Friday, March 19, 2010

Morning Brief: Pandora reaching 'too big to fail' status? ReplaceAds introduces mobile advertising platform

One of the joys of owning an iPhone is using it to get radio stations from around the world. One of my favorites is a classical music station from Strasbourg, France. My two favorite jazz stations are on almost opposite sides of the globe: KCSM, San Mateo, CA and Radio Swiss Jazz, Berne, Switzerland.

And then there is Pandora.

If you're not familiar with Pandora then just aadd that to the list of things you have to check out. The Internet and mobile media music company is a dominate player in streaming media. How dominant?  Digital Music News reports that roughly 44-45 percent of all royalties paid to SoundExchange, the performance rights entity that collects royalties on the behalf of sound recording copyright owners, comes from Pandora.

In 2009, Pandora paid $28 million to SoundExchange, meaning, of course, that the streaming music industry now contributes at least $60 million to the record companies. OK, it's not exactly a billion dollar industry, but we are talking royalties -- all plus business for the labels. And to think that the government's Copyright Royalty Board almost killed off Internet radio in 2007 before Congress stepped in and made the parties come together.

All that streaming music and video needs to be monetized by the publishers, right?

ReplaceAds announced yesterday the availability of its new mobile advertising platform for mobile streaming radio and video. The platform is from owner Jetcast.

According to its press release, ReplaceAds will have 250 million mobile ad impressions per month to offer advertisers. "Mobile audio and video streaming is growing at a phenomenal rate. Our new mobile monetization platform allows broadcasters to quickly grow their mobile revenues and for advertisers to easily and cost effectively reach our affluent, and highly engaged mobile audience", said John Williams, Jetcast CEO.

Last month the Jetcast announced that it had appointed AdPlayerz as its new advertising sales and sponsorship representatives for the ReplaceAds platform.

And finally, it wouldn't be a New Media round-up without a reference to either Apple or Google.  I'm apparently not alone in feeling this way. Take yesterday's story from the WSJ: Apple Scrambles to Secure iPad Deals, a story that should have been titled WSJ editors require another Apple iPad story so we came up with one.

In this bit of fantasy, in which five staffers contributed, there are no names mentioned and no quotes used to support their premise that Apple is struggling to close content deals for its new iPad. According to the story Apple "hoped to work closely with newspaper, magazines and textbook publishers on new ways to digitally present print content on the iPad, but has for now put the effort on backburner." The source of this is credit to "one of the people", whoever that is. It was followed by "An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment" -- what a surprise.

The authors apparently don't own iPhones, or watched the iPad demo. If they had they would know that newspaper and magazine content is accessible through both the Safari browser (it's called the Internet, by the way), as well as those funny icons called "apps". No deals are necessary, just submit your app to Apple for inclusion in the iTunes store and unless the app involves politic satire or barely clothed humans, the chances are the app will be approved. After all, there are over 300 "flashlight" apps in the iTunes store, so how hard can it be for a newspaper publisher to create an app?

But, as the reporters for the WSJ wrote "people familiar with the matter say" . . . just about anything when they are not quoted and their names not used.