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RAIN 4/12: RAIN Summit West now underway in Las Vegas

Posted on: 04/12/2010

RAIN’s annual RAIN Summit West is now underway in Las Vegas. This year’s Summit promises to be our best yet: NPR’s Kinsey Wilson is keynoting, the latest in Internet radio (including the “game-changer” iPad) will be discussed in exciting panels and a variety of topics will be presented in the new fast-paced style of “Pecha Kucha.”

Speakers and panelists include Chicago radio legend and now full-time podcaster Steve Dahl, Blip.fm CEO Jeff Yasuda, Pandora’s Doug Sterne, ESPN Digital Media VP Marc Horine, JacAPPS’s Fred Jacobs, Edison Media Research’s Tom Webster, SomaFM’s Rusty Hodge and so many more. Find a full list of speakers here.

Furthermore, exciting new research will be presented at RAIN Summit West. Findings from Vision Critical’s “Radio Futures 2010” study, previewed at RAIN Summit North and in recent press releases (RAIN coverage here), will be revealed by Senior Vice President and Managing Director Jeff Vidler. Additionally, Bridge Ratings CEO Dave Van Dyke will present an update on Internet radio listening trends, including new information on the two different types of Internet radio listeners — those who listen to simulcast streams and those who listen to Internet-only streams.

The Summit has already been praised as “a Who’s Who of new-media luminaries” by Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor. It takes place in the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center and is an official co-located event of the NAB Show. More information about the Summit can be found here. Check back with RAIN for continuing updates from Las Vegas and in-depth coverage in coming days!

25% OF CARS WILL BE NET-CONNECTED IN 5 YEARS, REPORTS CAR & DRIVER

Most cars today, Car and Driver writes, seem “stuck in the Stone Age” when it comes to Internet connectivity. But in five years, 25% of cars will connect to the Internet according to iSuppli telematics analyst Richard Robinson. Cars will become “rolling Wi-Fi hot spots,” connecting to the Internet either through smartphones like the iPhone or through separate data plans.

Audi, BMW, and Ford are already taking steps toward this future, Car and Driver points out. For example, Ford’s Sync update, MyFord Touch (RAIN coverage here), allows drivers to use Internet-based services like Pandora through a smartphone’s data connection. And the easier it is for drivers to listen to Internet radio, the more likely services like Pandora will “make a serious dent in satellite-radio subscriptions.” The full Car and Driver article on in-car Internet access can be found here.

RIM BUYS COMPANY THAT DELIVERS NET TO CARS

Research In Motion, the maker of Blackberry mobile devices, has purchased Ottawa company QNX Software Systems which makes technology to deliver broadband services, like Internet radio, to cars. RIM co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis reportedly said the acquisition of QNX will “enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems.” TheRecord.com has more on the story here.

RHAPSODY OFFERS ANDROID APP

Rhapsody has released a free application for mobile devices running Google’s Android operating system. The app lets users search for music on-demand and includes access to Rhapsody Radio. Chris Busiel, Rhapsody’s Senior Product Manager also notes that users can listen to Rhapsody music while using other apps thanks to Android’s ability to run multiple apps at the same time. He also said “offline playback” was coming to the application soon. You can find out more about the new application here.

NPR AND BLOOMBERG DISCUSS THEIR NEW MEDIA EFFORTS

At a panel at MediaBistro.com’s Think Mobile conference Wednesday, NPR’s director of content development and mobile OPS Robert Spier along with John Waanders, Bloomberg’s head of mobile, spoke about their company’s efforts at entering the new media world.

“We’re really a multimedia publisher. We are no longer a radio company,” said Spier, adding, “A unique visitor to the iPhone app or the Android app is consuming six times more pages than visitors to NPR.org. Even visitors to the mobile site are consuming 20 percent more pages.” He also revealed NPR is working on an app dedicated to NPR Music. “Apps are fun,” he said. “Both quantitatively and qualitatively, it is the optimal way to reach our audience.”

Said Waanders: “We’re beginning to build mobile products that incorporate Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Bloomberg Web site, Bloomberg Radio, and Bloomberg TV. It’s critical that your mobile strategy fits with your overall corporate strategy…the real key, I think, in mobile development for new organizations that are getting into this is not to give away the store.” You can read more about the discussion here.

SQUEEZEBOX TOUCHES FINALLY SHIPPING

The intriguing Squeezebox Touch Wi-Fi radio, though long delayed from actually getting into the hands of Internet radio and touch-screen lovers, is finally shipping. It was originally supposed to be released in December 2009 (RAIN coverage here). The device includes a remote control and costs $300. Engadget has more 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