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Apple Podcast Analytics launches, marking an industry turning point

The awaited Podcast Analytics suite from Apple has arrived in beta. Whatever its shortfalls in the minds of some industry observers, and however ambivalent some podcast publishers might be about the intrusion of new data, Apple’s reporting of podcast consumption will sharply influence the shape, growth and revenue prospects of podcasting. Details and RAIN analysis. Continue Reading

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House majority supports status quo on radio royalties

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced that five new House representatives have signed onto the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA), making a majority of support. LRFA is a non-binding resolution against any new performance royalty imposed on U.S. radio stations. At issue is broadcast radio’s historic exemption from paying artists and labels for playing music recordings over the air.  Continue Reading

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Omny Studio reveals tech behind controversial Apple Podcast Consumption Analytics

In a RAIN webinar last August, Melbourne-based podcast hosting and technology company Omny Studio announced a technology achievement that seemed either revolutionary or implausible, depending on one’s perspective. Omny claimed to offer podccast listening data captured from Apple’s Podcasts app. Today, prompted by the imminent release of Apple’s own podcast analytics, Omny has unfurled a description of its previously secret method. Continue Reading

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Apple acquires Shazam

Over the weekend TechCrunch broke news from undisclosed sources in Apple that the tech giant was close to acquiring market-leading music-ID platform Shazam — Apple confirmed the acquisition this morning. The enormously popular and influential Shazam has historically taken the role of Switzerland, standing in the midst of Spotify, Napster, Apple Music and others, offering to funnel ID’d songs to the user’s preferred listening platform. That could change. Continue Reading

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SoundCloud continues product updates for creators

In what could be described as the Kerry Trainor era of SoundCloud, starting when the Vimeo ex-CEO took over the Berlin-based streaming platform, a quickened pace of product development seems to be in progress. It’s good news for the creator/uploader community which pays a lot of SoundCloud’s bills via subscriptions for cloud storage of tracks.  Continue Reading

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Apple drops out (and here’s why) as smart speakers enter crucial holiday season

The news that Apple has withdrawn its timetable to launch the HomePod smart speaker this year is a final buttoning down of the holiday lineup of smart speakers, as we enter Black Friday week. The broken promise of a Q4 launch is certainly disappointing to Apple loyalists who are deep into the ecosystem. Was the HomePod squeezed out of its market position by a surprise maneuver by Sonos? Continue Reading