2/27/13: Webcaster Senzari rebrands as Wahwah, launches custom streaming app

Paul Maloney
February 27, 2013 - 12:20pm

The webcaster formerly known as Senzari has rebranded its streaming music service as "Wahwah," with a "mobile-first" approach, reports TechCrunch.

Actually, a "mobile-only" approach, at least for now. The Senzari web-based streaming service is being shut down and rebuilt (to relaunch in 2-3 months).

Wahwah.fm was itself a Berlin-based streaming music app, acquired by Senzari last October.

With the new Wahwah app, users can create personalized radio streams from a 15 million track music catalog. The app can also craft listening based on your current activity -- music for "working," "driving," or "running," for example.

There's also the "co-listening" option, by which listeners browse other users' shared radio streams (filtered by "trending," featured, location, friends, and activity). Apparently, the shared broadcasts are "live" -- that is, in real time, like a broadcast station (no pausing, skipping songs, etc.).

Senzari itself will reportedly remain the brand behind other future, non-music efforts. The company is based in Miami and backed by $3 million in funding. RAIN has covered Senzari (and Wahwah.fm) here. Read the TechCrunch report here.

Paul Maloney
February 27, 2013 - 12:20pm

Yesterday Albert Fried & Company analyst Rich Tullo appeared on CNBC to discuss the news that record label sales were up last year for the first time since 1999. He used the opportunity to criticize the music industry and its treatment of music services like Pandora -- especially in regards to licensing and royalties.

"The industry is fighting the Pandoras and Spotifys," Tullo told CNBC. Tullo pledged his company "will help (Pandora) in Congress if called upon -- we do have certain beliefs about Internet radio freedom, and how it can be an ultimate good for the industry if the music producers top fighting change."

Pandora and other webcasters support the Internet Radio Fairness Act (more here), designed to make the Internet radio royalties more equitable by bringing the royalty rate determination process in line with those for other non-interactive digital music use (like satellite radio). The recording industry is in staunch opposition to the bill.

Watch video of Tullo's CNBC appearance here.

Paul Maloney
February 27, 2013 - 12:20pm

Webcaster Slacker has launched its service on Microsoft's Xbox360 gaming platform.

U.S. and Canadian Xbox LIVE subscribers can now access Slacker's full service, including hundreds of "expert-programmed" Internet radio stations.

Among those stations is a brand new stream dedicated to videogame music, hosted and curated by Destructoid.com editor Dale North. The station streams selections from the soundtracks of well known videogame franchises like Halo, Gears of War, and Final Fantasy.

Earlier this month Slacker relaunched and redesigned its entire interface (more in RAIN here), including new mobile apps and improved user functionality. Accompanying the launch was an online video ad campaign that positioned the webcaster against sector leader Pandora.