Interactive Media and MP3.com announce the creation of Mp3radio.com
September 2, 1999
by Kenneth Li
(IDG) -- Cox Interactive Media and MP3.com today announced the creation of Mp3radio.com, giving Cox's broad range of offline radio stations an easy ramp online.
The new company is being viewed as a natural transition for Cox Interactive Media, a division of Cox Enterprises, which purchased a 10 percent stake in MP3.com for $45 million in June, two months before the Net-radio site went public.
"Like all local Web sites, radio-station sites suffer from a singular problem: They have limited audience reach," said Gregg Lindahl, Mp3radio.com president and chief operating officer, in a statement. "This venture aims to solve that problem by creating a product that attracts high-volume, high-frequency audiences." Mp3radio.com is expected to launch within two to three months.
Mp3radio.com initially will create minisites for Cox Radio (CXR) 's network of 60 stations in 12 markets, letting users listen to and download digital copies of the music from MP3.com, purchase tickets to local events through Tickets.com and eventually purchase CDs from the site. Cox invested $30 million in Tickets.com in August.
Mp3radio.com also intends to sign up radio stations not owned by Cox to add to its network. Cox executives were meeting with radio companies at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Florida today, a company spokeswoman says.
Participating stations will have the first crack at being the local-radio-station sponsor for all MP3.com-sponsored events, which in turn may draw a larger audience to the network.
The venture may bring some harmony to the dissonant chorus of radio stations scattered across the Internet. To that end, Scour.net launched an online radio search service in August, letting consumers seek by musical tastes.
The move reflects the burgeoning interest in Net radio amid a flurry of business activity surrounding the delivery of music online. "It's the first time I've seen a radio group and premier Internet property get together and look at ways to share and leverage content," says Forrester Research analyst Mark Hardie.
MP3.com has enjoyed plenty of attention on its own as a popular site for music downloads. Forrester Research predicted in a recent report that digital music downloading will add about $1.1 billion to the U.S. music industry by 2003.
In recent weeks, Yahoo launched a service for music downloads called Yahoo Digital and Lycos bought Mediascience, maker of the Sonique MP3 player. And in June, America Online weighed in with the purchase of Net radio company Spinner.com and Winamp maker Nullsoft.
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