Friday, January 26, 2007

Backward Into the Future

I recently spent 5 days without Broadband service. Luckily I still have my old Friend “Dial-up” as a back up. This gave me an opportunity to see how Media websites performed for those without access to High Speed Internet connections.

The answer is: not very well.

Streaming audio did not work on fully 50% of the radio station websites that I visited.

3 seconds of audio--buffer for 10 seconds--4 seconds of audio--8 seconds buffer--etc.

This was extremely frustrating. It also doesn’t have to be like that. If half the stations streaming are Backwards compatible, then the other half should be as well. Talk to your Internet people and make sure that your stream will work for your listeners who do not have Broadband connections.

How many of them are there? The latest research shows that 50% of households still use dial-up. Even among “Active” Internet users, only 78.5% have Broadband connections. While that is a pretty decent figure, it still means that over 20% of the your most active Internet users still don’t have High Speed connections.(see report) DSLReports reports that there are areas within the United States that have little or no broadband coverage. One reader reports on an area in Virginia near a mountain that lacks even satellite access. DSLReports.com, Jan. 20, 2007.

Do not write off “dial up listeners”. You never know which one has an Arbitron diary. As a test, you might want to use a dial up connection and see how your Radio Station web site measures up when you are not using Broadband. It may surprise you at how frustrating and exclusionary it is.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

List of Oscar Nominees


Here is a complete list of the 79th Annual Academy Award nominations announced this morning at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, Calif. (HERE)

Monday, January 22, 2007

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Joost™" best of TV and best of the Web


New York/London - January 16, 2007 - Today, the company formerly known under the code name The Venice Project has revealed its official brand, "Joost™." Currently available in private beta testing, Joost combines the best of TV and the best of the Internet by offering viewers a unique, TV-like experience enhanced with the choice, control and flexibility of Web 2.0.

Co-founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Joost fills a critical gap in the online video entertainment arena. Joost is powered by a secure, efficient, piracy-proof Internet platform that enables premium interactive video experiences while guaranteeing copyright protection for content owners and creators.

"People are looking for increased choice and flexibility in their TV experience, while the entertainment industry needs to retain control over their content," said Fredrik de Wahl, chief executive officer of Joost. "With Joost, we've married that consumer desire with the industry's interests."

Joost is the first global TV distribution platform, bringing together advertisers, content owners and viewers in an interactive, community-driven environment. Joost can be accessed with a broadband Internet connection and offers broadcast-quality content to viewers for free.

"We've received positive and constructive feedback from our early beta-testers and are now at a stage where we're ready to reveal our true brand," said de Wahl. "The Joost name has global appeal, embodies fun and energy, and will come to define the 'best of TV and the best of the Internet'".

Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream

On this his day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

40th Anniversary of the "Counter-Culture"


This is not only the 40th anniversary of "The Summer of Love", but it marks the anniversay
of ALBUM RADIO in all incarnations. For Classic Rock and AAA, it is a great Promotional opportunity.
Musically, the options are obvious. Promotionaly, concerts with "era" bands, trips to San Francisco etc.
Just a thought.


40 years later, Human Be-In calls to ex-hippies
GATHERING RECALLS UNOFFICIAL KICKOFF OF `SUMMER OF LOVE'
By Lisa Leff
Associated Press

Their hair, once a symbol of youthful rebellion, is mostly gray. Bodies that writhed with abandon when a guru invited them to ``Turn on . . . tune in . . . drop out'' now sport stiff knees and age spots.

``How many of you are on acid right now?'' rock critic Joel Selvin asked an audience of former hippies who turned out in San Francisco last week to mark the 40th anniversary of the Human Be-In, the counterculture event that unofficially launched the ``Summer of Love.'' ``How many of you are on antacid right now?''

In many ways, the '60s as we now know the era was born Jan. 14, 1967, when musicians, poets, visionaries, student radicals and wayward youth gathered in Golden Gate Park. It was the unofficial birth of the counterculture movement that defined the city's Haight-Ashbury district, a prelude to the social and political upheaval that followed.

Those who were in the park that day agree neither they nor San Francisco have been the same since.

Part rock concert and literary event, part protest and mass consciousness raising, the Human Be-In was billed at the time as a ``Gathering of the Tribes'' meant to unite and stir up the various wings of the counterculture movement. Estimates of the number of people who cavorted on the park's Polo Fields that day range from 10,000 to 50,000.

The speakers and bands who appeared reads like a ``Who's Who'' of 1960s icons: LSD advocate Timothy Leary, poets Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder, comedian Dick Gregory, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

By all accounts, psychedelic drugs were in plentiful supply, courtesy of a parachuter who tossed free doses to the crowd.

``Over the years, probably a dozen people have come up to me and said, `You guys were fantastic!' I say, `We weren't there,' '' David Getz, said with a laugh. Getz was drummer for Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Janis Joplin-fronted band that was not on the lineup the day of the Be-In. ``And they say, `No, I saw you!' Maybe they did.''

By that summer, publicity about ``the happening,'' as it was called, and the Monterey Pop Festival in June, had encouraged thousands more young idealists to head to San Francisco. Haight-Ashbury, just outside the park, was the flower child's Mecca.

At Tuesday's commemorative forum, sponsored by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, panelist Jim O'Donnell recalled the transformative days leading up to the Be-In, when he went from being an engineering student at the University of California-Berkeley, to a freewheeling Haight-Ashbury resident.

``My life turned from academia to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- unfortunately, not necessarily in that order,'' he said.

Like other panelists, O'Donnell and Getz remembered the Human Be-In as both the beginning and the end, an event that would be much duplicated but never equaled.

``The Human Be-In was a creation from within the San Francisco counterculture,'' Getz said. ``The `Summer of Love' really was a creation of the national news media that befell San Francisco.''

RADIO PROMOTION GOES BAD ?

A 28-year-old woman has died of water intoxication after taking part in a Californian radio station's water drinking contest.

She was in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" competition trying to win a Nintendo Wii video game system.

Assistant Sacramento County Coroner Ed Smith said a preliminary investigation found evidence "consistent with a water intoxication death".

Jennifer Strange's mother found her daughter's body at her home on Friday in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova, California, after Strange called her supervisor at her job to say she was heading home in terrible pain.

"She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad," said Laura Rios, one of Strange's co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento.

"She was crying and that was the last that anyone had heard from her."

Earlier Friday, Strange took part in a contest at radio station KDND 107.9 in which participants competed to see how much water they could drink without going to the toilet.

Initially, contestants were handed 220mL bottles of water to drink every 15 minutes.

"They were small little half-pint bottles, so we thought it was going to be easy," said fellow contestant James Ybarra of Woodland, California.

"They told us if you don't feel like you can do this, don't put your health at risk."

Ybarra said he quit after drinking five bottles.

"My bladder couldn't handle it anymore," he added.

After he quit, he said, the remaining contestants, including Strange, were given even bigger bottles to drink.

"I was talking to her and she was a nice lady," Ybarra said. "She was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for kids."

John Geary, vice president and marketing manager for Entercom Sacramento, the station's owner, said station personnel were stunned when they heard of Strange's death.

"We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred," he said.
STORY

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The iPhone introduced at MacWorld


Following a recording of James Brown singing, "I Feel Good," the lights of the keynote hall dimmed and Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to thunderous applause from the crowd.

"This is a day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years," said Jobs. "Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."

In 1984, said Jobs, Apple introduced the Macintosh, and changed the computer industry. In 2001, Apple introduced the iPod, and changed the entire music industry.

"Well, today, we're introducing three revolutionary products of this class," said Jobs. "The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. The third is a breakthrough Internet communications device."

"These are not three separate devices," said Jobs. "This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone."
Read MacWorld Article
See iPhone

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Inventing The Future


In his monthly message, Greater Media's Peter Smyth, addresses issues that Broadcasters must address. He continuously proves himself to be the one of Radios great leaders.
Here's his latest musing:

Hello,

This month, I want to spend time reflecting on the future of Greater Media.

As we turn the page and begin 2007, I want to share some thoughts about our business and its future. We all know that the radio business is being challenged as never before to rethink and reinvent itself once again. These reinventions are not new to radio; the industry has reformed itself after the advent of television, and again during the FM revolution.

Now, we are challenged to remake ourselves in light of the interactive technology that has woven itself into our world. Every business, not just radio, is facing this same task. The internet has redefined the ways we acquire information, the way we shop, the way we communicate. We're in a great evolution from mass marketing to individualized, personalized and customized marketing. This is an exciting and challenging journey and one that we should approach with enthusiasm. Radio can and will be a part of this evolution, but it is on our shoulders to make that happen.

In the past three years, more that 100 million dollars of radio advertising revenue has disappeared from our Greater Media markets. These dollars, which were once used to fund ad messages to broad audiences, are being redeployed to the internet in more personal, one-to-one marketing efforts. Advertisers are rethinking their approach to media marketing and are questioning their media mix. They have every right to do so, as they look to maximize their return on their advertising investments.(MORE)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

SYNC Up

From Fred Jacob's Blog (Jacobs Media):

While we were out celebrating and watching bowl games, Ford chose the very end of the year (go figure) to announce an innovation in their vehicles that will impact all of us, especially those of you who own and operate terrestrial radio stations.

WiMax is coming to Ford this year or next in a cooperative effort with Microsoft, called SYNC. It means that lots of vehicles are going to be Internet-equipped, raising new issue and questions about how this will impact information and entertainment while people are on the go.

So for stations that still aren't streaming their audio, the SYNC announcement is a red alert. Streaming should no longer be thought of in terms of "How are we going to pay for it?" Instead, broadcasters ought to be thinking, "If we don't have a strong streaming presence, we could get squeezed out of cars (and cell phones)."

It should be a quality stream, and it should be well-promoted on the air. As technology rockets forward, especially in cars (where radio has ruled the roost), streaming is radio's "transportation" to the next wave of automotive innovation.
Read it HERE.