Tech 2.0 for Monday, September 13, 2013
Cumulus Media Inc., the second largest radio station owner in the country, is partnering with music streaming service Rdio, stepping up competition with Clear Channel. The deal gives Cumulus an undisclosed minority stake in Rdio parent Pulser Media. Clear Channel, the biggest radio station owner in the country, owns the iHeart Radio service. Traditional radio station groups are doing all they can to stay relevant as listeners increasingly spend time on mobile devices. No money is changing hands immediately in the deal. Cumulus will offer on-air promotion of Rdio such as commercial time or talk segments. Cumulus will also sell advertising for Rdio's upcoming free streaming service, expected by the end of the year, and provide exclusive content to Rdio, such as its Nash country music channel.
Internet radio giant Pandora is issuing up to 12.1 million new shares to the public while its largest stockholder will sell another 4 million shares. The new share offering could increase the existing share count of 176.4 million shares by about 7 percent. Pandora Media Inc.'s share price fell 74 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $23.25 in after-hours trading following the news. Pandora estimates it will net up to $279.4 million and will use the proceeds from the new share sale for general corporate purposes, working capital and expenditures. It won't receive any proceeds from the sale of shares from the existing shareholder, Crosslink Capital. Pandora's cash and short-term investments fell to $68.9 million at the end of July, down from $89.0 million at the end of January.
The Rio De Janeiro government's move to pull away from the Internet may seem like the equivalent of an electronic temper tantrum. But some experts say it may also be the first — and potentially dangerous — step toward breaking apart a global network of computers. One of the beauties of the Intenet is that its loose network of computers on the Web has grown without government interference. But Brazil is seeking to opt out because the Internet is too centered on the U.S. — and because the Brazilian government is upset that the NSA snooped on its communications, hacked into its state-owned oil company's network and spied on social network-active Brazilian citizens.
The coordinator of a program intended to boost high-speed internet access across the state says rural northern Idaho is the worst-served part of the state for broadband internet service. Mike Field of the LinkIdaho project told the Idaho Legislature's interim committee on energy, environment and technology that inadequate access makes it harder to attract companies as well as deliver education and health care. Field said that the Panhandle area is where the state is struggling the most with broadband internet service. The LinkIdaho project is planning a "broadband summit" on Oct. 22 in Boise. Vince Rinaldi of the Silver Valley Economic Development Corp. says there's a connection between broadband and prosperity.