR APPLE IPAD

Not only is NPR.org preparing an app for the anticipated Apple iPad, they’re designing a “Flash-less” iPad-specific version of the website. Apple’s iPhone and the new iPad (which arrives early next month) do not run the standard version of Adobe’s nearly-ubiquitous web software Flash, so applications and websites (seemingly most these days) that use it don’t function on the devices. The result will be that an iPad user looking to tune in to NPR can either download the iPhone app (which will work on the newer device), or simply go to NPR.org on the iPad’s browser. The site will know it’s being viewed on an iPad and display the “Flash-less” version of the site. Read more from AllThingsDigital here.

Kinsey Wilson, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of NPR Digital Media, will present the keynote address at the RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas April 12. More info and registration here.

SONOS RAISES $25 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING

Sonos, the maker of network-connected audio systems like the ZonePlayer (which you can control with an iPhone; RAIN coverage here) and the multi-room BU250 system (here), has raised $25 million in a Series C round of financing. The round comes from Index Ventures. Mike Volpi, a partner with Index Ventures, will join the Sonos board. The money will help Sonos expand into China and Japan. VentureBeat has more on the story here.

PHONES WITH 4G SPEEDS COMING SOON FROM SPRINT AND VERIZON

Both Sprint and Verizon have announced release windows for high-speed 4G phones. Sprint says the first device will come in the first half of 2010 — with “dozens of [4G] devices” coming by the end of 2010, according to CEO Dan Hesse — while Verizon says their first phone will arrive mid-2011. Sprint’s 4G networks are built on WiMax technology, whereas Verizon utilizes Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Both offer data speeds much faster than 3G networks, up to 10 times faster according to Forbes (here). However, 4G networks are expensive and may signal the end of unlimited data plans, as Verizon’s chief technology officer tells The Wall Street Journal (here). “It’s one thing to say all you can eat is gone,” he said. “It’s another to have consumers worrying, ‘Can I stream this radio?’ That’s what we don’t want.”

PEW: INTERNET RADIO REACH APPROACHING 33%

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans now listen to Internet radio, reports the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism’s in its 2010 “State of the News Media.” The 236 million Americans listening to broadcast radio has held relatively steady the past five years, compared to sliding numbers for network news and newspapers (online and cable news is up, however, indicating a more “on-demand” behavior in consumers). However, “new technology is encroaching on the amount of traditional radio use,” with around 40% of respondents saying they listen to radio less because of time spent on the iPod/MP3 player. Radio Ink has more here.



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Comment

  1. Say goodbye to all your listeners! Many have tried, subscription based broadcasting doesn’t work. The NY Times is about to find that out when they charge for news stories.

    Matthew · Mar 16, 07:46 AM · #

  2. The reason subscription services will always fail for internet radio is because there are too many options. Most listeners move between dozens of networks, and if they were to pay for them all it would cost $100+ per month. Just imagine if you had to pay for every cable TV station. No one would pay anything- they must be bundled, and priced accordingly. The only ray of hope would be some sort of cross network bundle system, creating customizable accounts across all internet radio stations.

    The problem is all about what I’ve been b*tching about for years- that the people with the big capital are thinking broadcast model on the web. It’s just not going to work that way.

    Bill Wilkins, CEO
    Melted Metal Web Radio
    http://www.meltedmetal.com/

    Bill Wilkins, CEO, Melted Metal Web Radio · Mar 16, 11:54 AM · #

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