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Slacker Radio Launches RJD2′s Own Station!

January 10, 2012 Artist News No Comments

Today we’re pleased to announce that Slacker Radio has launched RJD2′s very own radio station! You can hear hand picked songs from RJD2 himself, his most favorite and influential music, plus some of his own. He talks about how some of the songs have impacted his life and music career – get listening to hear more!

Not to be outdone by Pandora, Slacker has been making major moves lately. They recently took over all programming and now serve up all AOL Radio channels. They also are seamlessly integrated into Ford’s SYNC system for hassle free listening in your car.

You can click here or browse to the “artist showcase” tab on any Slacker app!

AOL Radio Relaunches, Powered By Slacker

October 27, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

The digital radio race in the U.S. continues to intensify at a mind boggling pace. There were a few major developments last week, the first being Buick’s announcement that Pandora will be a standard feature in all models starting next year. This is an extraordinary vote of confidence and if they see success here, we’re guessing it won’t take long for Pandora to roll this out across other General Motors brands.

Clear Channel then revealed a nationwide arrangement with Living Social to bring localized daily deals to Clear Channel’s terrestrial and digital audience. This is a substantial increase in reach for the daily deal service as local advertising is one of the critical sources of revenue for terrestrial radio broadcasts (and an effective, low cost solution for local merchants). Clear Channel is facing a looming threat to the radio business from personalized radio services like Pandora and Slacker, and they are using the terrestrial+digital approach as the best defense. Bob Pittman, the CEO of Clear Channel, has been vocal about Pandora’s business model, calling it a “feature”, or FNAC, and using the iHeartRadio brand to ease this transition and offer Clear Channel broadcasts through all mediums.

Finally, Slacker and AOL sealed their relationship. AOL’s digital radio service underwent a major facelift and backend surgery, added channels from Slacker, news content from ABC and sports content from ESPN. View the full write up here, and U.S. users can use the service here. Consolidation of this magnitude is an important moment for the digital radio business as a whole because it means there will be more than one single dominant player. For Slacker, early estimates show this partnership could effectively double Slacker’s audience overnight (!). For Orchard clients, this means more of your music being paid in well-monetized places (Slacker recently launched a full on-demand tier for $9.99/month, in addition to ad supported radio and premium radio).

For more on Slacker, you can watch CEO Jim Cady speak about the service and how they monetize it at this year’s RAIN Summit Chicago.

An interesting note: A large share of internet radio listening happens in vehicles. Soon, you may not even need your phone to provide connectivity in your car, Ford’s 2012 models will have internet connectivity as part of the vehicle.

AT&T + T-Mobile: Mission Accomplished?

September 6, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

This week the US Justice Department moved to block the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. T-Mobile offered itself for purchase due in part to a lack of a 4G strategy which had them facing massive network upgrade charges to remain competitive as most operators in the US roll out 4G service.

 

If the merger is successfully blocked, here’s who loses:

- T-Mobile – no 4G strategy, facing massive network upgrade charges

- AT&T – a reported record-breaking $6B (15%) breakup fee

- AT&Tthe top donor to Congress, money not so well spent if it can’t get what it wants

- Apple – loss of the massive auto influx of customers under the AT&T umbrella, meaning that if it wants to reach T-Mobile customers, it will have to do a separate deal

 

And the winners:

- Sprint – it never wanted this to happen anyway, plus, it may get the iPhone 5 in October

- Consumers – greater selection of smartphones

- Android – T-Mobile doesn’t carry the iPhone and for the near future the best phones available are the high-end smartphones like the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S2

- Clear – a fledgling/struggling 4G provider in the US, backed by Comcast, Google, etc.  They are Sprint’s 4G service provider and now that T-Mobile is without a 4G strategy, there’s a clear opportunity to provide service to T-Mobile

 

For a brief history lesson, you can find the Ma Bell family tree after the historic breakup of AT&T in 1984 right here.

But What If There Is No Cloud?

April 21, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Countless internet businesses, including Foursquare, Quora, Hootsuite, Reddit and Myxer found out today what happens when there is no cloud.

Part of the reason why the internet start up culture is so rich and thriving is due to the low cost to launch and deploy web services on-demand, without owning or renting massive data centers and expensive monthly bandwidth you may or may not use.  You can pay for this storage and bandwidth and processing power “on-demand” which dramatically drives down the cost of operating your web business, or artist website.

The downside of this is when the service you rely on to run your business also goes down.  Amazon’s EC2 service experienced hardware failure today, and is causing havoc across the web.  Here are a few articles describing the outage and the heavy reliance on Amazon’s cloud: Tech Crunch, USA Today, and you can check the status of service on Amazon’s status page.

A Brief Look At Myxer.com’s Innovation

January 19, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Two and a half years ago, Myxer was a pirate ringtone site causing headaches for content owners. However, they were looking to work more closely with content providers. The Orchard licensed them which helped stop Orchard label’s content from being downloaded illegally from the site.

Today, ringtones have waned in popularity as consumers switch from feature phones to smartphones. In fact, smartphones are expected to be more popular than standard phones next year.

Despite this massive shift, Myxer has continued to remain relevant as consumers transition to the smartphone. In fact, Myxer has skyrocketed in popularity; they are estimated to be a staggering 15% of ALL U.S. mobile web traffic, as well as the unique distinction of being Google Zeitgeist’s #6 “fastest rising” search term in all of 2010.

Myxer has a constantly evolving product–they’re still selling ringtones, and a good amount of them. Orchard labels can see their ringtone sales right in their data analytics dashboard. Myxer also sells MP3s, apps and even cell phones.

A declining ringtone market doesn’t stop a successful mobile company from staying relevant and innovating–thankfully, mobile no longer means ringtones–it is a much broader base of content, apps, devices, and services our clients are using to drive their business.

We look forward to another successful year for Myxer in 2011!

About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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