As I was reading different news sites on the Internet the other day it dawned on me just how powerful Clear Channel and CBS radio stations truly are. Not only are they the largest chain of stations within the United States but they have collectively taken over Internet radio broadcasting worldwide. Let me be a little more precise.
Yahoo’s LAUNCHCAST Radio draws 3 million monthly unique visitors, allowing users to listen to music based on preferred genres and artists. But LAUNCHCAST Radio is limited only to Windows users on Internet Explorer, shutting out a large percentage of the Internet. Now Yahoo will hand over the reins of its webcasting pioneer property LAUNCHCAST Radio to CBS Radio next year, the reason, according to Yahoo Music chief Michael Spiegelman: ROYALTIES
Last year, a panel of federal copyright judges issued a ruling dramatically increasing the royalties paid by webcasters to music companies and songwriters. Yahoo, AOL, Pandora and Real Networks are fighting to reverse it. But unless they can get support from Congress, digital radio providers may be forced to pay annual royalty hikes of nearly 30%.
Beginning in February, CBS Radio will stream the 150 Yahoo Internet radio channels alongside its own combination of the 150 online simulcasts of its AM and FM properties and the over 200 AOL Radio channels the broadcaster took over in June. CBS Radio sales teams will also now handle all ad sales for Yahoo streams. Yahoo will still program the LAUNCHCAST Radio streams. The deal will also put links to CBS major-market news and sports stations streams on appropriate Yahoo pages. The CBS player works with the Firefox and Safari Web browsers giving LAUNCHCAST Radio the ability to reach 90% of the Internet.
Clear Channel has 776 streaming radio stations as of this writing and that includes multiple formats of Alternative, Adult Alternative, Adult Hits, Christian, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, Country, Hip Hop/R&B, Jazz, Latin, News Talk, R&B, Rock, Sports and more. In addition Clear Channel has streaming radio channels in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. An outdoor advertising arm that offers Billboards, Digital Outdoor Networks, Times Square Spectaculars, Street Furniture, Airport Displays, Mall Displays, Taxi Advertising, Mass Transit Displays and a massive sales infrastructure.
Now there is nothing that will be able to stop either CBS Radio or Clear Channel from streaming their radio stations into every home in the WORLD with broadband access, And since so many commercial stations have reduced or abandoned their unique, local and regional “talk” content in favor of cheaper-to-produce music programming, they will all soon be vulnerable to competition from well staffed U.S. media companies as Internet-delivered radio gains dominance.
What is even more incredible is that the new smartphones have applications that will allow direct access to Internet radio streams on your cellphone. Fly Cast is now offering two new free services that give broadcasters and webcasters “Smartphone” applications branded exclusively for their stations or networks. Fly Cast Direct Link, is a smartphone application, branded for and linking to a single station stream. Custom Cast, is designed for broadcasters that offer more than one streaming channel, or multi-channel webcasters. It’s a branded Fly Cast channel guide, downloadable to smartphones like the Apple iPhone, with listen links for the multiple listening options from a single broadcaster or webcaster.
HTC Touch Pro for Verizon
Sprint Touch Pro
Sony Ericsson Xperia
Are ALL smartphones and there are hundreds of mid priced “knockoffs” and smaller company created smartphones around the world.
Now is the time to create your niche market. Anything that you have a passion for, someone else wants to know about it in DETAIL. Developing a unique, professional sounding webcast with regularity will give you the product you need to shop. Buyers will include radio stations, networks, ad agencies (they are always looking for a new way to capture an audience), mobile cellphone companies, other webcasters and direct to the public. The more advanced people should look at taking the exact radio station model now available and direct broadcast to the Internet. The companies that own their own studio, writers, technical people, ancillary rights, and product and develop their audience via the Internet will be the most lucrative.
A final thought – Smartphones broadcast streaming video also.