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Kurt Hanson: Hope to See You in London!

Online radio is not just a North American phenomenon — it’s a global one. Reflecting the global nature of online radio, we are about to host our third annual RAIN Summit Europe, on Tuesday, November 4th. After successful events in Berlin in 2012 and Brussels in 2013, this year we’re coming to London … and here is why you should join us! Continue Reading

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Kurt Hanson: Report from Tokyo

by Kurt Hanson

Over the past 14 years, RAIN has reported to you from around the world — including publishing a week’s worth of early RAIN issues from an Internet-enabled café in Copenhagen, reporting on a popular new trend among young people in Prague called “texting” (way back in 2002), and producing an early cellphone-only version of RAIN in Tokyo, and more.

Now, founding editor Kurt Hanson sends a bulletin and photos from Tokyo, where he is observing the tech and online music scenes. Continue Reading

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When Hertz asked, “How hard can it be?”

by Kurt Hanson

One of the hottest trends in the transportation field nowadays is that of “car sharing,” a/k/a short-term, neighborhood-distributed car rentals, a la Zipcar. In this narrative, which is both hilarious and horrendous, founding editor Kurt Hanson describes the stunning failed experience of trying a newly-developed car-sharing service offered by legacy car-rental company Hertz. Spinning off a new business line separate from a firm’s core competency isn’t as easy as it might seem — and Kurt Hanson extends that point to the Internet radio industry. Continue Reading

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Why Google Bought Songza

In a move that’s been rumored for several weeks now, Google announced yesterday that they’re buying the personalizable multichannel webcaster Songza. The purchase seems like an odd one for Google, given its historical preference for algorithmically-created products. The problem, however, is that music is difficult to program on a purely algorithmic basis: An intense Seals & Crofts song, for example, may sound acoustically similar to a mellow Led Zeppelin song, but an experienced music programmer (i.e., a human being) would be able to discern that they’re culturally very dissimilar.

RAIN founding editor Kurt Hanson explores why the Songza acquisition might be a smart investment for Google. Continue Reading

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Kurt Hanson: Gift Horse

From Kurt Hanson’s blog


In the days of broadcast ownership caps, a radio broadcaster could own only seven AMs and seven FMs — across the entire U.S. It was an exciting and intense time to be in radio: If you could own only fourteen radio stations in the entire U.S., you cared very much about all fourteen of them.

Imagine if someone had offered you the opportunity to own a broadcast signal with complete national coverage! RAIN founding editor Kurt Hanson does imagine that, and contemplates looking at gift horses in the mouth. Continue Reading