RAIN and Triton Digital inaugurated the Awards in 2010 to recognize the achievements and best practices of webcasters in our industry. As part of the Awards, Triton Digital will award the 2012 RAIN Maker Award to honor the individual who has contributed significantly to advancing digital radio.
The judging staff has now visited, listened, sorted, and hashed out "short lists" of Awards finalists from this year's entries. It is from these finalists that a single winner in each category will be chosen. The Best Single-Stream Webcaster award is for operations that concentrate their energies and passion into crafting just one program of online radio content. Congratuations to this year's Single-Stream finalists: BeachFront Radio, BlackLight Radio, Castlerockradio.com, Floyd's 99 Radio, Radio Paradise, RootHog Radio, and The Cigar Station. The 2011 Single-Stream winner was HealthRadio.net.
Broadcast stations, groups, or online-only webcasters are all eligible for the Best Overall Digital Strategy prize. It's all about recognizing the operation that best harnesses new media tools (mobile, downloads, podcasts, streams, etc.) in a unified, focused strategy. This year's finalists are ESPN Audio, EXA FM, iHeartRadio, Karnaval.com, Spotify, and Sportsradio WEEI/Boston. Hubbard's Washington, D.C. WTOP was last year's winner in this category.
This next category recognizes streaming broadcasters (like our 2011 winner, Rhythmic CHR CJNW Hot 107 in Edmonton). The 2012 winner is among the following: 97.1 FM The Drive (WDRV/Chicago), ESPNRadio.com, and WDST Radio Woodstock.
And finally, the big one! Here are the finalists for the 2012 Best Overall Online Radio Service, which will go to the operation our judges feel provides the best overall online listener experience: 977music.com, AOL Radio, ESPN Audio, iHeartRadio, Live365, Pandora (the 2011 winner in this category), and Spotify.
Thanks to all our entrants, and congratulations and good luck to the finalists. We hope you can join us in Dallas on September 18th for the Awards at RAIN Summit Dallas. Click the link for information and to register.