RAIN Summits has confirmed Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin as the second keynote speaker for RAIN Summit West, April 7th in Las Vegas.
Rhapsody is the U.S.-based online music subscription service with more than a million subscribers. It offers access to over 16 million tracks on more than 70 consumer electronics devices. Just this month Rhapsody announced a partnership with wireless phone provider MetroPCS allowing customers to add Rhapsody for $5 to its newly simplified select monthly smartphone plans. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Rhapsody announced its availability in Ford and Lincoln vehicles with SYNC AppLink.
Irwin, Rhapsody International's top executive, joined Rhapsody America in 2009 as COO and chief of staff. He planned and oversaw Rhapsody's 2010 spinoff from parent RealNetworks into a standalone company. In late 2011 Rhapsody acquired competing service Napster. His specialty has been in building strong subscription businesses, with prior senior positions with Boingo Wireless, Earthlink, InfoNet Services Corporation, and WorldCom. He recently told Inc. magazine he doesn't believe in the "freemium" approach embraced by some of Rhapsody's competitors (RAIN coverage here).
Earlier this month RAIN Summits also announced (here) Radio Advertising Bureau's Erica Farber as a RAIN Summit West keynote speaker.
RAIN Summit West, Internet radio's premiere industry gathering, is held annually in Las Vegas during the week of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet, and is geared to both broadcasters on the Web (like Clear Channel Radio and CBS Radio), and Internet-only webcasters (Pandora and AccuRadio).
Previous keynote speakers at RAIN Summits include ESPN senior vice president Traug Keller, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, Hubbard Broadcasting (at the time Bonneville International) president and CEO Bruce Reese, NPR SVP/Digital Media Kinsey Wilson, and Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy.
RAIN Summits will announce more speakers and panel topics in the coming weeks. Other RAIN Summits are set for later this year, including Europe in late spring, and Orlando (at the RAB/NAB Radio Show) on September 17th. For information on the event or for sponsorship information contact RAIN Summits president Jennifer Lane. RAIN Summit West is a co-located education program of the NAB Show.