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RAIN 6/15: Radio chafing under simulcast streaming constraints from Arbitron and AFTRA

Posted on: 06/15/2010

EXPERTS: CONCERN OVER SIMULCASTS MISSES WEB’S REAL POTENTIAL

A recent Inside Radio article is stirring up analysts. The piece covered broadcasters’ consternation over online simulcasts due to A) AFTRA licensing, which requires some over-the-air ads to be replaced in the online stream and B) Arbitron’s refusal to add web audiences to total line reporting if the online stream isn’t 100% the same as the AM/FM broadcast.

The easiest solution then, as Mark Ramsey of Hear 2.0 writes, is to rewrite AFTRA rules. But that’s not the best solution, he argues. Instead, broadcasters should stream more and different content online, not just a simulcasts. Rather than cannibalizing AM/FM listening with an identical online simulcast, Ramsey advocates aiming to cannibalize “everything else [listeners] do with their entertainment time besides listening to your station” with new and different web content.

Plus, he says (here), broadcasters should take advantage of web radio’s high ad accountability. “Matching the stream to the station surrenders all the power of this accountability.” Jennifer Lane of Audio4Cast agrees, adding that ads that work well for AM/FM aren’t well suited for online listeners. “In the long term, the ability to offer advertisers specific channels that target certain listeners and behaviors will enable broadcasters to compete with new media platforms,” she writes (here).

FUTURE PERFECT RADIO RELAUNCHES WITH NEW NAVIGATION

AccuRadio’s indie rock Internet radio service, Future Perfect Radio, relaunched today with a “search-focused” user interface. Now, instead of navigating through a potentially-overwhelming directory of more than 35 channel options, indie rock fans can simply enter their favorite artist (e.g. “LCD Soundsystem”), scene (“Portland”), festival (“Coachella”), or style (“twee”) into the search box to get a selection of Future Perfect Radio channels focused on their tastes. Users can also “share” their new favorite channels with direct links to Facebook and Twitter. Future Perfect Radio was designed and is programmed by RAIN associate editor Michael Schmitt. — PM

SALEM EXPANDS WEB PRESENCE WITH TWO SITE ACQUISITIONS

Salem’s online division has acquired two Christian content websites: social networking site Tangle.com and video site GodTube.com. “Both of these brands have pioneered new content and community interaction in the faith-based market and give Salem a strong presence in the rapidly growing web 2.0 video and social networking space,” said Tom Perrault, Senior VP of Salem Web Network. Find more here.

GRACE DIGITAL ADDS iHEARTRADIO STATIONS

Grace Digital has added Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio streaming stations to its line-up of Wi-Fi radios. That line-up includes devices like Allegro Wi-Fi Internet Radio (RAIN coverage here) and Solo Wi-Fi Internet Tuner (here). Find more coverage here.



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