7/11/13: Playlist.com changes to non-interactive Net radio model

Paul Maloney
July 11, 2013 - 8:05pm

On-demand streaming music service Playlist has switched to an online radio service model -- forced to do so by "the record labels," the company told listeners.

Playlist.com formerly allowed users to create and share streaming playlists simply by typing in song titles or artists. But as of the first of the month, that service is no longer available.

An e-mail to registered Playlist users read, "Sadly on July 1, 2013, the record labels required us to shut down the original Playlist service. We're so sorry; it was our life for over 6 years. We made sure to keep your playlist data safe and hope you'll try our new, approved smart radio service... We are forced to play by internet radio rules but kept your playlists as true as possible."

The new interface resembles the simple Pandora-style search box, in which listeners type a song title, artist, or album and the service generates a dynamic (though not on-demand) station. Once the station begins, there are options for genre-based stations (see image).

Hypebot reports, "By 2008, users had grown to 20 million. But the labels and RIAA objected to pulling content from other online sources, and in 2008 MySpace and Facebook disabled all ProjectPlaylist widgets. Deals in 2009-2010 with the labels, and shift to Playlist.com's slightly more restricted format, gave the company a second chance. But by then, traffic was falling and a messy bankruptcy followed."

Read more in Hypebot here.

Paul Maloney
July 11, 2013 - 8:05pm

NPR has long set the pace in radio in this country when it comes to adapting to the new media landscape. Interestingly, in a new Wall Street Journal interview, NPR CEO Gary Knell characterized NPR's online content efforts as trying to be "a Pandora for news."

NPR's website and apps brim with on-demand news, music, photos, and other features. Knell told the paper the idea is "to allow listeners to customize a playlist, available through the cloud, live. We want to have serendipitous listening, not knowing what the next story is..."

Knell verified that that NPR's efforts in digital media have been effective in bringing new, younger listeners into the fold -- as some figures show commercial broadcast radio listening cratering among teens and young adults. While the average age of NPR's on-air listener is 53, that drops to 37 for iPhone listening. The average age of "NPR Music engagers" is 28, he said.

Without the on-demand options and other features enabled by new media technology, Knell fears, listening is lost.

"We're all over this, because if we don't do this we're not going to last," he admitted. NPR has to offer "the option of a la carte listening, or they will turn to other places."

Read interview excerpts in The Wall Street Journal here.

Paul Maloney
July 11, 2013 - 8:05pm

The Next Web recently introduced us to what seems to be a cool new service in the Live365/Radionomy vein: Radiojar.

From Greece, Radiojar is a browser-based webcasting solution for professionals to get a service up and running.

Radiojar seems to have geared its offerings specifically to the pro market, as opposed to "hobbyist" webcasters. All Radiojar plans cover the music rights for stations ("including intellectual, performers' and mechanical rights") "anywhere in the world, as long as your radio station is broadcasting under the radiojar.com domain," according to the website.

Demo-ing the latest Radiojar API are toradiofono.gr ("a new, independent Greek web radio station with a beautiful backbone.js-powered website") and ECM Radio ("a radio station to showcase the music of the ECM record label on their Greek website," but accessible only to visitors from Greece/Cyprus).

Read more (and get a limited-time discount code) in The Next Web here.