Slacker kicks off live ESPN programming with play-by-play from tonight's BCS title game

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 9:00am

Slacker will inaugurate its live streaming of ESPN Audio shows and sporting events with the BCS Championship title game tonight — top-ranked LSU versus No. 2 Alabama — available to all Slacker listeners via the web player.

Slacker Radio first began making ESPN Audio content available in September (see RAIN coverage here), after announcing their deal the previous March (here). But today is the first offering of live programming. Slacker says other live programming will be available to Slacker Radio Plus and Slacker Premium Radio subscribers. The interactive ESPN Radio station (non-live content) on Slacker will remain free and available to all listeners.

CEO says satellite radio service will offer Pandora-like feature by year's end

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 9:00am

SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin has reportedly indicated that SiriusXM will launch its own Pandora-style personalized streaming audio service, likely within the coming year, according to RBR. Karmazin spoke at the Citi Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco last week.

Karmazin spoke of adding personalization as part of the Sirius 2.0 features at least as early as November of 2010 (see RAIN coverage here). By summer, CNet reported the personalizable service would be available in some cars by 2013 (more here).

"I can assure you that if our subscribers would like to have personalization we’re going to give it to them," Karmazin told conference attendees, as reported by RBR. "So, you should assume, you know, that the idea of personalization is something that Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio and Slacker and all of these companies are doing. There is satellite radio and it will expand and make that personalization available, probably this year. I don’t think it’s a big deal. We’re not going into it as a business. We, again, like our business model. But we’re going into it saying, you know what, if our subscribers like that feature and they want to be able to customize content, we’re going to give them the ability to do that."

Read RBR's coverage here.

RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter is brought to you by: Kurt Hanson, Executive Editor; Paul Maloney, Senior Editor; Michael Schmitt, Associate Editor; Jim Pavilack, Contributing Writer; Jennifer Lane, RAIN Summits President.

November Webcast Metrics shows growth for pureplays Pandora, Slacker, AccuRadio

Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 8:00am

Tracking webcast ratings from September 2009 through November 2011Pandora yet again showed strong month-to-month growth in November 2011, according to Triton Digital's just-released Webcast Metrics. Other pureplays like Slacker and AccuRadio also saw solid gains over October, as did Clear Channel.

Pandora increased its dominating lead in the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart ranker, reaching an AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners) of 893,749. That's up 10% from October 2011.

(The chart at right shows the growth of Pandora, CBS, Clear Channel, the top 5 terrestrial radio groups and Slacker from September 2009 through November 2011. Note that Pandora's AAS numbers from December 2010 through mid-August 2011 were affected by the omission of tracking code in some of its mobile apps. Click to view in full size.)

Clear Channel, which holds the #2 spot in the Top 20 ranker, also grew 10% from October to reach an AAS of 117,374.

The strongest month-to-month growth in the ranker came from Slacker, however, at 35%. The webcaster reached an AAS of 47,451 (putting it at #5 in the ranker). That growth may be in part due to AOL Radio's migration from CBS Radio to Slacker in late October (RAIN coverage here). CBS Radio's AAS dropped 19% from October to November.

Other strong monthly growth was shown by pureplay AccuRadio (14%) and Univision (11%). 

Overall, the pureplay webcasters in Triton's Domestic Mon-Sun 61-12m ranker grew 11% from October.

The gains in November may be in part due to the increased listening that occurs around the holiday season. Expect to see large monthly growth in the December 2011 metrics.

You can find the Domestic and All Streams Mon-Sun 6a-12m rankings below. Find out more from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics report here (PDF) and find our coverage of October 2011’s ratings here.

10/19: AOL Radio relaunches with Slacker

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 11:00am

AOL today relaunched AOL Radio, now powered by personalizable pureplay webcaster Slacker. AOL Radio announced in late June it would migrate away from CBS Radio and partner with Slacker (RAIN coverage here).

The new AOL Radio includes about half the audio advertising it previously had, now playing about 3 minutes of advertising per hour. The cut was announced by AOL Radio General Manager Lisa Namerow at RAIN Summit Chicago. (read more here)

Slacker, iHeartRadio widen their "platform footprints"

Friday, December 16, 2011 - 12:05pm

iHeartRadioYou can now listen to Clear Channel's iHeartRadio online radio on your Xbox 360 game console, and you'll soon have more options for listening to Slacker in your car.

Microsoft yesterday made iHeartRadio part of a second round of content sources to the recently-revamped Xbox Live user interface. You might remember the iHeart Music Festival was streamed on the Xbox Live platform. Xbox Live customers in the U.S. can now also access YouTube,, TMZ, and Verizon FiOS TV. Read more in Variety here.


Earlier this week, car audio manufacturer Harmon announced it had struck deals with five "premium" auto makers for its Aha Radio in-car app platform, teasing a big announcement which will come at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The "mystery" automakers will reportedly use Aha’s cloud-based platform to deliver Internet content to car dashboards beginning next year. Harmon says it expects its new auto maker partners to represent 22% of the new car market in 2012.

Currently, Aha's most-significant online radio partner is Slacker. Read more here.

Sonos adds Slacker support, offers Android tablet app

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:25pm

Sonos' line of streaming devices and appsWireless home music streaming service Sonos has updated to include support for Slacker. The update also includes improvements to Spotify's service on Sonos, Engadget reports (here).

Sonos has also updated its Android app to support tablets.

Sonos' wireless music devices are capable of streaming home music collections in addition to web music services like Pandora,, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, MOG and Rdio.

Slacker has also announced that it has signed on as the exclusive title sponsor of Canadian Music Week. (Canadian Music Week is a five-day entertainment event in Toronto that includes Canada's largest new music festival, Canadian Music Fest.) Slacker plans to launch a series of new channels "with a Canadian focus" to celebrate. You can find Slacker's press release here.

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