Mark Ramsey Announces Hivio 2016 Plans
February 3, 2016

Mark Ramsey Media namesake and veteran media researcher Mark Ramsey has announced details and dates for his upcoming 4th annual Hivio, billed as “the first and only audio future festival.” The 2016 edition of Ramsey’s rather ‘unconventional’ convention will take place June 2nd and 3rd in Los Angeles at the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel. “Hivio gathers together people from radio, online radio, podcasting, talent, agencies, social media, platforms, and more,” says Ramsey. “All in one place to talk about where audio is headed, what the future is, and how brands are building business models to make that future a reality. This is the benchmark trans-audio event for a world where the consumer — the listener — is firmly in charge.” Just a few of the confirmed speakers for this year’s event are: Virgin Radio CEO Ian Grace, Peter Kafka, Media Editor for Re/code, Andy Bowers, Chief Content Officer at Panoply Media, Chris Balfe, partner at Red Seat Ventures, Valerie Geller, president of Geller Media International and Lizzie Widhelm, SVP Ad Product Sales and Strategy at Pandora. See the full lineup of speakers and get hotel and registration information for the annual limited seating conference HERE.

‘Time’ Recognizes Ramsey For Digital Growth
January 20, 2016

NTS MediaOnline Today congratulates independently syndicated Talk radio personality Dave Ramsey (left) — whose daily Dave Ramsey Show is heard on a reported 550+ affiliates nationwide — on being recognized by the venerable Time magazine for his program’s growth in the digital audio space. Reporting an average of more than 2 million downloads per week, Time recognized Ramsey’s show as one of the ‘Top 10 podcasts on iTunes in 2015.’ “We’re excited to see the development of a completely new audience in the digital space,” said Brian Mayfield, VP of Ramsey Media (right). “Our roots are embedded in radio where we began, and our audience continues to grow. This recent success on the digital side allows us to introduce our show to the next generation of listeners. Our goal is simple: We want to be there for our listener when, where, and how they want to listen. We offer a variety of solutions, including podcast, a dedicated channel on iHeartRadio, online audio streaming and an online video channel.” Ramsey Media reports the show’s digital efforts, combined with its existing broadcast radio audience, currently reaches a total audience of 11 million listeners every week.

Podcast One Passes Billion Download Milestone
January 12, 2016

PodcastOne reports the company amassed some 1.5 billion downloads across its lineup of approximately 200 programs in 2015. The network features a number of marquee names as part of its podcast roster, including Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Larry King, Rich Eisen, Jay Mohr, Dr. Drew and more. “When we started this journey three years ago, we wanted to be able to provide national advertisers and our programming partners a single destination for consumers to experience the best that podcasting has to offer,” said PodcastOne Chairman/CEO Norm Pattiz (pictured). “So far, so good. We’re grateful to our hosts, producer-publishers and, of course, our partner Hubbard Broadcasting. We look forward to doing our part in making 2016 the year of the podcast.” In other news from PodcastOne, the company and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights are partnering to bring both published and unpublished literary projects to life with the new scripted series Chilling Tales: The Podcast. The new drama series debuts today (1/12) on the PodcastOne website,  iTunes and the PodcastOne app.

Garry Meier To End His ‘Radio Silence’ In 2016
December 16, 2015

In a post to his website, longtime Windy City radio personality Garry Meier tells fans he’s coming back with a new show venture in early 2016, but this time he’s going digital. “If you enjoyed listening to me in my previous incarnations, I hope you will come along for what I hope to be another adventurous ride!” writes Meier. “As I examined the media landscape, I’ve decided to do something that a great friend and mentor told me to do ten years ago — get on the Internet. And while I wasn’t ready to make the leap a decade ago, at this point in my career, I want to try something completely new that offers me more control and freedom and also is the wave of the future. It might not be the way you listened on traditional radio, but breaking away from all of that, I think, is a good thing. So, ‘hello’ from the 50-trillion watt ‘Wi-Fi!'”

Art Bell Says He’s Retiring For The Last Time
December 14, 2015

As our Facebook friends and Twitter followers first learned over the weekend, late night Talk radio legend Art Bell has announced he’s retiring again, but says this time it’s for good. In a post to his website Bell said he is ending his recently launched Internet radio show immediately due to alleged threats against him and his family. “I am sorry to have to announce this, but I will not be on tonight or any other night,” wrote Art (pictured) in the post. “Whoever this crazy person is, they are not stopping and it has come to the point that we as a family do not feel it is worth the risk. While I think the person or persons are after me, my wife and now my daughter are really scared. I will not put my family through this. As you all know I dearly love what I do, but not at the expense of never ending terrorism. I want to thank those of you who have shown so much support and it has been my joy, short as it has been, to have cracked that mic open for a last time. This was a family decision. The girls stuck with me and still would, but if one of them were harmed because of what I love doing my life would be over.” It’s not the first time that Bell has hung up his headphones under a similar cloud. Incidents involving threats to the host and his family have previously caused him to announce his retirement. Meanwhile, in a separate post, Keith Rowland and Heather Wade of the Dark Matter Radio Network (which had carried Art’s new online show) outline immediate and future plans for Art’s current late night hours in the wake of his sudden departure. Read more HERE.

Wall Street Journal Debuts ‘WSJ Podcasts’
December 8, 2015

Starting Friday (12/11) the Wall Street Journal will launch WSJ Podcasts, expanding the company’s on-demand digital news offerings with 12 podcasts highlighting reporting from the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch. The podcasts range from daily updates with What’s News, Your Money Matters and Tech News Briefing, to the weekly Opinion: Potomac Watch and Free for All with Jason Gay. The podcasts will be distributed in partnership with The Slate Group’s Panoply podcast network and will be available at WSJ.com/podcasts and via download at iTunes, Stitcher, Deezer, and SoundCloud. Commenting on the new digital venture, Executive Producer John Wordock (pictured) said, “WSJ Podcasts give voice to the Journal’s world class reporting, creating new opportunities for audiences to engage with our news, analysis and commentary.”

Social Media Marketing To Grow Again In 2016
December 7, 2015

According to a new eMarketer report, US Social Trends for 2016: eMarketer Predictions for Video, Viewability, Buy Buttons, Messaging and More, Facebook and Twitter will remain the top social networks used by US companies in 2016, but Instagram will see rapid growth. Next year, 48.8% of marketers are expected to use the platform, up from 18.4% in 2014. eMarketer also notes that as marketers have increased their use of social media, their spending is also rising, and reports that trend “shows no signs of slowing.” Additionally the digital research firm says of the marketing professionals surveyed in October 2015 by the research company Ascend2 for its ‘Social Media Marketing Trends’ report, only 2% planned to decrease social budgets in the future, while 67% planned increases.

“The State Of American Podcasting”
November 19, 2015

That was the title of a free webinar offered yesterday (11/18) by Westwood One. Hosted by the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Pierre Bouvard, a roster of special guests presented the industry with “new insights about the podcast consumer and advertiser sentiment about podcasts.” Among some of the highlights from the presentation:

• Consumers are engaged with podcast advertising, with 65% of podcast listeners telling a 2015 Ipsos poll they recalled an ad after listening to a show one day earlier.

• In the next six months, nearly 1 out of 10 agencies and marketers said they “definitely would advertise” in podcasting in the next six months. Meanwhile, 50% of both agencies and marketers said they “might advertise” in podcasting in the next 6 months.

A quote of particular interest we noted from the session came from Buzzfeed Director of Audio, Jenna Weiss-Berman, who offered this take on the potentially big opportunity for podcasters in the future: “Cars. That’s the real opportunity here,” she said. “If someone can figure out how to make podcasts more easily accessible in the car, if the technology improves there and there’s some way I can just press play on my podcast app, or if it’s somehow built into cars, I think you’ll see [podcast listening] numbers rise pretty dramatically.”

Network/Syndication News
November 18, 2015

SiriusXM will offer a special eight-part satellite radio series focused on the history behind several of the most storied rivalries in the history of college football. Gridiron Grudges: College Football’s Fiercest Rivalries will debut on Monday (11/23) and will be available to subscribers throughout the Thanksgiving holiday week. Rivalries that will be explored include Ohio State vs. Michigan (a series that dates back to 1897), Auburn vs. Alabama (a rivalry which began in 1893) and Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (a gridiron battle first waged in 1904). The special series will play nationwide on the satcaster’s SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel … Sun Broadcast Group’s syndicated Marilu Henner Show adds new affiliate 1490 KMET/Banning, CA. Henner now airs from 9am-noon (PT) on the SoCal Talk station …. Stephan Multimedia nationally syndicated talker Doug Stephan (pictured) is gearing up for his annual holiday gift to Talk radio, offering stations in markets where his daily Good Day morning show doesn’t already air, the opportunity to try the show with no contract or long-term commitment during the holiday season. “We welcome any station that wants to deliver live programming through the holidays to try the show for free,” says Doug. “We’ll be working live on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”

Can PPM Accurately Measure Streaming?
November 6, 2015

That’s the question posed by researcher Richard Harker in his latest Radio Insights blog post, in which he opens up a new front in the ongoing conversation questioning the accuracy and reliability of Nielsen’s PPM electronic audience measurement. “Independent estimates put online radio listening at close to 80 million listeners in PPM markets, yet according to Nielsen, streaming listeners total less than half a million,” says Harker. “On top of that, only one quarter of PPM markets have even one station with measurable streaming numbers. Three-quarters of PPM markets lack a single measurable streaming station. Can that really be true? Can it be true that essentially no one is listening to the streams of encoded radio stations? We don’t think so. And a few calculations back up our doubts.” Read Harker’s full post HERE.