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RAIN in Chicago: A blazing success with exceptional knowledge and intense networking


The RAIN Online Audio Advertising Summit was held in Chicago this week, resulting in a riveting program and extended networking opportunities for its 200 attendees at the House of Blues. The event was presented by lead sponsors Pandora, TargetSpot, and DAX, and was supported by Gold Sponsors Midroll Media, Authentic, Audio.ad, and AdsWizz.

The entire event was premised on the primacy of audio at a remarkable inflection point, and the singular opportunity for advertisers and brands to reach consumers where they live — which is increasingly in their headphones.

A new format was introduced called Panel Prep, in which each of the three discussion panels was preceded by a short research presentation from the panel moderator. That information framed and informed the ensuing conversation. Tom Webster of Edison Research was the inaugural presenter, and he delivered information from recent The Infinite Dial and Share of Ear consumer surveys — then skillfully managed a discussion titled “Audio: The Paradigm Shift” featuring Jonathan Eccles (Pandora), Tracy Kalfas (initiative) and Dan Richardson (Mindshare).

The template was continued by Carolyn Hudson of TargetSpot, who moderated the “Increasing Investment in Digital Audio: Why and How” panel with Michael O’Neil (Triton Digital), Kunal Singh (Mediamath), Scott Porretti (Katz Media Group), and Nathan Joslin (Havas Media).

Finally,  (AutheMark McCreryntic/Podtrac) presented the newly released IAB/PwC podcast revenue report, of great interest. Following those data points was the “Podcasting FTW! But What Actually Works?” panel featuring Lex Friedman (Midroll Media), Fannie Cohen (Fannieco), Tom Yeung (AdsWizz), and Bryan Moffett (NPM/NPR).

RAIN founder Kurt Hanson delivered the opening address with a range of metrics and insights, including a fascinating comparison of the smart speaker growth curve and the online stream listening growth curve 10 years ago. Guy Jones traveled to Chicago from London to deliver a presentation called “Innovation in Audio Advertising,” full of examples, case studies, and a fabulous dose of British humor.

The Summit was hosted by Hanson and RAIN President Brad Hill. The program featured six smart speaker giveaways from Participating Sponsor AccuRadio.

Attendees enjoyed a buffet lunch and settled across numerous tables and nooks all over the House of Blues concert space, and continued networking during a two-hour after-party.

Brad Hill

One Comment

  1. As an attendee of this event and many RAIN events in the past, I was thrilled to finally see a woman on stage as a moderator. I love the direction – more women representation in digital audio!

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