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RAIN 4/5: RAIN Summit West speakers to tackle Net radio on the iPad

Posted on: 04/05/2010


Though the numbers vary, it seems at least 300,000 iPads were sold over the weekend and the device is now — without a doubt — the most talked-about device of the year with the potential to turn print and video media upside down. But what about radio? Is the iPad a new platform for Internet radio, or will radio apps fall flat? Questions like that will be discussed at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas on April 12.

Joining us at the Summit are representatives from three of the four radio groups with special iPad apps currently out: NPR Digital Media Kinsey Wilson (who will keynote the Summit; pictured left), Pandora VP Audio Sales Doug Sterne and AccuRadio founder/CEO (and RAIN publisher) Kurt Hanson. We’re also speaking to CBS Interactive and hope to have a representative appear to speak about their new Radio.com iPad app as well. Each of the four apps (RAIN coverage here) takes a slightly different approach to attracting iPad listeners, as Hanson explains in his blog today (here). He believes the “jury’s still out” for Net radio on the iPad (primarily due to the lack of multi-tasking) but that just means there’s “room for creativity.”

We’ll also discuss the iPad in “The Leap to Mobile” panel, in which Radio Paradise’s Bill Goldsmith, AirKast co-founder Larry Leung, JacAPPS’s Fred Jacobs and Cox Radio Interactive’s Gregg Lindahl will share their insights on mobile Internet radio. (Get a taste of what Jacobs
thinks of the iPad in the story below!) Finally, there will be iPads on hand at the Summit for you to try out.

RAIN Summit West takes place on April 12 in Las Vegas during the NAB Show. It’s a full day of panels, presentations and discussions about topics affecting Internet radio — from mobile devices to ad sales to business models — and it promises to be our best Summit yet! It takes place in the Renaissance Hotel, is an official co-located event of the NAB Show and will be capped off by another of our legendary RAIN Cocktail Parties! Find out more about the Summit here and register here.


“The pocket-sized transistor radios of my youth are back,” writes Hiawatha Bray of Boston.com. “And they’re better than ever, because now they make phone calls.” Bray, of course, is talking about smartphones and the plethora of applications that allow them to stream Internet radio. Bray’s article touches on some popular options — Sirius XM on Blackberry and iPhones, Pandora on pretty much every device, and Slacker — but also highlights some less-buzzed-about choices.

WunderRadio (RAIN coverage here), for instance, tunes in to AM/FM streams on iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices. Or there’s Nobex Radio Companion for Blackberry phones that tunes in to over 4500 radio stations from around the world. You can find the full article from Boston.com here.


Some radio professionals may feel the same way about the new iPad as many folks: ugh, yet another iWhatever device. Or as Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media (pictured left) writes, “‘Oh great — now I have to spend more money to participate in this space.’” But, he argues, this is the wrong mindset.

“The ability to be able to participate in a piece of technology that everyone’s buzzing about is an incredible opportunity for a medium that can’t seem to understand the importance of elegance, aesthetics, and the cool factor.” The radio industry should be excited about the iPad, Jacobs writes (here), because it’s full of potential: “The iPad isn’t an albatross. It’s an opportunity.” Fred Jacobs will share more of his insights at RAIN Summit West on “The Leap to Mobile” panel. Find out more here.


NPR continues its aggressive iPad strategy with a selection of videos showing some “favorite voices” of NPR sharing their thoughts about Apple’s new tablet device. Michel Martin, for example, talks about music from NPR on the iPad. Videos of Robert Siegel and Scott Simon are also included (here), with thoughts from Bob Mondello, Ari Shapiro and Neda Ulaby coming soon. NPR has created a version of their website just for iPad users, as well as launched one of the first iPad radio apps alongside Pandora, CBS Interactive and AccuRadio (RAIN coverage here).

Remember, Senior Vice President and General Manager of NPR Digital Media Kinsey Wilson is the keynote speaker of RAIN Summit West on April 12 in Las Vegas. Find out more here.

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