At CES 2011, Slacker previewed their Premium Radio with on-demand access. Paid users will be able to stream any song from the entire Slacker music library, top charts, station playlists, and more. Rather than having a costly, ad-supported, free on-demand option like Spotify, Slacker believes in the power of radio.
The company thinks that their radio services will be enough to convert music fans over to paid subcribers.
Given that fans continually show preference for radio, Slacker doesn't see a reason to offer free on-demand streams. Unlike Spotify, they're not willing to handle the high burn rate. Free music costs too much. Slacker's strategy is to offer multiple tiers of entry for different fans – not a one-size-fits all service.
New iPad App
In addition to previewing their Premium Radio, Slacker demonstrated their iPad app. It takes advantage of the high-res display by offering users access to artist bios, album reviews, artist images and full-size album artwork.
These are all features that are available through their desktop player and mobile app, but they take on new significance when brought to the iPad. It makes the features more accessible and interactive. Users flip through the lyrics and album artwork, rather than clicking around, making for a more nostalgic experience.
Free In Canada
Slacker also announced that they are now able to offer an unlimited free radio service in Canada where they previously could only offer users a 30-day trial.
Lastly, Slacker now provides support for Verizon 4G smartphones and Nokia.
Slacker may be an underdog in a Pandora dominated world, but they're continuing to gain traction and diversify their Premium Radio offering.