Jason Calacanis “State of Media” impresses at RAIN Summit West

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In the keynote address at RAIN Summit West on Sunday in Las Vegas, digital-media entrepreneur Jason Calacanis wowed the audience with his State of Media presentation. Calacanis was thronged for over an hour after the speech.

The 2014 edition of Calacanis’ annual State of Media comprised 139 slides, reams of statistics, and a rapid-fire delivery filled with trend indicators, personal anecdotes, bold predictions, and humor. Media categories covered in the wide-roaming survey of industry health included radio and music, as well as gaming, books, magazines, movies, and TV.

jason 05 cropped 300wRadio is positioned at middling ground in Jason Calacanis’ perspective, between newspapers and magazines (“You do not want to be in that business”) and TV and mobile (“Great to be in”). Throughout the report, Calacanis emphasized the importance of mobile, not just as a delivery platform, but as a lifestyle and consumption realm that he predicted would be “much bigger than the Internet itself.” Every media category is “being apped” (being disrupted by mobile applications displacing current delivery paths).

The presentation’s viewpoints and predictions were informed by Jason Calacanis’ background as a new-media entrepreneur. His most dramatically successful startup was Weblogs, Inc., the first and largest professional blogging network, founded in 2003 and sold to AOL in 2005. Calacanis invests in other startups, is CEO of news app Inside.com, and hosts the video podcast This Week in Startups.

The keynote audience was responsive throughout to Calacanis’ humor and occasional impulsive tirade, but seemed most galvanized when he turned his impassioned admonitions toward radio, exclaiming against a lack of creative and financial investment in “epic” and original content.

At the end, many attendees swarmed toward the stage to greet the keynoter to get some personal discussion time. He was encircled through the hour set aside for lunch, and after the start of the first afternoon session.

RAIN Summit West was a full-day education and networking conference with panel discussions, research reports, and special presentations. Watch for audio and video recordings of the sessions, which will be posted to this site in coming days.

Brad Hill


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